As the 2021 Rose Parade becomes the first one cancelled in 75 years and takes the virtual online stage Friday morning, 17-year participant Donate Life will still be offering flowers to celebrate.
The non-profit foundation has built a 35-foot structure on the Tournament House lawn — where in previous years floats would be lining up along Orange Grove Boulevard — called ‘“Community of Life,” to honor its thousands of organ donors and recipients over the years.
“In a year of uncertainties, the need for lifesaving transplants continues, and both donor families and donation health care professional are part of the community of life that saves and heals lives through organ donation,” said Tom Mone, chairman of the Donate Life Rose parade float committee and CEO of OneLegacy, the non-profit organ, eye, and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area.
Mone added, “Transplants would not be possible without our generous donors and their families, who, in the midst of tragedy as they lose a loved one, find the courage to say ‘yes’ to donations and to saving lives.”
The structure, built as a honeycomb being maintained by hard-working bees, features 21 floral portraits of organ, eye and tissue donors from across the United States, who have donated to save lives. It also features six floral plaques honoring “Donation Healthcare Heroes,” representing thousands of clinical and support professionals nationwide, who have worked almost non-stop during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hundreds of individually dedicated roses will also be part of the Donate Life float during the International Rose Parade TV broadcast, with special messages from donor families and recipients.
The 15 foot-by 25-foot float was designed by Charles Meier and built by Fiesta Parade floats in Irwindale.