A South Carolina man was one of 44 organ donors honored on the annual Donate Life Rose Parade Float this January. Craig Owens’ likeness will be memorialized with a floragraph, an artistic floral portrait. His wife and one of his daughters will be in the crowd.
The floragraph was made possible by We Are Sharing Hope SC, Donate Life South Carolina, and New Jersey Sharing Network, with sponsorship from Bridge to Life.
Craig was a lovable, caring person who would do anything for anyone he met and loved the Dallas Cowboys. He died from a brain aneurysm early in 2019.
“It means a whole lot to us that they chose our family to honor him,” says his wife, Shana. “It was a hard time for us when he died unexpectedly, but this gave us a little hope.”
Owens’ generous donation of life was celebrated at a special ceremony for his family at a Moncks Corner church where the floragraph was unveiled.
Now celebrating its 17th year, the Donate Life Rose Parade Float continues to inspire people to register as organ donors. Each year the float features floragraphs of deceased donors while living donors and recipients ride or walk beside the float.
The 2020 float titled “Light in the Darkness” highlights Southeast Asia’s Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, a celebration of light shining in darkness. Two brass oil lamps, known as diya, burn brightly and accompany three majestic peacocks, symbols of new life.
This year’s float won the judges award for “Most Outstanding Float Design and Dramatic Impact”.
Seated among the peacocks or walking alongside the float are 26 organ, eye and tissue recipients or living donors. Floral displays overflow from intricate vessels, adorned with 44 memorial floral portraits or floragraphs honoring the gift of life and light given by organ, eye and tissue donors.