Kaiser Permanente rose float wins theme award

Last week I wrote a story about the Kaiser Permanente float which featured four float riders from the Inland Empire.

Well, Kaiser Permanente’s entry, “Oh, The Healthy Things You Can Do” grabbed the Theme Trophy at Tuesday’s Tournament of Roses Parade for best representation of the parade’s theme.

The 124th annual Rose Parade was themed “Oh, the Places You’ll Go.”

Kaiser Permanente float “Oh, the Healthy Things You’ll Do” as volunteers began to decorate the entry last week.

A 26-foot-tall Cat in the Hat was featured on the float. The cat from the best-selling Dr. Seuss books, movies and educational programs was joined by fellow characters Sally and Conrad, Thing One and Thing Two and Karlos K. Krinklebein the fish.

The float consisted of The Cat in the Hat reading to Thing One and Thing Two amidst a colorful garden while Conrad and Sally swung above them.

Award-winning artist Raul R. Rodriguez designed the float. This was Kaiser’s eighth entry into the parade.

“Kaiser Permanente is honored to have received this year’s Theme Trophy,” said Dr. Benjamin K. Chu, group president for Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii.

“And we are especially grateful to our float decorators, the more than 500 Kaiser Permanente employees who volunteered their time and dedication, coming from as far as Maryland and Ohio, to be a part of this time-honored event.”

While I was in Irwindale last week I met volunteer decorators Linda Prosser, who also works at the Ontario Medical Center and is an Ontario resident.

“This is my third time putting flowers on it,” Prosser told me last week

Volunteers decorated the Kaiser Permanente float last week

. “The closer you get to (Jan. 1), the flowers are just gorgeous and come from all over the world. The smell is just good.”

Prosser worked with two other colleagues from Kaiser on recreating fish scales using peach lentils.

“You have to do it at least once in your lifetime,” said Prosser, as she applied one lentil piece at a time.

Kaiser spokeswoman Mayra Suarez said the hospital and medical care chain received about 1,000 requests from employees who wanted to volunteer their services.

Suarez said they began taking requests about a month before the decorating began and, through a lottery system, 500 were selected. The selected Kaiser employees were able to bring a guest to help decorate.

“Obviously, because of capacity we couldn’t but we’d love to have everyone there and give them the opportunity to decorate,” Suarez said.

The majority of volunteers hailed from the Southern California region, she said.

“Our employees, they take pride in being part of event and decorating the float,” Suarez said.

“And to be able to share our thrive message.”

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