Glendora San Dimas La Verne Highlander


  Date: Monday, December 31, 2012

The day after Christmas is the beginning of "Hell week" for Dave Wallach of Hacienda Heights. The district chairman of the Kiwanis International Rose Float Committee counts on thousands of volunteers to finish the floral floats in time for the Tournament of Roses Parade on Jan. 1.

"Well be working on the floats from 5 a. m. to midnight," the amiable Kiwanian noted "And I'll he there most of the time."

The Hacienda Heights member has his hands full scheduling all the volunteer workers. Most arc from local high schools and colleges.

"We'll have more than 7,000 volunteers year to work on the floats in Pasadena. Wallach said. "I've been working on the floats for 12 years and every year is a different challenge."

The Kiwanis Club works with Phoenix Decorating to decorate more than 10 Rose Parade floats at the company's Rosemont Pavilion in Pasadena.

This year Kiwanis International is Sponsoring a float called "A Child's Magic Carpet Ride," The Arabian Nights fantasy features a flying carpet with 16 riders.

One of the riders was to be 13-year-old Parvene Barimani of Hacienda Heights. Her brother, Firuze is the president of the Key Club at Wilson High School.

The floats are a big deal for local students, many of whom belong to the Key Clubs and Kiwin's groups sponsored by the Kiwanis.

'The Hacienda Heights Is Kiwanis opportunity drawing to ride on the float, Firuze bought a ticket for his sister. Wallach explained.

More than 90 percent of volunteers are high school and college students. The kids are fantastic; they really through for us every year, Wallach said.

He can have up to 500 students working on a shift The kids come from all around Los Angeles, including Los Altos. La Puente, Wilson, Rowland and Diamond Bar high schools.

"Rowland High has already been here and Diamond Bar High has a lot of volunteers this year," he said. "The Rose Parade float has become the biggest community service project in Kiwanis International."

Volunteers spend up to eight hours working on the floral floats, Beginning Dec, 26, the day shift ran from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a second shift finishing up at 11 p.m.

Volunteers have to cut the thousands of flowers and place each one in a vial of water. They won't place the live flowers on the float* until the last couple days.
"Many of the flowers are very delicate, so we can't put them on too early," Wallach noted.

Every inch of a Rose float has to be covered by organic material.
"We try to make it fun for the kids, who already enjoy each others company" he said. "It's a lot of work every year, hut I love lt."

By Richard Irwin, Staff Writer

Volunteers from Kiwanis and Key Club separate bark for Kiwanis International's "A Child's Magic Carpet Ride!" float for the Tournament of Roses Parade at Rosemont Pavilion in Pasadena on Dec. 27.
Walt Mancini, Staff Photographer
  Back to News