Tehachapi organ donor honored by OneLegacy as part of Tournament of Roses Festivities, Jan. 1
January 2, 2021
An organ donor from Tehachapi, California, will be among those honored by OneLegacy and Donate Life as part of the Tournament of Roses 2021 television special, “The Rose Parade’s New Year Celebration presented by Honda.” The local donor, Thomas Vanderhorst, was 47 when he died from complications following an aortic valve replacement. In keeping with his giving nature, he became a donor and gifted his organs, tissue and eyes.
“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,” said 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. “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 lifesaving 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 keep the tradition alive with a 25-foot floral sculpture, honoring 21 deceased donors from across the nation.
The Donate Life floral sculpture, themed “Community of Life,” features a vibrant floral honeycomb built by bees, sharing the important message that we’re stronger when we work together as a community. Individually dedicated roses will adorn this floral installation to honor the gift of life given by donors, donor families, transplant recipients and health care heroes, carrying personal messages of love, remembrance, hope and gratitude.
The Tournament of Roses 2021 special 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. The Rose Parade will air on various broadcast networks January 1.
The Donate Life Rose Parade Experience is produced by OneLegacy and is made possible thanks to dozens of sponsoring donations, transplant, health care and family care organizations along with individuals who help make donation and transplant possible across the country. Sponsors for 2021 include: American Association of Tissue Banks, Axogen, Community Tissue Services, CryoLife, Dignity Memorial Providers of Las Vegas, Donate Life California, Donor Alliance, Donor Network West, JJ’s Legacy, Legacy Donor Services Foundation, Legacy of Hope, LifeLink Foundation, LifeShare of Oklahoma, Lifesharing, LOPA, Nevada Donor Network, New England Donor Services, New Jersey Sharing Network, OneLegacy and Specialist Direct.
OneLegacy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. It serves more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers, a diverse population of nearly 20 million, donors and families across the region, and waiting recipients across the country. For more information, visit onelegacy.org.