The Donate Life Float "Teammates in Life," Will Help Showcase How Teamwork is Key to Saving Lives
December 27, 2016 – Orlando, FL – KeraLink International (formerly TBI/Tissue Banks International) is proud to be joining the Donate Life team as an important part of the 2017 Donate Life Rose Parade float. Through the sponsorship of KeraLink Southeast, local teacher and cornea donor Kristin Koch will be immortalized in flowers as a floragraph participant on the parade float, which will sail down the streets of Pasadena during the 128th Rose Parade® presented by Honda on Monday, January 2, 2017 at 8 a.m. (PST).
Now in its 14th year, the float is the centerpiece of a national effort of more than 50 organizations that have teamed up to reach a broad audience with the simple, life-giving message that organ, eye, and tissue donation saves and heals lives.
“We are very honored to be part of this year’s sponsors who support the 2017 Donate Life Rose Parade float, to continue showcasing the importance of eye, organ and tissue donation,” said DiAnn McCormack, Donor and Community Development Manager with KeraLink Southeast. “We are excited to represent our community through the stories of our participants, whose lives have been forever changed and touched by the gift of life, whether they are living donors, donor families, or recipients.”
The 2017 Pasadena Tournament of Roses theme, Echoes of Success, tells the story of how character develops through the selfless contributions of others and celebrates their inspirational gifts. This year’s float, named “Teammates in Life,” recognizes a total of 96 honorees on a spectacular Polynesian catamaran propelled by a team of 24 organ, eye, and tissue transplant recipients rowing in unison with strength gained from their donors. The sails of the vessel feature 60 floral portraits of donors interwoven with Polynesian designs and patterns. Just as the donors’ gifts empower the lives of others, the sails help power the catamaran on its journey. Twelve living donors and recipients, including a “kidney chain” of three living donors and their three recipients, will walk alongside the float carrying flowers in celebration of the life they have given to others and the quality of life they continue to enjoy themselves.
“This year’s float reminds us that no one succeeds alone and we all thrive by working together,” said Tom Mone, chairman of the Donate Life float committee and CEO of OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ, eye and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area. “We are deeply grateful to all of our Donate Life Rose Parade sponsors, who are helping us spread the word about the life-saving power of organ, eye and tissue donation, enabling us to deliver life-changing messages on one of the biggest stages in the U.S., the Tournament of Roses Parade. Our sponsors’ daily and tireless work in their communities empowers organ, eye and tissue recipients, as well as donor families to share their stories and inspire others to register.”
In the United States today, there are over 120,000 people currently waiting for a lifesaving organ, and hundreds of thousands more whose lives could be healed through eye and tissue transplantation. A single eye, organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives and heal 100 more.
The Donate Life float began in 2004, prompted by Gary Foxen, a lung recipient from Orange, California, as a way to show gratitude to donors and their families and to inspire millions of Rose Parade® viewers to make the decision to donate. Fourteen years later, the float’s mission is celebrated at hundreds of events nationwide, where families finish floral portraits and sponsors are honored for boosting donations.
This year’s exotic, Polynesian-style float is built by Paradiso Parade Floats and was designed by Charles Meier. The float project is coordinated by OneLegacy, the largest non-profit, federally-designated organ procurement organization (OPO) in the United States, serving the seven-county greater Los Angeles area, and made possible with the help and generosity of over 50 sponsors.
The following organizations are sponsors of the 2017 Donate Life Rose Parade float: Alabama Organ Center, American Association of Tissue Banks, American Donor Services & VRL Laboratories, ARORA, AxoGen, Bridge to Life, Cedars-Sinai Transplant Center, Community Tissue Services, Cryolife, DCID, Dignity Memorial, Donate Life America, Donate Life California, Donate Life Texas, Donate Life Run/Walk, Donor Alliance, Donor Network West, Gift of Life Donor Program, IIAM, Indiana Donor Network, Iowa Donor Network, JJ's Legacy, KeraLink International (formerly Tissue Banks International), Legacy of Life Hawaii, Life Alliance Organ Recovery, LifeCenter Northwest, LifeGift, LifeShare of Oklahoma, LifeSharing, Liveon New York, Lois Foxen, Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, Medtronic, Midwest Transplant Network, MTF, New England Organ Bank, New Jersey Sharing Network Foundation, New Jersey Sharing Network, OneLegacy, OneLegacy Foundation, Organ Recovery System, Promethera Biosciences, RTI Donor Services, Ryan’s Legacy, Sallop Insurance Agency, Sierra Donor Services, SightLife, Southwest Transplant Alliance, Stanford Health Care, Trenton’s Legacy Arkansas, UCLA Medical Center, UNYTS, Viracor - IBT Laboratories 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 one million people in need of organ, eye or tissue transplants each year.
Register today to become an organ, eye or tissue donor by visiting DonateLifeAmerica.org.
For additional information about the Tournament of Roses please visit the official website at www.tournamentofroses.com.
About KeraLink Southeast
KeraLink Southeast was established as the Medical Eye Bank of Florida in 1978 with a vision to serve local donor families, surgeons, hospitals, and recipients with a comprehensive eye banking program. For almost 40 years, KeraLink Southeast has brought a rich tradition of service to Central Florida, focusing on directing local tissue to local recipients.
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.
About KeraLink International
KeraLink International is a non-profit, non-governmental network of eye banks and related programs committed to reversing corneal blindness wherever it exists. We do this by investing in world-class facilities, medical education, collaboration with other members of the transplant community, creative development campaigns and cutting-edge research, as well as by providing charitable tissue both domestically and internationally to patients in need. We are proud that our partnerships with multiple Organ Procurement Organizations and other eye banks allow us to extend our reach even further.
With our seven centers strategically located throughout the United States, we are uniquely positioned to process and deliver high quality ocular tissue whenever and wherever it’s needed most. At the same time, we support the development and maintenance of IFEB member eye banks around the world, so they can do the same thing for their own communities.