By Ruth Sowby Rands – December 1, 2015

“Everything is Coming Up Roses!” That was the theme of the fundraiser that the newly reorganized Glendale Rose Float Assn. held recently.

The historic Glendale mansion of Judy and Ashok Rao was the setting where group members and guests celebrated the 100-plus-year history of Glendale Rose floats, though the city didn’t have a float this year.

Also celebrated was the happy occurrence of a Glendale float in Pasadena’s Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2016. However, the purpose of this first-ever float fundraiser was to raise money for a float in 2017.

The 55-foot float for 2016 has a transportation theme — “Getting There is Half the Fun.” A poster of it displayed at the fundraiser featured a facade of the Glendale Transportation Center, a steam locomotive, a vintage airplane, a 1950s convertible and cyclists out for a ride. Leading the way at the front of the float is Glendale’s official city bird, the peacock. Association President Keith Sorem and Vice President Yvette Vartanian Davis posed with the float poster. They looked proud as peacocks.

Servers with trays of hors d’oeuvres and cocktails greeted some 200 guests upon their arrival. Also readily available were silent-auction bid sheets extolling the virtues of a chance to ride on the 2016 Rose Float or a private VIP tour of the float decorating locations.

Signs trumpeted the availability of parade grandstand seats for $100 each. There were also opportunity tickets for sale for more parade seats and prize drawings. Add the $75 per-person fundraiser ticket and the afternoon had the potential of coming close to the $50,000 goal association members had set.

TV personality Melody Rogers was mistress of ceremonies and honorary chair. She introduced Glendale’s Very Important People including City Councilwoman Paula Devine, Glendale Community College Supt./President David Viar and his wife, Jane, News-Press columnistKatherine Yamada and one of Glendale’s finest, Glendale Deputy Police Chief Carl Povilaitis.

Attending from the artsy crowd was Arlene Vidor, Glendale historic preservation commissioner and president of Brand Associates.

A highlight of the afternoon was the debut performance by the Glendale Community College Vocal Jazz Ensemble singing a custom-written Rose Float song, “Getting There is Half the Fun.” The ensemble was directed by an enthusiastic Clare Delto.

The program ended with the announcement of the winners of the silent-auction items and opportunity prizes. Yamada was the winner of a seat on the float for a mere $750.

To quote the Rose Float song — “Glendale’s back to join the fun! Pasadena, here we come!”



RUTH SOWBY RANDS may be reached at

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