What We’re Watching For: Donate Life’s Inspiring ‘Courage to Hope’ Rose Parade Float

Published on Dec 27, 2021

Transplant recipients will join living donors, the families of deceased donors, and local officials on a float designed to encourage organ, eye and tissue donation on a special float entered in the Rose Parade by nonprofit Donate Life.

The float, called “Courage to Hope,” is produced by OneLegacy, another nonprofit dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California. It will travel down Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena on New Year’s Day along with a host of other entries from different institutions and organizations in celebration of the Rose Parade theme, “Dream. Believe. Achieve.”

“We are excited to once again be part of the Tournament of Rose Parade and to have the opportunity to celebrate and share the inspiring message of the power of organ, eye and tissue donation,” Tom Mone, CEO of OneLegacy, said. “Nationally there are approximately 107,000 people waiting to receive a lifesaving heart, liver, lung, kidney or pancreas transplant; but there are simply not enough donors to meet the growing need. Our float helps call attention to this message and will hopefully motivate individuals from around the world to register to be a donor.”

Robert Miller, President of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, and Mayor Robert Gonzales of Azusa joined in the unveiling event. OneLegacy said it will open new offices and a transplant recovery center in the city in 2022.

Six transplant recipients also spoke at the event: Gerald Freeny from Altadena, Ava Kaufman from Los Angeles, Charles Pruitt from Bakersfield, Rene Sorrentino from Placentia, Lynda Trachtman from Fullerton, and Susan Van Campen from Grand Terrace. They will be among 19 recipients and living donors who will be riding or walking next to the float on New Year’s Day.

The 2022 Donate Life float features the winged Lion of Venice from Italy’s Saint Mark’s Square set amidst the Venetian Gothic architecture of the Doge’s Palace and Venice’s gondolas and flowing canals. It features stylized Venetian colonnades adorned with memorial floragraphs honoring the gift of life and hope given by donors who have passed on.

Seven local floragraph honorees and their families were recognized during the event.

Dozens of sponsoring donation, transplant, healthcare, and family care organizations and individuals also helped support the float project.

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