An organ donor from Tehachapi will be among those honored by OneLegacy and Donate Life as part of the Tournament of Roses 2021 TV special, “The Rose Parade’s New Year Celebration presented by Honda.”
Thomas Vanderhorst was 47 when he died from complications following an aortic valve replacement, according to a news release from OneLegacy. He became a donor and gifted his organs, tissue and eyes, the organization said.
“Lifesaving transplants would not be possible without generous donors and their families, who, in the midst of tragedy as they lose a loved one, find the courage to say yes to donation,” Tom Mone, chairman of the Donate Life Rose Parade float committee and CEO of OneLegacy, the nonprofit organ, eye and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area, said in a news release. “We are proud and grateful to honor Thomas, and all these donors, whose acts of kindness have given others a second chance at life.”
Since 2004, OneLegacy has been the lead sponsor of the Donate Life Rose Parade float to spread the message of organ, eye and tissue donation to an international audience.
Although the 2021 parade is canceled due to COVID-19, Donate Life and the OneLegacy Foundation will have a 25-foot floral sculpture, honoring 21 deceased donors from across the nation. The Donate Life floral sculpture is themed “Community of Life."
The Tournament of Roses 2021 TV special airs Jan. 1. It will include live-to-tape musical and marching band performances, heartwarming segments related to the Rose Parade, celebrity guest appearances, special Rose Bowl game football highlights, equestrians, spectacular floats from years past, and a behind-the-scenes look into the making of a float.