For Immediate Release
2015 DONATE LIFE FLOAT SHARES ‘THE NEVER-ENDING STORY’
OF ORGAN, EYE AND TISSUE DONATION WITH ROSE PARADE® AUDIENCE
Books and Butterflies Dramatize How the Decision to Donate Endures
by Saving, Healing and Transforming the Lives of Recipients
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – June 17, 2014 – More than 70 organizations supporting Donate Life America’s life-saving mission unveiled their 12th Donate Life Rose Parade float, “The Never-Ending Story,” featuring butterflies emerging from storybooks to symbolize the enduring power of organ, eye and tissue donation. The Donate Life float and its honored participants are the centerpiece of a national campaign that leads up to the 2015 Rose Parade, themed “Inspiring Stories.”
“Every donation of organs, eyes and tissue begins an inspiring story that lives on forever,” declared Bryan Stewart, chairman of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float Committee. “In their passing, deceased donors open up a world of health, sight and mobility to people in need. The gifts from living donors release family members, friends and even strangers to live more fully. Grateful transplant recipients are freed to contribute to their families, communities and future generations. Through its endless power to save, heal and transform lives, organ, eye and tissue donation is truly The Never-Ending Story.”
The 2015 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, coordinated by OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ recovery agency that serves the Los Angeles metropolitan area, features 60 beautiful butterflies emerging from an open book, representing the number of lives transformed by a single deceased donor. The butterflies ascend above 72 volumes adorned with floragraph portraits of deceased donors whose legacies are nurtured by their loved ones. Walking alongside the float will be 12 living organ donors whose stories have become intertwined with those of their recipients. Seated among thousands of dedicated roses are 30 riders representing transplant recipients who celebrate the new chapters of their lives made possible only by the generosity of donors.
Since its debut on New Year’s Day 2004, the Donate Life Rose Parade float has become the world’s most visible campaign to inspire people to become organ, eye, and tissue donors. The campaign began as an idea expressed in a letter by lung recipient Gary Foxen of Orange, Calif., who wanted to show gratitude to donors who make life-saving transplants possible. Now in its twelfth year, Donate Life’s Rose Parade float participation is celebrated at hundreds of events nationwide where families put the finishing touches on floragraph portraits and donation and transplant professionals present dedicated roses to donor families, living donors and community partners who play a role in making donation possible.
This year, the float campaign is headed by Annie Kure of OneLegacy, who serves as the float’s program manager. “I am honored to support our partners as we bring the important message of donation to millions of people nationwide,” said Kure. “Our campaign urges Rose Parade viewers of all ages to start their own never-ending stories by helping the one million people in need of life-saving and healing organ, tissue and cornea transplants each year. We encourage everyone to join America’s 120 million registered donors so that those who need a transplant can benefit from one.
The 2015 Donate Life float is built by Phoenix Decorating Company from a design by Dave Pittman and is coordinated by Donate Life America member OneLegacy. Each year, the Donate Life float campaign is supported by more than 140 official sponsors from coast to coast, including organ and tissue recovery organizations, tissue and eye banks, hospitals, transplant centers, state donor registries, funeral homes, donor family foundations and affiliated organizations. Joining OneLegacy as top-level benefactors are the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB); Dignity Memorial® network; Bridge to Life, Ltd; Donate Life America; Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network & University of Rochester Medical Center; Iowa Donor Network; The Order of St. Lazarus; Ryan Viator’s Legacy; TBI/Tissue Banks International; and Webco Mining, Inc.
One person can save up to eight lives through the donation of lifesaving organs – heart, kidney, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine – and help 50 people or more who need corneas to see, skin to heal from burns, and bones and connective tissue for common knee, back and dental surgeries. In addition, approximately 6,000 lives per year are saved by living kidney and liver donors.
Anyone can sign up when renewing a driver’s license or state ID, or by visiting www.DonateLifeAmerica.org. Further information about the Donate Life float can be found at www.DonateLifeFloat.org.
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that annually hosts the Rose Parade® presented by Honda, Rose Bowl Game® presented by VIZIO and various associated events. The 126th Rose Parade presented by Honda, themed “Inspiring Stories,” will take place Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, at 8 a.m. (PST) featuring majestic floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands. Following the parade, the 101st Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO is slated to start at 1:30 p.m. (PST) and feature an exciting match-up between two of the top collegiate football teams in the nation. For additional information on the Tournament of Roses please visit the official website at www.tournamentofroses.com.
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Contacts: Elena de la Cruz, (213) 229-5671 oredelacruz [at] onelegacy [dot] org
Rivian Bell, (213) 612-4927, (310) 463-9229, or rbell [at] jdipr [dot] com