MOUNTAIN AREA — While you’re snuggled on the couch New Year’s day, sporting new moose pajamas and fuzzy slippers, hot cuppa in hand and watching the Rose Parade on NBC or ABC at 8 a.m. — know that our local foothills are nicely represented by the efforts of a local service club, a group of students, and their chaperones.
On Sunday, Dec. 30, Key Club members from Minarets and Yosemite high schools blitz-traveled to Irwindale, Ca., to work on a variety floats for the 2019 Tournament of Roses Parade.
The high school arm of Kiwanis International, Key Club International is the world’s largest high school community service organization, growing in global reach with thousands of clubs in more than 38 countries.
Both the Yosemite and Minarets clubs are sponsored by Sierra Oakhurst Kiwanis Club. They say the impact of Key Club members can be felt all over the world. On the first day of the new year, it will be felt in Pasadena, where this year’s Parade theme is The Melody of Life and the Kiwanis float is dubbed Helping Kids Rock Their Future.
Minarets Key Club advisor Therese Righter says that nineteen students from Minarets and five students from Yosemite left their hometowns at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday and drove to Clovis North High School, where they met up with some other Key Club members from across the Central Valley.
All told, approximately 120 Key Clubbers boarded buses for the over-five hour trip, arriving at the Phoenix Decorators, Inc. warehouse where some 20 floats are built and decorated in preparation for the world-famous New Year’s Day parade held in Pasadena since 1890.
“The Key Clubbers were split into groups where they did a multitude of tasks including prepping the vials for the flowers, cutting flowers, gluing crushed petals onto a float, or sitting and separating tiny purple and lavender flower petals from the tiny stems,” Righter recounts.
“Students worked on the Kiwanis International, Lions Club, American Legion, and the Armenian floats. After a full eight hours of work, the Key Clubbers boarded the buses once again to make the return trip home, and arrived back in town at 10 p.m.
“Exhausted, filthy, with the Oasis glue still on their hands and clothes, the students say they can’t wait until next year. This is always a highlight of the year.”
Thank you to Deborah Hough, Michelle Townsend, and Brenda Foster for chaperoning.