It’s a never-ending effort to raise funds as the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee is set to host its first major fundraiser of 2022 with a giant yard sale May 6-7 at the War Memorial Building.
“Someone asked me the other day if we ever stop asking for donations and I told them never,” said a laughing Brant Dunlap, president of the SPTOR Committee, responsible for sending South Pasadena’s float down the Rose Parade every January to kickoff the new year. “We’ll never ever say no to someone who wants to help support our entry in the parade.”
With an abundance of civic pride, South Pasadena has the oldest float in the Rose Parade and looks forward to keeping the long tradition alive. Local float builders are already prepping for the 134th edition slated for Monday, January 2, 2023. The parade is never held on a Sunday, so it will move from the first to the second next year.
Part of that tradition is garnering high honors. Last January, South Pasadena, used to winning, walked off with the event’s prestigious Founder Award for its 2022 entry – “Sky’s the Limit.”
“In order for us to reach those top achievements we look to the community to continue to support our float through a series of fundraising efforts,” said Dunlap. “Honestly, we couldn’t do it without them.”
The backing from South Pasadena residents and supporters outside the city help to pay for steel, flowers and other elements of the float that in some years can cost $100,000 or more, according to Dunlap.
The yard sale, a first for the organization, falls in a line of traditional fundraisers, joining a golf tournament, year-end silent and live auction and candy sales. New ones, like a wine and beer tasting and poker tournament, are on the way.
Steve Fillingham, the float’s construction co-chair, who is taking the lead in organizing the upcoming yard sale, said: “There will be treasures galore,” noting that furniture, household goods, clothing, DVD’s, CD’s, stereos, artwork, tools, and “plenty of the normal yard sale finds” will find their way into the hands of those stopping by the War Memorial Building.
The yard sale will be held on Friday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and continue on Saturday, May 7 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donation of items by the community will be accepted at the War Memorial Building, 735 Fair Oaks Avenue, in the lower parking lot (behind building off Mound Avenue) on Sunday, May 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday May 2 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday May 3, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“Please help to support your community,” said Fillingham. “It takes a lot to put this float down the parade route every year and our fundraisers are the way we make it happen. As you can imagine, prices for everything have gone way up. Steel, wood, paint, glue, flowers have all seen huge increases in costs. Couple this with our fundraising being down, we need all the help we can get.”
Fillingham has been part of the South Pasadena community for more than 50 years and enjoyed being involved with one of the city’s proudest traditions. Like many, he believes the float is a big part of the landscape that makes it unique. “We would appreciate it if you would donate your unwanted items, or just come by and buy some items, and support all the volunteers so that we can put another award winning float down the parade route to show off our pride.”
Volunteers are needed at the yard sale and to work on the city float throughout the year. “So, if you have the desire to come out and cut, grind, weld some steel please reach out to SPTOR.org and be part of a fun crew that has pride in their city,” said co-construction chair. “We welcome your help.”
To help with the float, volunteer at the yard sale or donate items for the yard sale that require pick up, contact Fillingham at firstname.lastname@example.org. Large appliances and mattresses will not be accepted.