Rose Parade 2023 | Winners of SPTOR Raffle Announced

The South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee holds its annual Ultimate Tournament of Roses Experience raffle drawing to help pay for the city’s float in the Rose Parade.

FILE PHOTO: Diane Cavenee | South News | Sky's the Limit by South Pasadena Tournament of Roses

Enormous generosity of one man was acknowledged Wednesday night when Alan Vlacich, a longtime member of the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses (SPTOR) Committee, told the story about Mike Fazioli purchasing 15 tickets at $100 apiece to be a part of the organization’s major raffle ticket fundraiser.

Total it all up and Fazioli made a $1,500 donation in support of the city’s float, under construction in a giant tent behind the War Memorial Building, that will roll down Colorado Boulevard on January 2, one day later than usual on account of the Rose Parade’s never on Sunday rule.

Vlacich talked about Fazioli’s gift as three winning tickets were pulled during the City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting at City Hall. Doing the honors as they joined Vlacich inside the council chambers were South Pasadena Mayor Michael Cacciotti, reaching his hand in a basket for the first place winner, Councilmember Evelyn Zneimer, the liaison to SPTOR, the other two.

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With his big haul in tickets, Mike Fazioli full of good fortune, won not once but twice in this year’s drawing, winning, the top prize – four tickets to the Rose Bowl Game between the 40 and 50-yard lines and the second award – four VIP Rose Parade tickets in the reviewing stand.

A $300 in cash award for third went to Dan Hodgkiss.

Fazioli’s name was selected from 200 tickets, totaling  $20,000 – the most ever for the raffle.

Laughter filled the chamber when Zneimer picked Fazioli’s name for the second place award after he’d won earlier with the No.1 prize. What were the chances of that taking place?

“When you buy 15 tickets, you have a better chance to win,” said a smiling Vlacich, enjoying the moment. “I think this is the very first time that this has happened.”

Vlacich, who has been with the SPTOR Committee for 25 years, said it was the first time in the long history of the fundraiser that all 200 tickets were sold.

The end-of-the-year fundraiser is called the Ultimate Tournament of Roses Experience, one of the organization’s key ways to raise funds and help defray costs for building and decorating the city’s float in the annual parade, now in its 134th year.

“Donations help our committee raise funds for our city float in the Rose Parade,” explained Vlacich. “It’s one of a number of fundraisers we hold throughout the year to generate enough funds to pay for costs associated with our entry.”

Vlacich is busy with the local float committee, not only in his efforts with the raffle, but serving as co-chair of an annual golf tournament and his role as nominating chair for incoming board members.

PHOTO: Tina Kistinger | South News | City of South Pasadena’s float entry, Spark of Imagination.

Volunteers are feverishly working nights and weekends, ensuring the city’s float – “Spark of Imagination” – will be ready for its debut to the masses, thousands viewing from the sidelines, many bundled up to fight off the chill of the morning, and millions more watching worldwide on television screens.

Highlighting the imagination of children, but using mice, South Pasadena’s entry depicts winners of a science fair with plenty of fun craziness, spinning cranks and gears on board.

Local float builders say it’s the oldest in the parade and the longest running self-built, meaning it’s among six constructed entirely by volunteers, not commercially built.

Annually, it costs about $100,000 to $125,000 in flowers, materials and tent rental to create the floral masterpiece, according to SPTOR President Brant Dunlap.

“It has been a long tradition,” noted Vlacich, recognizing it was established back in 1893. “I appreciate everybody’s support.”

The next big fundraiser for the float is the annual Crunch Time Party, taking place on Thursday, December 29, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the War Memorial Building, featuring dinner, and a silent and live auction. Cost is $700 for a table of 10 or $75 for individual tickets. For more information, go to:

PHOTO: SPTOR | South News | SPTOR’s float design for the 2023 Rose Parade