Donate Life's 2015 Rose Parade Float Will Honor Two Acadiana Heroes

11/20/2014

Ryan Viator’s Legacy Foundation is proud to announce Justin Harrison and Laci Taquino, Lafayette natives and heroes of the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA), will be honored on the Donate Life float, “The Never-Ending Story,” in the 2015 Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. Justin and Laci gave the ultimate gift – the gift of life – through organ donation. Their families will view their floragraphs for the first time at 10 a.m. on November 20, 2014 in the Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) front lobby. Volunteers from Donate Life California decorated Justin and Laci’s floragraphs almost to completion. Their families, along with Justin’s heart recipient, will complete the portraits with organic materials. We invite you to join us as we celebrate Justin and Laci’s selfless gifts of life with their families.

Justin and Laci, along with 70 other honorees who, in death, gave life to others through donation, will be showcased for 47 million viewers through floragraph portraits. Their portraits, each made entirely of organic floral materials, will be featured on the float “The Never-Ending Story” of hope, giving, and life which is the theme of the 2015 Donate Life Rose Parade® float. Atop the float, the floragraphs will grace 72 books that hold their inspirational stories, with an open book seeming to release 60 butterflies representing the number of lives transformed by a single deceased donor.

Justin became a hero in August of 1997 and Laci became a hero in August of 2006. Both were sophomores at Comeaux High School and both were 15 years old when their young lives ended. Justin and Laci’s families will be in Pasadena to watch as the float travels down Colorado Blvd. The floragraphs and the families’ trips to California are being sponsored by Ryan Viator’s Legacy Foundation. Ryan became a LOPA hero in 2000 when his life suddenly ended. In the midst of their incredible tragedy, all three of these Acadiana families reached beyond their grief and said yes to organ donation.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Libbie Harrison at 337.349.1574 or lharrison@lopa.org. Media kit is available at http://www.donatelifefloat.org/prod/components/media_center/media_kit/

Justin’s story - http://www.lopa.org/hero-stories/Justin-Harrison

Laci’s story - http://www.lopa.org/hero-stories/Laci-Michelle-Taquino

Ryan’s story - http://www.lopa.org/hero-stories/Ryan-Robert-Viator

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