The Rotary float – with a theme of “Serving with Imagination and Hope” – in the Irwindale warehouse, ready for the parade. (Photo: Facebook)
Corina Colan and Norbert Loewen hard at work gluing flowers onto the Rotary float. (Photo by Laura Dyberg)
Laura Dyberg and Terisa Bonito were all smiles despite being covered in glue. (Photo by Corina Colan)
Rotary International President Jennifer Jones (waving) was proud to announce that the Rotary float had been awarded the Princess trophy. (Photo: Facebook)
Rotary float captures the Princess trophy
By Mary-Justine Lanyon
“Serving with Imagination and Hope.” That was the theme of this year’s Rotary International float in the 134th Tournament of Roses parade.
Rotary has entered a float in the parade every year since 1980. For many of those years, local Rotarians have helped glue on the thousands of flowers, seeds and other organic materials.
This year, Corina Colan, Laura Dyberg and Norbert Loewen – members of the Mountain Sunrise Rotary Club – ventured down to Irwindale with their friend Terisa Bonito on Dec. 28.
“There were about 20 folks working on the float during our shift (4 to 9 p.m.),” said Dyberg. “The crew chief did a great job herding us around various tasks.”
This year’s Rotary float was a carousel horse, which was designed by Phoenix Decorating Company.
Initially, Dyberg added, she and Bonito prepared silver leaf for the horse’s tail, mane and hooves. “The tricky part is there are two sides to silver leaf and we had to add glue to the darker side – not as easy as it sounds!” Dyberg said.
“While Corina and Norbert added flowers to the float, we continued with different prep tasks so the flowers and leaves were ready to be attached.”
“Our float had all its seeds and rice on it,” Colan said, “and some flowers as well. We were divided into teams with very specific duties but it all had to do with flowers. Some were clipping flower buds, some were applying glue to the flower buds, some were applying glue to the areas where the flower would be placed.
“At the end of the day, we were all sticky from the glue!” Colan said.
The materials used to decorate the carousel horse included white rice with shadings of light gray lettuce seed. The tall pillar – more than 20 feet high – was topped with white pampas grass. The float also was adorned with green ferns and pink roses.
During the parade on Jan. 2, there were a number of Rotarians either riding on the float or walking beside it. Included in that group was Jennifer Jones, the first woman president of Rotary International.
The Rotary float was awarded the Princess trophy for “most outstanding floral presentation among entries 35 feet and under in length.”