Date: 10/23/2012

Parade Float carries tributes to Organ, Eye, Tissue Donors

Area families are invited to join Community Healthcare System staff members and Gift of Hope representatives at an annual ceremony to honor organ and tissue donors.

This year’s Rose Ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 7 at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts. Roses that are personally dedicated at the ceremony go on to make up the Donate Life float in the 2013 Rose Parade. Each of the roses sponsored by Community Hospital in Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart will carry tags with messages of love from the donor families.

“These dedicated roses and the tributes they carry add special meaning not only for the families of our organ and tissue donors, but serve to inspire others to become organ, eye and tissue donors as well,” said John Gorski, Chief Operating Officer, Community Healthcare System. “Every day at the hospitals of Community Healthcare System, we witness the powerful ways in which tissue donations touch lives. Supporting the Donate Life float is just one of the ways we honor and remember donors and their generous gift of life.”

Journeys of the Heart is the name of Donate Life’s 2013 Rose Parade float entry. It serves to inspire all Americans to join in and consider organ, eye and tissue donation. To coincide with the 2013 Rose Parade theme “Oh, the Places You’ll Go,” the 10th Donate Life parade entry will transport 32 riders representing deceased organ, eye and tissue donors, living donors and transplant recipients. A pathway of looping hearts will be lined with 72 memorial floragraph portraits of donors who are remembered every step of the way. The float’s collection of joyful hearts represents new life made possible after transplantation.

Year round, the hospitals of Community Healthcare System: Community Hospital in Munster, St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart partner with Donate Life America to raise awareness regarding eye, organ and tissue donations. The hospitals decided to host their own Donate Life Rose Ceremony to provide another opportunity to meet with donor families again and thank them for their kindness and courage. Transplant recipients also have an opportunity to relate to the families how the donor’s gift has impacted their lives.

Organ and tissue donations save and heal hundreds of thousands of adults and children each year in the U.S. alone. Indiana residents can register their intent to be organ and tissue donors while obtaining or renewing their drivers’ license. Registration also is accepted at

For more information about this year’s event, please contact Connie Jusko at (219-852-6411) or Jana Lacera at (219-836-6862).