No need to look at it as a disappointment any longer. Instead, Brant Dunlap, the president of the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee, says the cancellation of the 2021 Rose Parade simply gives local float builders more time to prepare for the next one.
So, with months to spare, members of SPTOR are gearing up in anticipation to the January 1, 2022 Rose Parade.
The committee last physically met in March when the coronavirus outbreak began and Dunlap is anxious to put the wheels in motion for the next parade by hosting a Zoom meeting soon.
“I have been working with the city trying to find a way for us to get together,” he explained. “So far, we have not been allowed to meet since then. In the meantime, the various committee chairs are thinking outside the box to maintain our presence in the community.”
As the virus continues to take its toll, SPTOR officials have been forced to cancel a series of major fundraisers this year including a golf tournament, a big dollar raffle, and an end the year Crunch Time Party, which traditionally brings in thousands through a dinner, silent and live auction.
While some events have gone by the wayside on account of the virus, the organization’s popular Cruz’n for Roses Hot Rot and Classic Car Show will be held Sunday, September 20 – virtually. Since the event couldn’t physically be held, keeping the masses a safe distance, organizers came up with a secondary approach that still keeps it on the schedule from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and pulls in much-needed dollars to pay for the city’s float.
“Due to the limitations of large gatherings and the economic hardships of our sponsors, we are unable to have the actual car show, so this year’s Cruz’n for Roses Car Show will be held virtually,” explained Janet Benjamin, the committee chair who puts countless hours into the success of the event each year.
She notes, however, it’s easy for car owners to participate. Simply take a picture of your vehicle, describe it in 250 words or less and send it along with a $25 donation to the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee. Entry forms can be found at www.SPTOR.org. All participants receive a commemorative t-shirt.
For assistance and additional information, call Benjamin at (626) 799-7813 or email her at Janet@smmainsurance.com
While the 2021 Rose Parade has been shelved, Dunlap says committee members have independently been thinking of fundraising opportunities “that we have not explored in the past,” he explained. “The pause of the parade gives us an opportunity to reevaluate some SPTOR projects.”
In July, Tournament of Roses officials announced the cancellation of the 2021 Rose Parade, but not the Rose Bowl Game. With both the Big 10 and Pac 12 putting their respective fall football seasons on hold, Dunlap anticipates another major announcement soon. “It appears that the Rose Bowl Game isn’t happening on January 1,” he said. “I don’t think anyone back in March would have thought the parade could be in jeopardy, myself included. The reality became public safety and the safety for our own community and local volunteers.”
Further explained Tournament of Roses President Bob Miller: “The health and well-being of our parade participants and guests, as well as that of our volunteer members, professional staff and partners, is our number one priority. Obviously this is not what any of us wanted, and we held off on announcing until we were absolutely sure that safety restrictions would prevent us from continuing with planning for 132nd Rose Parade.”
Fundraising efforts would be continuing if it were not for the COVID-19 pandemic, but in their absence Dunlap is also grateful for those who contribute large and small to the float throughout the year. After all, the local president recognizes every dollar is significant when talking about paying for steel and flowers that go into it, along with an annual $20,000 rental fee for the float construction tent placed behind the War Memorial Building from August to early January. Dunlap says his committee hopes to raise $100,000 annually to put the city’s entry on the starting line for the floral spectacle watched on television by millions and thousands more along its route down Colorado Boulevard.
Thousands of hours are put in by dozens of volunteers who toil on the float, which translates into tremendous civic pride for a community of 26,000. “To our donors, Thank you, thank you, thank you,” said Dunlap. “Every dollar given is spent 100% towards the float and it’s preparations. We cannot do it with out you! To our float team: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your efforts and willingness to get dirty, cold and spend a day(s) away from family and friends is admirable. We cannot do it without you!”
Believe him when he says he’s humbled by the generosity and financial assistance of others. “We are extremely humbled every year with the support we receive form local business, our community and local groups like the Chamber of Commerce, City Council, SPPD, SPFD, the D.U.D.E.S. and South Pasadena Little League just to name a few.
Any amount donors can provide is appreciated, insists Dunlap, adding, “We understand the financial hardships that many of our newer and life long supporters are facing. SPTOR shares this hardship with along with you. Our team will continue working hard on being creative to generate the annual funding necessary to create your float every year. We would like to thank you in advance for trusting us to continue our cities long standing tradition – since 1896. Our float has represented the city and given an unimaginable number of families the opportunity to say, ‘I decorated those letters or did this or that’ while watching the parade. Many children remember working on the float. Those children are now bringing their children to carry on the memories and family traditions of being apart the cities float.”
Want to pitch in? A thankful Dunlap says it’s easy.
Donations can be mailed directly to the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses (SPTOR) at: P.O. Box 3662, South Pasadena, CA 91031 or 625 Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 158, South Pasadena, CA 91030.