Donate Life Float in Rose Parade Honors Organ and Tissue Donors

For immediate release: January 02, 2014

UMMC CEO dedicates rose to honor donors and their families

UMMC CEO, Jeff Rivest, dedicated a rose on the Donate Life Float in yesterday’s Rose Parade in honor of organ and tissue donors and their loved ones. Watched by 40 million U.S. television viewers, 800,000 parade spectators, and viewers in 150 countries, the Rose Parade is an ideal venue to showcase how hospitals across the country make possible the life-saving and healing benefits of organ, eye and tissue donation. 

Donate Life Rose Parade approaching

Working with The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland, Rivest was grateful for the chance to honor donors and write a personal message of hope and remembrance in support of organ, eye and tissue donation. In 2013, UMMC performed more than 420 organ and tissue transplants, thanks to heroic decisions made by donors and their families.

One of the trademarks of the annual Donate Life float design is a “Dedication Garden” filled with thousands of roses, each placed in a vial carrying a unique, personal message from an individual, family or organization. This year, Donate Life offered hospitals across the county the opportunity to hand write a dedication on one of the rose vials. 

For the past ten years, dozens of organizations nationwide have collaborated to enter a Donate Life float in the Rose Parade. Originally envisioned by a lung recipient who wished to thank organ, eye and tissue donors for their gifts of life, the Donate Life Rose Parade Float has grown into a national tradition featuring dozens of participants each year: Riders who have received transplants; Walkers who are living kidney donors; and deceased donors memorialized in “Floragraph” portraits integrated into the float’s design. Together with an inspiring float design, the Donate Life Rose Parade Float entry is a showcase of compassion, perseverance and courage in the face of adversity.

In Maryland, more than 2,800 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant. Nationwide, that number exceeds 120,000. UMMC supports The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland in their mission to facilitate organ and tissue transplants and educate the public on this important cause. For more information on organ, eye and tissue donation, please visit