Brant Dunlap is genuinely grateful, moved by the announcement by the Shaw family that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee.
Dunlap’s heartfelt thanks comes following the passing of Ted Shaw, recognized by many as South Pasadena’s “superhero” who supported the city’s float, serving as president of the local committee in 2008 and 2009, and spearheading a variety of fundraisers, including the Cruz’n for Roses Hot Rod and Classic Car Show and the Ultimate Tournament of Roses Experience – a raffle ticket drawing designed to raise $20,000 while providing winners with choice seats for the Rose Bowl Game or Rose Parade.
It was Shaw’s innovative way of thinking that kept South Pasadena’s float, well, afloat each year.
With the cost of steel and flowers, Dunlap says the price tag to put it at the starting line for the 5-1/2 mile ride down Colorado Boulevard is roughly $100,000. To help reach it, Shaw worked the phones like no other, selling many tables to the organization’s top fundraiser, the year-end Crunch Time Party, with an easy-going, almost magical touch, opening the conversation with his friendly pet phrase, “How are ya?!” Minutes later another table to the dinner, which featured a silent and live auction, was sold.
“There are no words that can truly express this kind of gratitude other than thank you,” said Dunlap, when asked what it means to have such strong backing from Shaw’s family to support the city’s float. “With Ted’s lifetime involvement regarding so many amazing groups, organizations, schools, it’s a real honor for the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association to be the recipient in lieu of flowers on behalf of our founder, our friend and past President, Ted Shaw.”
Like so many, Dunlap discovered that Shaw’s connection to South Pasadena runs deep. In 1986, Shaw worked as an insurance agent before opening Shaw, Moses, Mendenhall & Associates Insurance Agency with two partners in 1988.
Heavily involved in the community, Shaw was a city councilmember for three terms while serving as the town’s mayor three times. He, along with other movers and shakers, launched the 4th of July Festival of Balloons in 1982, later made Shaw, Moses, Mendenhall & Associates Insurance the major sponsor of South Pasadena’s summer concert series, supported the schools as a regular attendee of the South Pasadena Educational Foundation’s Parti Gras fundraiser, and was always there for those responsible for constructing the city’s float, the oldest entry in the 131-year history of the Rose Parade.
“Reflecting on Ted the past couple of weeks has been incredibly rewarding,” said Dunlap. “Ted was not a believer, he was a doer. Ted was not a follower, he was a leader. Ted was a true realist.”
Over the years, Shaw and his wife, Joan, have received many honors for their civic contributions.
Born July 20, 1944 in Alhambra, Shaw attended Holy Family Catholic School in South Pasadena before graduating from St. Francis High School in La Cañada Flintridge. From there, he attended Citrus Community College in Glendora before graduating from USC, where he was a proud Trojan. In 1963, he married Joan Monson.
“Thinking of the stories he shared with me about Little League in the Arroyo when he was a kid and stories about our cities rich history were fascinating,” recalls Dunlap. “I admired how Ted could reach out and get anything done. He understood how important it was to say thank you, which was something you heard from Ted on a regular basis. Ted was an incredibly giving person. Ted made lives better. And now he gets to do so in heaven.”
A service for Shaw is scheduled for Monday, February 24, at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1527 Fremont Avenue, in South Pasadena. Following the service, a celebration of life will be held at Annandale Golf Club, 1 North San Rafael Avenue, in Pasadena.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee, PO Box 3662, South Pasadena, CA 91031.