Everything s Coming Up Roses DMV Employees Kick Off Rose Parade Decorating for Donate Life Float Raising Awareness of Organ and Tissue Donation

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: Mike Marando, Steve Haskins, Armando Botello, Mike Miller
December 1, 2006

Pasadena—Employees from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be among the first decorators for this year’s Rose Parade, as volunteers from across the state arrive in Pasadena on Sunday, December 3 to decorate the Donate Life float, Giving From The Heart.

Donate Life California* invited DMV employees to help decorate after both organizations launched an incredibly successful partnership in July that allows potential donors to add their names to the Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry (www.donateLIFEecalifornia.org).  With the DMV link, Californians may now sign up to give life when they apply for or renew a driver’s license or ID card in person, online (www.dmv.ca.gov) or by mail with DMV.  Donate Life California’s registry is expected to reach one million names by early next year.

"We are so proud of our partnership with Donate Life California,” says DMV Director George Valverde.  “We’ve been adding nearly 100,000 names to the registry every month.  Each name could mean several lives saved.  This opportunity to help the Donate Life mission with their Rose Parade float will get the word out even more.”

Tracy Bryan, President of Donate Life California, added: “The success of the Donate Life California Registry can be traced directly to the California DMV and its incredible support. Signups to the registry have increased fivefold per month since the DMV linked with it in July.  This provides real hope for the 20,000 Californians now waiting for a life-saving transplant – as each Californian who signs up has the potential to save eight lives through organ donation and enhance another 50 lives through tissue donation."

Overall, 31 DMV employees from southern, central and northern California will join volunteers from the Bakersfield community on the first day of decorating for this year’s float.  Some, like Visalia DMV employee Clorinda Reynoso, have a special connection to organ donation.  Ten years ago, Reynoso donated a kidney to her brother-in-law, Jesse Delgado.  “Knowing that my brother-in-law is doing well and that he is enjoying a good quality of life with his family makes it all worthwhile,” Reynoso says.

Thousand Oaks DMV employee Hooshang Torabi says he was moved to personally support Donate Life California after his daughter saved her mother’s life with a kidney donation several years ago.   “It’s a gift of life, a gift of hope,” Torabi says.  “I encourage others to be an angel like my daughter.”

Donate Life California has also extended an open invitation for a DMV employee to ride the Donate Life Rose Parade float every year.  This year’s honoree is Brenda O’Donnell, whose family donated their father’s organs and tissues after his death in 2002.  “It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that a part of my father lives on in 22 other people who were given such a precious gift,” says Brenda.

O’Donnell will join 22 other riders from 11 states and Canada on this year’s float.  Eight of the float riders are “living donors” who donated their own organs to save family members, while 14 donated the organs and tissues of deceased loved ones.  The float riders will be surrounded by eight gift-wrapped presents representing the lives that can be saved by a single organ donor, 50 bouquets signifying the lives that can be saved or enhanced by a single tissue donor, and a red ribbon’s three loops representing the lives that can be touched through a single blood donation.  More details on the float, its decorators, the riders and more can be found at:  www.donateLIFEfloat.org.

The 118th Rose Parade, themed Our Good Nature, will take place on Monday, Jan. 1, 2007, at 8:00 am PST featuring majestic floral floats and spirited marching bands.

What:   Rose Parade Float Decoration

When:   Sunday, December 3, 2006, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Where:   Rose Palace, Phoenix Decorating Co., 835 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

Visuals:   Volunteers climbing scaffolding, working with natural materials and affixing them to the surface of Donate Life’s Rose Parade float, “Giving From The Heart.”  DMV employees, including those with connections to organ donation, and spokespersons for DMV and Donate Life California will be available for interviews.

*Donate Life California is a nonprofit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry, administered by California’s four nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organizations, each responsible for facilitating the donation process in the state: California Transplant Donor Network, Golden State Donor Services, Lifesharing and OneLegacy.


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