Watch for our float in the Rose Parade
It’s the holiday season again, when Kaiser Permanente gears up for the annual Tournament of Roses Parade. Now in its 129th year, the celebration takes place before the Rose Bowl football game on New Year’s Day in Pasadena, California.
Kaiser Permanente has presented floats in the parade since 2006. This year’s parade theme, “Making a Difference,” closely fits our organization’s mission: making a lasting impact on the health of individuals and the communities in which we live, work, and play.
Our 2018 float, “Inspiring Healthy Communities,” features a playful garden that promotes healthy eating and active living. Animated fruits, vegetables, and animals frolic through the garden, as our community partners tend to the fruit and vegetable beds. Vibrant sunflowers, butterflies, ladybugs, and even a fuzzy caterpillar help bring the garden to life.
This year’s float riders include Kaiser Permanente community partners and clinicians from across our regions, representing the wide range of skills that go into creating healthy communities. From the folks who help cultivate community gardens and farmers markets, to those who inspire us to cook healthier options, to the hardworking educators and physicians who ensure we stay healthy — we honor them all for helping us live healthier lives.
Just as our entire organization works together to create healthy communities, so many Kaiser Permanente employees, physicians, and their families proudly pitch in to join the decorating process.
Elise Brunnick, an administrative specialist, has volunteered every year to help decorate Kaiser Permanente’s float since she began with the organization 13 years ago. She takes her personal vacation time to participate in the weeklong project, during which hundreds of volunteers roll up their sleeves to paint, glue, and apply flowers to the float.
“It’s the hardest work you’ll ever love,” said Brunnick, who lives in Pasadena. “We get to see how what begins as wire mesh and spray foam turns into a spectacular creation.”
Long hours from early morning to late at night also provide the welcome opportunity to make new friends, from fellow Kaiser Permanente employee volunteers to volunteers assisting on other organizations’ floats.
“We become family,” said Brunnick. “It’s like a reunion every year. There’s a strong sense of community. We all want to make the best float possible.”
For Brunnick, the defining moment is on Judging Day. “It’s so exciting!” she said. “You’re exhausted by that point, but when you look at this beautiful float that we all helped create together, it’s magical.”
That magic will be on display New Year’s Day, when the “Inspiring Healthy Communities” float rolls through Pasadena. The float and its riders embody the message that everyone, young or old, can find ways to make healthy choices. We hope our vibrant garden will inspire fans of the Rose Parade to join Kaiser Permanente in helping to build better health in their communities, too.
About the float:
All Rose Parade floats are decorated with a variety of seeds, bark, fruits and vegetables, grasses, and of course, flowers. This year, Kaiser Permanente’s design features fresh manzanita leaves, green and yellow mums, assorted shades of statice, orange lentils, arika palm fronds, dehydrated marigold petals, ilex berries, red carnations, strawflower petals, parsley flakes, and orange Santana roses. The float also boasts over 12,000 vibrant green roses and thousands of fresh fruits and vegetables filling the garden beds.