SMHC CEO Signs Rose Bowl Parade Dedication to Support Organ Donation

November 28, 2016
Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) is pleased to partner with New England Organ Bank to honor and remember those who gave the gift of life through organ and tissue donation. On January 2, 2017, the Donate Life Rose Parade Float titled ‘Teammates in Life’ will include a dedication garden made up of roses with handwritten dedications by hospital CEO’s across the country including Ed McGeachey, president and CEO of Southern Maine Health Care.  

McGeachey shared, “With this rose dedication, Southern Maine Health Care publically recognizes our staff’s dedication and commitment to organ and tissue donation. We are excited to be part of this celebration of life watched by millions on New Year’s Day.”

Since its debut on New Year’s Day 2004, the Donate Life Rose Parade float has become the world’s most visible campaign to inspire people to become organ and tissue donors. In addition to the 40 million viewers who watch the Rose Parade on TV and along the parade route, hundreds of events are held in cities and towns around the country to complete the “floragraphs” of donors that adorn the float.  

This year’s entry, “Teammates in Life”, reflects the parade’s theme “Echoes of Success” by reminding us that no one succeeds alone. We all thrive by working together and pulling in the same direction. Donors save the lives of grateful recipients and help families heal, and it is the large community of registered donors that makes it possible to save thousands of lives across the country each year.

The 2017 float depicts a spectacular Polynesian catamaran, which will be propelled by a team of 24 organ, eye, and tissue transplant recipients rowing in unison with strength gained from their donors. The sails of the vessel will feature 60 floral portraits of donors interwoven with Polynesian designs and patterns. Just as the donors’ gifts empower the lives of others, the sails help power the catamaran on its journey. Twelve living donors will walk alongside the float carrying flowers in celebration of the life they have given to others and the quality of life they continue to enjoy themselves. The ocean waves will showcase 1,000 white Akito roses, individually dedicated in memory of specific donors. Vibrant i’iwi and ‘amakihi birds perch amongst a lush landscape of tropical flowers and palm trees while a pair of tikis, representing light and life, abundance and peace, peer out of the jungle. The float will exude life with colorful, exotic blooms grown in Hawaii especially for the occasion.
  
“Teammates in Life” will feature portraits of deceased donors called “floragraphs” that honor the invaluable treasure of the gift of life each donor has given. Only organic materials – such as spices, seeds and crushed flowers – are used to create the floragraphs, beautifully underscoring their life-giving symbolism. In addition, Donate Life will honor those who continue to share in life’s adventures through the gift of organ, eye or tissue donation, by featuring recipients as riders on the float. Meanwhile, living donors will walk beside the float carrying provisions of fruit accented with flowers, symbolizing the life-sustaining gift that they have given. Dedicated roses placed by families create floral jewels that ornament the base of the float.  This admirable group of donors and recipients represent millions of people touched by organ and tissue donation.

To registered as an organ and tissue donor registered through the state’s driver’s license renewal process or go to www.DonateLifeNewEngland.org to register online now.