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‘Party of the Century’ Raises $2.1 Million Saturday For Upkeep, Modernization of Historic Rose Bowl Stadium

Published on Sunday, August 14, 2022 | 6:00 am

Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo, who served as president of the Rose Bowl Operating Company for a decade before being elected mayor, addressed the approximately 1,200 guests attending the Rose Bowl’s “Part of the Century” on the stadium’s field, Agust 13, 2022. [Eddie Rivera/Pasadena Now]
One hundred years after the Penn State football team got stuck in traffic and delayed the start of the first contest in the newly named “Rose Bowl”  before losing to USC, 14-12, the Rose Bowl stadium and about 1,200 of its closest friends celebrated a century of memories Saturday night with its twice-delayed “Party of the Century.” 

As the home of the Rose Bowl game and the home field of UCLA Bruins football, the stadium has hosted Super Bowls, a World Cup final, a Women’s World Cup game, and too many spectacular rock concerts to mention over its storied 100-year history.

The Rose Bowl Legacy Foundation had raised $40 million in its Centennial Fundraising Campaign — now topped off with an additional $2.1 million raised during Saturday’s event—to maintain the world-famous stadium and point it directly into the future.

The evening also raised more than a half-million dollars for the construction of a new Rose Bowl sign.

During Saturday’s  program the Rose Bowl Institute presented their new ROSI Awards, naming hometown hero Jackie Robinson the “Sportsperson of the Century” and selecting acclaimed Olympic gymnast Simone Biles as “Sportsperson of the Year.”

Attendees dined at scores of tables topped with fine china and flatware on the stadium’s legendary field. 

ESPN’s Emmy award-winning sports reporter Holly Rowe welcomed guests to the event and regaled the audience with her own perspective and personal history of the Rose Bowl, revealing that Texas quarterback Vince Young gave her a wink and a “look” before leading the Longhorns to a dramatic victory over the USC Trojans in the 2006 Rose Bowl.

Young was one of a number of athletes at the event, including Bruin basketball legend Bill Walton, and tossed autographed footballs from the stage to successful auction bidders, including Fifth District LA County Supervisor Kathyrn Barger.

Barger was joined by a host of elected officials at the event, including Congressman Adam Schiff, State Assemblymember Chris Holden, State Senator Anthony Portantino, Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo and former Mayor Bill Bogaard, Vice-Mayor Andy Wilson, Pasadena Councilmembers Steve Madison and Felicia Williams, as well as Interim City Manager Cynthia Kurtz and former City Manager Michael Beck. Both Interim Police Chief Jason Clawson and Fire Chief chad Augustin attended, representing their Departments, as did City Attorney Michele Bagneris.

Mayor Gordo also called for a moment of silence for Councilmember John J. Kennedy, who passed away suddenly on July 21. 

Afterward, guests enjoyed a silent and live auction, a gourmet dinner, and a brief but dynamic fireworks show, followed by dancing and dessert. 

Pasadena Now will publish continuing coverage of the “Party of the Century” in our Monday, August 15 edition

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