2014 Donate Life Rose Parade Float to Feature Roses Dedicated to Fallen California Peace Officers
Donate Life California & California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation Honor Families
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 13, 2013 – The Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade will have extra special meaning this year for the families of California peace officers killed in the line of duty during the years 2003 through 2012. Their loved ones’ public service and sacrifice will be remembered with dedicated roses placed on the 2014 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, to be seen by millions worldwide on television on New Year’s Day.
The families of thirteen fallen officers attended a special Donate Life Rose Ceremony held by Donate Life California and the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation at the state capitol, during which each family wrote a message of remembrance that will be placed with the roses just days before the Rose Parade.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to remember my husband in this way. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and the sacrifice he made, especially when I look at our son,” said JoAnn Lasater, widow of fallen Pittsburg P.D. Officer Larry Lasater. “Larry and I talked about donation about a month before he died. Though he said he would want to be a donor if something happened, I knew that about Larry….it was who he was, and why he became a police officer.”
Officer Lasater was fatally shot while attempting to arrest a robbery suspect in April 2005 in Pittsburg, a city east of San Francisco. His wish to be an organ and tissue donor was then carried out. As a result, his heart, liver and kidneys saved the lives of four other people. Officer Lasater’s legacy also lives on through his son, who was born two and a half months after the shooting.
“Today’s ceremony paid tribute to all of California’s fallen officers who gave their lives to serve and protect their communities, many of whom, like Officer Lasater, continue to give life through organ, eye and tissue donation,” said Kevin Mickelson, president of the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation. “We, along with Donate Life California, wish to highlight the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation and to remember all donors, their families, and their recipients whose lives are forever changed thanks to the Gift of Life.”
“Donate Life California and all law enforcement agencies share a mission to save lives,” said Charlene Zettel, CEO of Donate Life California. “Our partnership with the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation reflects that commitment and continued dedication to remembering heroes from all walks of life. Organ, eye and tissue donors give recipients a second chance at life, allowing them to enjoy their loved ones and lead active and full lives without restriction from disease or injury.”
The fallen officers whose families took part in today’s ceremony are as follows (in order of End of Watch (EOW) date)*:
– Inspector Raymond J. Giacomelli, Pittsburg Police Department, EOW 4/15/03
– Deputy David P. Grant, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department, EOW 5/31/04
– Officer William L. Seuis, Oakland Police Department, EOW 7/22/04
– Deputy Ronald W. Ives, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, EOW 9/1/04
– Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg Police Department, EOW 4/25/05
– Deputy Kevin P. Blount, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, EOW 7/13/2005
– Officer Matthew J. Redding, Rocklin Police Department, EOW 10/9/05
– Sgt. Scott Hanson, Covina Police Department, EOW 7/3/06
– Det. Kent Haws, Tulare County Sheriff’s Department, EOW 12/17/07
– Sgt. Paul A. Starzyk, Martinez Police Department, EOW 9/6/08
– Officer Joseph Sanders, California Highway Patrol – Santa Fe Springs, EOW 12/15/08
– Deputy Charlene M. Rottler, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, EOW 1/3/10
– Officer Ryan Stringer, Alhambra Police Department, EOW 7/10/11
*The names and bios of all California peace officers killed in the line of duty can be found at www.camemorial.org under the “Honor Roll” tab.
Contact: Michelle Mendoza, California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-443-1797
About the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation:
The California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation is a nonprofit charitable foundation whose mission is to recognize and honor California’s peace officers who gave their lives ‘In the Line of Duty’ serving the citizens of this great state, and provides support to the family members left behind. For more information, go to www.camemorial.org.
About the 2014 Donate Life Rose Parade Float:
“Light Up the World”
Individuals and families touched by organ and tissue donation and transplantation shine a light on us all. Transplant recipients radiate with gratitude and renewed life thanks to the gifts of organ, eye and tissue donors; families of deceased donors rekindle their spirits by carrying on their loved ones’ dreams; and both living and registered donors are beacons of hope to patients who aspire to live longer, fuller lives. Like lanterns illuminating the night sky above or the path before us, those who give and receive the gift of life Light Up the World with their compassion and courage.
The 2014 Donate Life Rose Parade Float entry features a festival of lanterns illuminating 30 riders – all grateful organ and tissue transplant recipients – and 12 living organ donors walking alongside to demonstrate their ongoing vitality. Five enormous lamps are adorned with 72 memorial floragraph portraits of deceased donors whose legacies of life shine brightly. The riders are seated throughout a dedication garden filled with thousands of roses bearing personal messages of love, hope and remembrance. For more information about the Donate Life Rose Parade Float, visit the official float website at www.donatelifefloat.org.
About Donate Life California:
The Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry is the nonprofit, state-authorized organ, eye and tissue donor registry, which records the decision to donate in a confidential database that is searched by authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel at the time of an actual donation opportunity. It is administered by Donate Life California and California’s four nonprofit, federally designated organ recovery organizations: Donor Network West , Lifesharing, OneLegacy and Sierra Donor Services. As a state-authorized public service, the registry assures that all personal information is kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel.
For more information about the Donate Life California Registry, how donation saves and improves lives, and to sign up, please visit www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or in Spanish at www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org.
Fast Facts from Donate Life California:
– One in five on the U.S. organ transplant waiting list lives in California.
– Last year, nearly 1,100 people died in our state waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.
– All major religions support or permit organ, eye and tissue donation.
– Anyone can register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor regardless of age, ethnicity or medical history
Please visit Donate Life California’s Stories of Hope web page to read inspiring stories about organ and tissue donors and recipients from around the state.
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