Tournament of Roses Parade Participants Reflect on Journey  |  January 18, 2011

The AlloSource-sponsored Donate Life float rider and employees who attended the parade share their thoughts on the powerful experience 

Parker with mom, Alice, and sister, Paige

The opportunity to be a float rider in this year’s 2011 Rose Parade was certainly once in a lifetime. This was an experience I’ll never forget and was definitely the largest arts and crafts project I’d ever seen. It was fascinating to see the diversity of the Pasadena area and its surrounding LA citizens. I learned much more about organ and tissue donation than I could’ve imagined and made some great friends along the way. 

–  Parker Simpson, cancer survivor and bone recipient, AlloSource Donate Life float rider

 

Shelley Zelin, AlloSource Vice President of Human Resources, and boyfriend Kevin

Shelley Zelin and boyfriend Kevin

The power of the gala and the float building event can only be described as life altering. We had the opportunity to listen to those who have received donations of life and those who have given donations. While everyone knows that it is helpful to donate so that others can live healthy lives, it is an entirely different thing to see the recipients alive, active and healthy. I witnessed three children under the age of 12 laughing and playing and learned that they all received either heart or liver transplants; I couldn’t help but think that they would not be here if someone had not been willing to give.

I feel are very fortunate to work for an organization that adds to people’s lives each and every day.

–  Shelley Zelin, AlloSource Vice President of Human Resources

Peter Reinagel, AlloSource Customer Service Consultant, and wife Jennifer

Peter Reinagel and wife Jennifer

I was surprised by how many flowers actually make up each float. I have never seen so many flowers in all my life. I thought it was cool that the driver of each float sits in a cockpit below (has no field of vision) and has a radio headset to communicate with a person out in front of the float for directions. Many locals also sleep outside the night before to get a good spot along the 5.5 mile parade route, so it is quite the scene before the parade even starts!

I was most touched by the floragraphs (in honor of the donors) on the Donate Life Float; it was a wonderful way to honor their families for their gifts and sacrifices. It was also inspiring to see the recipients ride on the float.  It brought tears to many of the judges’ and families’ eyes. The experience solidifies my decision to be a donor.

–  Peter Reinagel, AlloSource Customer Service Consultant

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