The White family of Carson City may not have been in this year's Rose Parade, but they helped make it happen.Steve, Kathy and Bethany White joined other members volunteer corps, the Petal Pushers, in Pasadena, Calif., to help assemble floats for the parade.“Our motivation came from wanting to volunteer our time and knowing we are a part of a float in the Rose Parade,” said Kathy. It was her second time participating, and her husband's and daughter's first. The volunteers spend the week attaching thousands of roses, carnations, lilies, mums and other flowers, as well as natural materials such as seeds, coffee beans and leaves, to create the floral floats riding down Pasadena's Colorado Boulevard during the annual Rose Parade on New Year's Day.Many of the Petal Pushers come to decorate the Lutheran Hour Ministries float, a Tournament of Roses perennial for 63 years and the only Christian-themed float in the parade. The float's sponsor, St. Louis-based Lutheran Hour Ministries, is a Christian outreach organization named for The Lutheran Hour, the world's longest-running Gospel-centered radio program.A large number of the 5,000-member-plus Petal Pusher organization's volunteers help out on up to eight other Rose Parade floats as well — turning the week into one of the largest servant events in the country.“We have been working on the Lutheran Hour Ministries float cutting the petals off African straw flowers,” Kathy said. “The whole experience has been great. A lot of hard work goes into these floats and it is such a team effort by all of the volunteers. Everyone takes such pride in what they are doing.”The 124th Rose Parade presented by Honda, under the theme “Oh, the Places You'll Go,” was watched live on television by about 40 million Americans and by millions more around the world. The New Year's Day parade this year featured 42 floats composed of about 40 million flowers.On the WebFor more information about Lutheran Hour Ministries, visit www.lhm.org. For information on the Petal Pushers and its volunteer opportunities, visit www.petalpushers.org.
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