Glendale Business Leaders Step Up to Save Rose Parade Float

The mayor of Glendale announced Thursday that more than $89,000 had been raised toward financing the parade’s second longest running float.

Three Glendale business chipped in $25,000 each to help keep the Glendale Rose Float program from sinking.

The mayor of Glendale announced Thursday that almost $90,000 had been raised toward financing the parade’s second longest running float.

“This is a wonderful testament by business owners, residents and our own employees to the traditions that are valued jewels in our city,” Mayor Laura Friedman said.

Developer Rick Caruso, whose Americana at Brand mall opened in Glendale three years ago, kicked off the giving spree last week when he announced a $25,000 donation toward saving the float that the cash-strapped city announced in June would be scrapped unless the community donated at least $50,000.

With the city facing an estimated $18-million budget gap and the public only donating $596 as of a July 15 report the float seemed certain to be axed. Then came Caruso's donation and a challenge to other local busninesses to do the same.

At the City Council meeting Tuesday, Sam and Suzanna Solokyan, owners of Global Holdings Inc., a medical consulting company, who recently moved their business from Calabasas to Glendale, responded with a $25,000 donation. Tri-City Systems Inc./G&S Transit Management, which together hold the majority of taxi permits through the Yellow Cab, Checker Cab and City Cab brands,  matched it with a $25,000 donation of its own.

The Glendale Management Association, representing over 300 managers in the City of Glendale, chipped in with $5,000 and the Glendale Firefighters Association added $3,000. 

"I was very concerend that it was going to be eliminated and didn't want to see it go away coming up on our 98th year," said Councilman Dave Weaver a longtime float advocate and chairman of last year's decorating committee. 

In previous years the Glendale Rose Float Association was asked to raise $50,000 of the $100,000 project, reducing the public subsidy to $80,000. But city officials also wanted the association to pay $30,000 for staffing the project.

"We're very fortunate that Rick Caruso came forward with a challenge and other businesses stepped up," said Weaver. "If other corporations get involved we could do an even bigger float than we normally have."

Glendale generally has one of the smaller and lower-costing floats in the Tournament of Roses Parade, said Weaver, but the privatization of the project could lead to a more extravagant float.

Weaver said having a float in the parade is important because it is the one of the old tradition in Glendale that persists.

He also said the float brings good publicity to the city because of television and media surrounding the parade.

Weaver said the dream scenario would be to get enough corporations involved in donating this year and future years so an endowment could be started and the funding could be taken off the city's hands.

"A lot of the old traditions have gone away," said Weaver. "This one has been there year in and year out and is a great pride in the city."

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