Since 2004, the Donate Life Float entries in the Rose Parade have served as an annual tribute to organ and tissue donors. 2020 will be the 11th year that Bridge to Life has sponsored the float. The idea of Rose Parade Donation Theme floats originated by Gary Foxen, a transplant recipient who also happened to be a Rose Parade volunteer. He’d been trying “to find a way to repay society for this wonderful gift of life”.

The goal of each Donate Life float is to create an opportunity for donor families, living donors and transplant recipients to inspire the world to save and heal those in need through the gift of life.

20202 Float Theme: “Light in the Darkness”

2020 Float Construction Timelapse Video

2020 float – Light in the Darkness

Each year one organ, eye and tissue donor from South Carolina is honored with a floragraph (floral portrait) on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Craig Owens was chosen for the 2020 parade, and thanks to a grant from Bridge to Life, Craig’s family were able to attend the decoration float activities.

Floragraph of Craig Owens

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.

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.

Aaron Gilchrist, Global Sales Director

Aaron Gilchrist, Global Sales Director, speaking at the Donate Life Rose Parade event.

Aaron Rose Parade

Pictured here is Aaron Gilchrist, Global Business Director of Bridge to Life with the Floragraph of SC honoree Sharon Schultz Lucas and her family who traveled with us all the way to Pasadena for the '16 event.

Pictured here is Aaron Gilchrist, Global Sales Director of Bridge to Life with the Floragraph of SC honoree Sharon Schultz Lucas and her family who traveled with us all the way to Pasadena for the ’16 event.

Aaron Hearts for Heroes

Aaron Gilchrist with the “Hearts for Heroes” artwork that Maureen Lewis donates to the families of donors who gave their lives and organs to the transplant recipients that are featured on the float.

Organization Resources

Donate Life Rose Parade FloatLearn more

How an Innovative, Integrated Public Awareness Campaign effectively reaches a worldwide audience – OneLegacy Article

Float History

See photos of all previous float designs