LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Before more than 13,000 cheering participants at the 15th Annual Donate Life Run/Walk event held this past weekend, OneLegacy unveiled the design for the Donate Life Rose Parade® float that will be featured at the 2018 Tournament of Roses® parade.
This year’s float entry, The Gift of Time, reflects the parade’s theme of Making a Difference by celebrating the power of kindness and the generous acts of people throughout the world who are making a positive difference in the lives of others. Perhaps no act is more emblematic of this than becoming an organ or tissue donor: a single organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and improve the lives of as many as 75 more by donating their corneas and tissue.
Among those riding on the Donate Life Rose Parade® float will be former NFL coach Sam Wyche who received a donated heart in North Carolina in 2016, just hours before he was going to be transferred to hospice care. Wyche’s appearance is being co-sponsored by LifeShare of The Carolinas, Donate Life South Carolina and Sharing Hope of South Carolina. Additional participants honored on the float include Austin Elder, a sports and outdoors enthusiast who became an eye and tissue donor, sponsored by Trenton’s Legacy as well as heart recipient Yolanda Harshaw and her donor Melissa Owen, sponsored by ARORA.
Celebrating its 15th year of participating in the parade, the Donate Life Rose Parade® float is the centerpiece of a national effort of more than 50 organizations to reach a broad audience with the simple, life-giving message that organ, eye and tissue donation saves and heals lives.
“Nationally there are nearly 120,000 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,” says Tom Mone, chairman of the Donate Life Rose Parade® float committee and CEO of OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ, eye and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area. “More than 35,000 lifesaving transplants were performed in the United States last year, but tragically 22 people still die each day while waiting for a lifesaving organ donation. It is our hope that our float calls attention to this message and motivates others to register to be a donor.”
The Gift of Time float depicts a vibrantly colored, tropical backdrop that dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mexico. It celebrates the gift of life as 16 costumed riders sit alongside the jungle against stone carvings drawing on the strength they have gained from their donors to continue and thrive on life’s journey.
The monumental Aztec calendar draws the eye to the center of the float, where 44 donors are honored with floragraphs. This ancient calendar is a reminder of the enduring, lifesaving power of the generosity of donors and families. Alongside the float eight living donors and recipients will carry baskets of fruit and flowers in celebration of the renewed life they have shared with one another and the world. The beauty, richness and potential of life are represented by the vivid flock of macaws perched over the lush floral canopies ready to take flight.
The Donate Life Rose Parade® float is produced by OneLegacy and is made possible thanks to over 50 sponsoring donation, transplant, healthcare, and family care organizations and individuals who help make donation and transplant possible across the country. Sponsors confirmed as of May 2 include: American Association of Tissue Banks, Alabama Organ Center, American Donor Services / VRL - Eurofins, ARORA, Axogen, CryoLife, Community Tissue Services, Dignity Memorial Houston, Dignity Memorial Las Vegas, Dignity Memorial New Jersey, Donate Life Texas, Donor Network West, Donor Alliance, Gift of Life Michigan, Indiana Donor Network, Iowa Donor Network, JJ's Legacy, Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency, Donate Life South Carolina / Sharing Hope of South Carolina / LifeShare Of The Carolinas, LifeShare OK, LifeSharing, LiveOnNY, LOPA, Midwest Transplant Network, New England Donor Services, NJ Sharing Network, OneLegacy, Promethera Biosciences, RTI, Trenton's Legacy, UCLA, UNYTS and XTANT Medical.
As the world’s most visible campaign to inspire organ, eye and tissue donation, the Donate Life Rose Parade® float inspires viewers to help the over 1 million people in need of organ, eye or tissue transplants each year. Register today to become an organ, eye or tissue donor by visiting DonateLife.net.
About Donate Life America
Donate Life America is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the United States committed to increasing organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life America manages and promotes the national brand for donation, Donate Life, and assists Donate Life State Teams and national partners in facilitating high-performing donor registries; developing and executing effective multi-media donor education programs; and motivating the American public to register now as organ, eye and tissue donors.