Bridgton, Rumford hospitals to be part of Donate Life Rose Parade Float

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BRIDGTON — Bridgton Hospital and Rumford Hospital are partnering with New England Donor Services to honor and remember those who gave the gift of life through organ and tissue donation.

On Monday, Jan. 1, 2017, the Donate Life Rose Parade float, The Gift of Time, will include a dedication garden made up of roses with handwritten dedications by hospital executives across the country, including David Frum, president of Bridgton and Rumford hospitals.

Frum said, “With this rose dedication, Bridgton Hospital and Rumford Hospital publicly recognize their staff’s dedication and commitment to organ and tissue donation. We’re 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 float entry reflects the parade’s theme of Making a Difference by celebrating the power of kindness and the generous acts of people throughout the world, who are making a positive difference in the lives of others. A single organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and improve the lives of as many as 75 more by donating their corneas and tissue.

The float depicts a vibrantly colored, tropical backdrop that dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mexico. It celebrates the gift of life as 16 costumed riders sit alongside the jungle, against stone carvings, drawing on the strength they have gained from their donors to continue and thrive on life’s journey.

The monumental Aztec calendar draws the eye to the center of the float, where 44 donors are honored with floragraphs. This ancient calendar is a reminder of the enduring, life-saving power of the generosity of donors and families.

Alongside the float, eight living donors and recipients will carry baskets of fruit and flowers in celebration of the renewed life they have shared with one another and the world. The beauty, richness, and potential of life is represented by the vivid flock of macaws perched over the lush floral canopies, ready to take flight.

To register as an organ and tissue donor through the state’s driver’s license renewal process, go to www.RegisterMe.org.

Bridgton and Rumford hospitals will be part of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float. President David Frum signs the Bridgton Hospital vial that will be on the float.

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