Representing more than 120 million registered organ, eye, and tissue donors across the nation, and the next 100 million who can help save a life, the 13th Donate Life Rose Parade float, “Treasure Life’s Journey,” was unveiled at the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations’ annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. The float and its many honored participants proudly represent the 2016 Rose Parade theme, “Find Your Adventure.”
Like an oasis discovered amidst a caravan’s journey across the desert, organ, eye, and tissue donation saves lives, renews hope, and sustains people, families, and communities. The float features a colorful caravan with sixty donor medal-inspired floragraphs that honor the invaluable treasure of the gift of life. Twenty-four float riders continue to share in life’s adventures through the gift of organ donation. Sixteen living donors will walk beside the float carrying provisions of fruit accented with flowers, symbolizing the life-sustaining gifts that have been given. And, Dedicated Roses placed by families create floral jewels that ornament the base of the float.
“Every donation of organs, eyes and tissue begins a journey of new life, health and adventure,” declared Tom Mone, Donate Life Rose Parade Float Committee Chairman. “In their passing, deceased donors open up a world of health to grateful recipients and empower them to contribute to their families, communities and future generations. Donor families find comfort by helping life go on in a remarkable act of love and caring for people they may never know. And Living Donors heroically give of themselves to help friends, family, and even strangers. Through its endless power to save, heal, and enhance lives, donation is truly the journey of a lifetime.”
In the last 12 years, the float has become the world’s most visible campaign to inspire donation. It began as an idea from lung recipient Gary Foxen to express gratitude to donors who make life-saving transplants possible. Now in its 13th year, the float’s mission is celebrated at hundreds of events nationwide where families finish floral medallion portraits, and sponsors too are honored for making donation possible.
This year the float campaign is headed by Nicole Olivas Jenkins, who serves as the float’s program manager. “I am honored to support our partners and families as we inspire millions to donate nationwide,” said Olivas Jenkins. “Our campaign urges all to participate and celebrate what we were all meant to do: have life, share life, and leave a legacy that lives forever.”
The 2016 Donate Life float is built by award-winning Paradiso Parade Floats, designed by Charles Meier, and coordinated by Donate Life America member OneLegacy.
One person can save up to eight lives through organ donation and more than 50 lives through tissue donation, which helps those who lack sight or need to heal from burns, or require new veins and arteries. More than over 6,000 lives are saved by living kidney and liver donors each year.
Anyone can sign up when renewing a driver’s license or state ID, or by visiting www.DonateLifeAmerica.org.
The 127th Rose Parade presented by Honda, themed “Find Your Adventure,” will take place Friday, January 1, 2016, at 8 a.m. (PST) featuring majestic floral floats. Following the parade, the 102nd Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO is slated to start at 1:30 p.m. (PST) featuring a match between the two top collegiate football teams in the nation. For additional information on the Tournament of Roses please visit the official website at www.tournamentofroses.com.