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For Immediate Release

Easterseals Takes the Cake: Wins Leishman Public Spirit Award with First-Time Entry in the 2019 Rose Parade®

Clive Resident Reagan Crabtree Rides 20-Foot-Tall Birthday Cake Float Honoring Easterseals’ 100 Years of Disability Services and Positive Impact in Building A More Inclusive Future

January 3, 2019

Media Contact:
Jessica Brown

Rose Parade FloatEasterseals is proud to announce that its 2019 Rose Parade® float, “Celebrating Easterseals: 100 Years of Disability Services,” took home the “Leishman Public Spirit Award” from the 2019 Rose Parade for the most outstanding floral presentation from a non-commercial participant. This is the organization’s first float entry and win as part of the historic annual event.

Clive resident Reagan Crabtree was selected as one of nine Easterseals clients across the nation to ride on the float.

“This experience means so many things to me,” Crabtree said. “It was a way to thank Easterseals for all it's done for me and to be able to represent them nationally. We got cheers from the crowd all along the parade route supporting us," Reagan said.

“Celebrating Easterseals: 100 Years of Disability Services” debuted a vibrant floral display to celebrate Easterseals’ impact on millions of people across the country through its disability services. The float featured a 20-foot-tall birthday cake iced in crisp white coconut flakes and lined with more than 3,000 hot pink Princess roses, flickering 100th anniversary candles and images of people with and without disabilities joined together near a swirl of orange and yellow marigolds and gold strawflower.

With Easterseals’ vision of building a more inclusive future for the more than 61 million Americans with disabilities, each playfully wrapped package on the float highlighted the organization’s breadth of exceptional services to make sure people with disabilities have every opportunity to “live”, “learn”, “work”, and “play” in their communities. A kaleidoscope of brilliant colors and patterns that radiated from spinning pinwheels, colorful noise makers, confetti and floral fireworks added to the festivities.

Nine Easterseals clients ranging in age from 12 to 68 years old flew in from around the country to ride atop the float alongside three Easterseals staff who provide these life-changing services. Keeping with the Rose Parade theme, “The Melody of Life,” the song “Firework” by Katy Perry resounded from the float, further contributing to the joyful celebration.

“This is the first time Easterseals has participated in the Tournament of Roses parade, and we are thrilled not only at the opportunity to have Reagan participate, but also to have received the Leishman Public Spirit Award,” said Sherri Nielsen, President/CEO of Easterseals Iowa. “As we ring in the new year, Easterseals is kicking off a celebration of 100 years of empowering those living with disabilities. We encourage every individual to make it their resolution to help build a more inclusive future for all communities.”

Created by Fiesta Parade Floats, “Celebrating Easterseals: 100 Years of Disability Services,” stood at 55 feet long, 18 feet wide and 20 feet tall. 

For nearly 100 years, Easterseals has been the indispensable resource for people and families facing disability. Through the work we do in communities across America, Easterseals is changing the way the world defines and views disability by making positive, profound differences in people’s lives every day. For more information visit www.eastersealsia.org

The Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that hosts America’s New Year Celebration® with the Rose Parade® presented by Honda, the Rose Bowl Game® presented by Northwestern Mutual and a variety of accompanying events. 935 volunteer members of the association drove the success of 130th Rose Parade themed “The Melody of Life,” on Tuesday, January 1, 2019, followed by the 105th Rose Bowl Game.  For more information, visit www.tournamentofroses.com.

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