The largest global AIDS organization is once again involving the public by welcoming volunteers to help decorate the float and encouraging people to add the names of loved ones lost to HIV/AIDS to the float through its innovative text-to-donate effort
What: Volunteer opportunity to decorate AHF’s 2013 Tournament of Roses float
When: December 26th – 31st 8 am – 11 pm daily
Where: Irwindale, CA – for access and complete address, volunteers must RSVP at http://www.aidshealth.org/rsvp
LOS ANGELES (December 18, 2012) – AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) made history in 2012 by entering the first float in Tournament of Roses history to ever focus on HIV/AIDS, and its “Our Champion” float honoring the late AIDS activist and Academy Award winner Elizabeth Taylor proved unforgettable by garnering the parade’s “Queen’s Award” for best use of roses that year. What made those 50,000-plus roses even more special was that many of them were “Memory Flowers,” roses whose water vials were hand-inscribed with the name of a person lost to HIV/AIDS through an innovative text-to-donate effort led by AHF.
Marking the worldwide fight against HIV/AIDS for the second consecutive year by entering a float in this year’s 124th-anniversary Tournament of Roses Parade, AHF is honoring the 2013 parade theme of “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” – an homage to Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s book about achieving dreams – by highlighting all the places in the world that AHF has gone to provide prevention, treatment, and lifesaving care for those living with and fighting against HIV/AIDS. The 2013 entry will proudly display over 300 different types of flowers flown in from all around the world. The float’s framing giant red ribbon, the iconic international symbol for global AIDS awareness, will be made up of over 150,000 handpicked red roses each in its own water vial.
To personalize AHF’s involvement in clinics and activism efforts in 28 countries around the world, the float will feature five people riding on it who are not only living with HIV but are also actively involved in AHF’s fight against the disease by working directly with the nonprofit or receiving care from an AHF-supported clinic. Of those riders, four traveled from as far away as Africa and Russia to show that HIV is not a disease that is limited to a small faction of people or one particular corner of the world, but rather affects people of any age, race, gender or orientation from all around the world. Furthermore, the riders’ presence highlights that AHF’s support of those living with the virus and the 25-year-old foundation’s unstoppable fight to end the spread of the infection is also not reserved to one part of the world or a small group of people, but rather is available to anyone, anywhere who is impacted by the epidemic.
“Last year’s float paid tribute and honored Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor, a heroic champion in the fight against HIV/AIDS; this year we are drawing attention to the breadth of that ongoing fight through the stories of five brave men, women and children who are living with HIV or AIDS and who will share the impact this virus and AHF have had on their lives,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein.
The five riders are Francis Xavier De Melo, 48, of India; Marcos Ledesma, 36, of Mexico; Alexandra Volgina, 33, of Russia; Mariam Nazziwa, 9, of Uganda; and 28-year-old Hydeia Broadbent of the United States. The riders will cruise down Colorado Avenue on the flower-covered float that also features a giant Red Ribbon, a massive towering globe, and tall cutouts of each represented continent.
Like last year, the public is invited to contribute a rose to the float’s Red Ribbon in memory of a loved one lost to HIV/AIDS by texting “FLOWER” and the name of the departed loved one to 20222. That text will automatically donate $5 to AHF, and a “Memory Rose” in the Red Ribbon will have the honored person’s name hand-inscribed onto its water vial.
AHF is welcoming anyone who wishes to help construct the float to RSVP through www.aidshealth.org/rsvp. Upon registration, volunteer “Rose Buds” will receive the address where the float is being constructed in Irwindale, CA and will gain access to pizza parties and t-shirt giveaways specifically for volunteers. For additional information about volunteering in the float’s construction, email [email protected].