Rose Parade Float honors millions touched by organ donation

Published December 30, 2021 in Blog

All it takes is one good idea and Gary Foxen had an excellent one. “I have been trying to find a way to repay society for this wonderful gift of life,” he wrote in 2001. “I believe I have a good idea on how to do that.” In the letter, Foxen proposed a donation-themed float in the Rose Parade that would honor the millions of people touched by organ, eye, and tissue donation. That idea spurred a tradition that is now in its 19th year.

“We are proud to welcome back Donate Life for their 19th Rose Parade appearance,” said Bob Miller, President of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association. “Since 2004, Donate Life’s inspiring Rose Parade float entries have affirmed organ, eye, and tissue donation as a social responsibility. The Tournament of Roses is honored to provide a far-reaching platform for donor families, living donors, and transplant recipients to inspire millions of people throughout the nation and world to save and heal lives as donors.”

The Rose Parade Float is just one creative technique to inspire people to choose to be organ and tissue donors. Spearheaded by OneLegacy, the organ procurement organization located in Southern California, and supported by more than 50 organizations nationwide, the Donate Life Rose Parade Float unites the nation’s fragmented donation/transplantation community to promote a single, positive message that effectively reaches tens of millions of parade spectators, national and worldwide television viewers.

"We are grateful to be part of the 2022 Rose Parade. Once again, LIVE and together with our communities, we get to celebrate and share the inspiring messages and power of organ, eye, and tissue donation at America’s New Year’s Celebration on New Year’s Day,” said Tom Mone, CEO of OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ, eye, and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area. "Every year, the Donate Life float gathers hundreds of participants and their families, who travel from around the U.S. to Pasadena to celebrate the gift of life. Organ, eye, and tissue recipients share their gratitude for their life-saving and healing transplants, living donors are living proof of generosity and caring, and donor family members honor their loved ones, whose images are a part of the float. We are overjoyed to be able to bring these people, communities, and this cause to the Rose Parade’s worldwide audience.” 

The 2022 Donate Life float, with the theme “Courage to Hope” will feature dozens of participants, representing donation advocacy organizations from around the country. These participants will either ride on the float, walk alongside it, or be represented on the float with a memorial floragraph or floral sculpture. The float riders are individuals who have been touched through donation and transplantation and the floragraph honorees are heroic organ, eye, and tissue donors.

In addition, individuals, families, and organizations can dedicate a rose for the Rose Dedication Garden. The Rose Dedication Garden is an opportunity to honor donors, families, recipients, candidates waiting for a transplant, and healthcare heroes who make transplant possible. A personalized rose is placed in the Donate Life Float Rose Dedication Garden inspiring tens of millions of people nationwide to save lives as donors. Each dedicated rose is placed in a vial that carries a unique, personal message of love, hope, and remembrance to honors donors, recipients, and others touched by organ, eye, and tissue donation. Altogether, thousands of roses create a Dedication Garden that is a featured design element on the Donate Life Float each year.


How to get involved with the Rose Parade Float
The 2022 Rose Parade takes place on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022, in Pasadena, CA. A live broadcast of the parade will begin at 10 a.m. CST on ABC. If you’d like to get involved with the Rose Parade Float through a contribution, sponsorship, or rose dedication, click here. If you want to register as an organ or tissue donor and bring hope to the patients and families holding out for a miracle, sign up for the donor registry.