Education Corner: The 2019 Donate Life Rose Parade Float

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Each year on New Year’s Day, the world’s most visual campaign to inspire organ, eye, and tissue donation is displayed at the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California. Celebrating its 16th year, the Donate Life Float continues its mission to save and heal lives by bringing attention to the life-saving impact of the gift of life on one of the most publicly televised events of the year. Consequently, the Donate Life float has become a time-honored tradition for the donation and transplantation community.

The 2019 Donate Life “Rhythm of the Heart” Float

Highlighting the musical diversity and rhythms of Africa, this year’s theme will incorporate the Djembe drums from Senegal along with the Kuba drum from the Congo to carefully integrate 44 floral portraits in their beautiful design to honor the heroic lives of deceased donors.

A dramatic double Senufo mask from the Ivory Coast will overlook these floragraphs to give thanks to our ancestors and remember those who have past. The double-faced mask symbolizes male and female, past and present generations, and the interconnectedness of all of those who have been touched by the power of donation.

This year’s float will feature:

  • Forty-Four memorial floragraph portraits honoring deceased organ, eye and tissue donors.
  • Eighteen float riders, each a transplant recipient and/or an organ donation advocate.
  • Eight float walkers, who are living donors and/or an organ donation advocates.

A Beautifully Important Message

There are more than 114,000 people in the United States awaiting a life-saving organ transplant. You have the power to save and heal lives by joining the mission.

  • Register today to become an organ, eye or tissue donor by visiting
  • Join The Alliance by dedicating a rose as a symbol of hope, an extension of grief, or as a gift of gratitude. The Alliance dedicated the following four roses:
    • In remembrance of all who said “yes” to donation and offered hope of healing and the saving of lives. You inspire us to do the best we can do.
    • In honor all of those in need of, died waiting, or received a transplant and is committed to continuing our efforts to increase transplantation.
    • In support of all healthcare professionals working to improve the donation and transplantation process. We salute you and stand with you.
    • In honor of all of our Board and Council members, and Workgroup volunteers, who go above and beyond in honoring donors and increasing transplantation.

The 130th Rose Bowl Parade will take place on Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 at 8 a.m. PST.



To learn more about how to get involved with the Donate Life Rose Parade and to find more information about the float and its history, visit


About the Author:

Corey Bryant serves as Director of Communications for The Alliance.
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