The Rotary Rose Float Committee raises the money, builds a float and enters it in the annual Tournament of Roses on New Year’s Day. This is the largest Public Relations – Awareness – project in Rotary.
Mark Twain’s story of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn is instantly recognizable by millions of people around the world. They were the recognizable element of the theme for the 2001 float, “Recognizing Tomorrow’s Leaders”. If there had been a Rotary club in Hannibal, Missouri when Tom and Huck were having their adventures, those Rotarians would have been interested in these two young men. This float celebrated the many young people Rotary has channeled into roles of positive leadership through the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program. There were ten young people who have participated in the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program, riding on the float. What a memorable experience for a RYLA student to participate in the RYLA leadership seminar, and ride a float in the Rose Parade.
All of this to get the message across that Rotary not only recognizes tomorrow’s leaders, but also develops their leadership skills and principles. Our Rotary float created awareness in the world regarding RYLA, one of the most effective programs in the world of Rotary.
The 2001 float won the Volunteers Trophy for the “best floral design of Parade theme under 35 feet in length.” Raul Rodriguez designed the float which was constructed by Charisma Floats and was decorated by hundreds of volunteers from Rotary, Rotaract, and Interact clubs. The float was 24′ High 18′ Wide and 35′ Long.