LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of Donate Life Month’s celebrations, this past weekend OneLegacy unveiled the Donate Life Rose Parade® float’s design in front of over 12,000 cheering participants, who attended the 16th Annual Donate Life Run/Walk in Southern California. The float will be part of the 2019 Tournament of Roses parade that will take place in Pasadena, California, on New Year’s Day.
The theme for the 130th Rose Parade is “The Melody of Life,” which celebrates music (the universal language). Two-time organ recipient and the Tournament of Roses’ first African-American President Gerald Freeny envisioned the parade’s theme. “Music has the power to not only bring us together but take us back to memories and moments as nothing else can,” said Freeny. “Rhythm, melody, harmony and color all come together to create the soundtrack that defines our lives.”
With this in mind, the 2019 Donate Life float’s theme, “Rhythm of the Heart,” depicts an exciting design that invites parade audiences to experience the music of Africa in a vibrant, colorful float that features musical instruments and cultural artifacts that represent different African countries and cultures. Award-winning float designer Charles Meier created the float’s beautiful design, and Fiesta Parade Floats will produce it this year.
“Organ recipients, living donors and donor families will find this theme very close to their hearts, as the healing power of music can bring healing to donors and recipients alike. Ideally the ‘Rhythm of the Heart’ will be felt by all who see the Donate Life float,” said 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. “We look forward to our 16th Donate Life float continuing our annual tradition of sharing the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation in healing and saving the lives with millions of people who watch the Rose Parade every year. We have seen the float inspire and motivate people to choose to donate life and become registered organ, eye and tissue donors. This year’s float will certainly touch hearts and save lives across the country.”
This year’s Donate Life Rose Parade float will include a total of 70 participants from all around the nation, including Donna Pierce, who will be a rider on the float, sponsored by CryoLife. For the first 28 years of her life, Donna struggled with a congenital heart condition that prevented her from being able to participate in most physical activities. She tried several medical procedures; and at the age of 28, she received a life-transforming heart valve from a 34-year-old female donor. It has been 17 years since her procedure; and thanks to her donor Donna has achieved things she never thought possible, like dedicating her life to fitness and helping others overcome their own physical and mental limitations. Donna will also be a participant in the Transplant Games, which will be held in August in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Now on its 16th year, 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.
The 2019 Donate Life Rose Parade float, “Rhythm of the Heart,” celebrates the musical diversity and rhythms of Africa, represented in a collection of musical instruments and other artifacts that belong to a series of African nations and cultures. Djembe drums from Senegal, along with a Kuba drum from the Congo, symbolize gathering in peace and bravery. These exotic drums will carefully integrate 44 floral portraits in their beautiful design, honoring the brave lives of deceased donors. Eighteen float riders and eight walkers who have been touched by donation will gather in peace around the drums to celebrate the lifesaving power that organ, eye and tissue donation has granted them to continue with their journey.
Overlooking the beautiful floral portraits is a dramatic double Senufo mask from the Ivory Coast. Rising behind the drums, it gives thanks to ancestors and remembers those who have gone before. The double face suggests male and female and past and present generations as well as the interconnectedness of all of those who have been touched by the power of donation. An exotic kora from Burkina Faso lies next to the mask. The kora is an important part of passing down stories of previous generations in song.
A giant marimba from Ghana and a spectacular chiwara headdress from Mali complete the rear of the float. These stylized antelope headdresses are featured in dances that teach the youth the value of community in the same way the donation and transplantation community gets together to share the importance of donation.
The Donate Life Rose Parade float is produced by OneLegacy and is made possible thanks to nearly 30 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 (AATB), Alabama Organ Center, American Donor Services / VRL - Eurofins, Axogen, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, CryoLife, Dignity Memorial, Donate Life California, 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, LifeCenterLifeline of Ohio, LifeShare OK, LifeSharing, LiveOnNY, LOPA, Midwest Transplant Network, New England Donor Services, NJ Sharing Network, OneLegacy, Promethera Biosciences, TransLife, UCLA and UNYTS.
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.