|The Power of Hope goes mobile for the 123rd Tournament of Roses’ Rose Parade|
Around the time City of Hope and the city of Duarte, Calif., joined forces on their first float for the Tournament of Roses’ Rose Parade, the U.S. was pulling out of Vietnam, inflation was skyrocketing and “The Godfather” was drawing throngs to movie theaters.
For 38 years, City of Hope has been part of the parade that celebrates the beginning of the new year. This year’s 123rd Rose Parade chose “Just Imagine…” as its theme. The City of Hope float committee immediately came up with the name for the float: Just Imagine the Power of Hope.
When the float traveled along Colorado Boulevard, it was broadcast on television to millions around the world — a far bigger audience than when the parade first started in 1890 as a way to celebrate the area’s mild winters and to attract tourists to Pasadena, Calif.
The event grew more elaborate over the years, from horse-drawn carriages covered in flowers to motorized steel armatures covered with every imaginable organic material. Marching bands, equestrian acts and a college football game rounded out the celebration.
In 1973, Duarte planned to create its first float in the Rose Parade. Organizers set an $11,000 fundraising goal to finance the float, which was co-sponsored by City of Hope. The city council pledged $2,000, so the balance was raised through events such as a merchants’ dinner held by the Duarte Chamber of Commerce at City of Hope’s auditorium.
Scope, City of Hope’s employee publication at the time, reported that the first float in the 1974 Rose Parade featured the Spirit of Life® fountain on a 16-feet-high, 18-feet-wide, 50-feet-long chassis.
In 2012, the fountain returned to its place atop the float: The new float’s centerpiece featured a 22-feet-tall replica. Around the fountain was a replica of the Golter Gate in the Rose Garden and “floragraphs” (floral portraits) of donors, staff and patients from Power of Hope campaign banners.
A floral DNA strand decorated the front of the float, which was funded through donations entirely separate from gifts to City of Hope.
Continuing City of Hope’s tradition, seven pediatric patients, two nurses and one physician rode atop the float, representing those whose continued advocacy has made City of Hope the unique institution it is today.
Sponsorship of the pediatric patients riding on City of Hope’s float was provided by: Angelica Corporation, Berg Electric, DPR Construction,Image 2000, Layton Construction, Perkins + Will and Sodexo.
From concept to completion, the “Just Imagine the Power of Hope” float began with a painted framework, which was covered with flowers by volunteers just before the Rose Parade. The float was decorated with more than 3,400 roses of bright yellow, white, hot pink, light pink, orange and dark lavender, more than 1,000 yellow and light pink carnations, and almost 2,000 gerberas in hot pink, yellow, dark lavender and medium orange.
PHOENIX DECORATING COMPANY