Piece of Mind: Become one of the city's 'floaters'

In case you are thinking of stopping by the La Cañada float-decorating site today or Friday to volunteer to place flowers on "3-2-1-Dig!" before it heads to Pasadena for its New Year's Day trip down Colorado Boulevard, please know that your enthusiasm is appreciated but the volunteer shifts for "petal pushers" have been filled this year, according to Sarah Marshall, who oversees the workers' schedules.

If you or your favorite teen did not have a chance to lend a hand decorating the float this year, you might want to consider doing so next year. Reporter Joe Piasecki visited the decorating site Wednesday and spoke to a number of volunteers, all of whom looked to him as if they were having a pretty good time. He was unable to fit all of their comments into his Page 1 story this week, so he's shared some with me.

Ben Whitefield, a 14-year-old La Cañada High student, told Joe he sees the upside to decorating the float. "It doesn't always feel like you're working because you're socializing as you do it."

This is the second year that Temple City High student Annie Lee volunteered on the La Cañada float through her school's Brightening the World program. On Wednesday, while Annie was attaching yellow carnations to one of the float's elements, she said, "I like that I can see the float in the parade on TV and say, 'That's my work — I helped on it.'"

Ann Neilson, a wonderful woman I've known for a number of years through our shared interest in Lanterman House museum, told Joe that she considers involvement with the city's float to be almost a civic duty; she and her husband Bob have worked on all 33 of La Cañada's floats over the years.

"We've lived in the community since 1962 and we feel that if we live here we should support what the community does, whether it's building a float or having a parade on Memorial Day. If you live here, you should get involved," Ann said. "It's a lot of fun. You meet people. You can sit in your house and work in your yard, and that's not very social."


It's not too late to get into the action supporting our city's float in other ways. You're still very much welcome to visit the site, located at the corner of Foothill and Hampton Road, to see the volunteers in action and to shop the Floatique, where you'll find a host of collectibles that are must-haves for any true-blue La Cañadan.

You'll be assisted in your purchases by some decidedly friendly salespeople, including my sweet husband and me. We volunteered up after Ann Neilson told me she was in dire need of Floatique help this year. Realizing this was a way I could be involved in supporting the cause without getting glue in my hair, I signed up for shifts on Thursday and Friday and enlisted Gil to do the same. Please come visit us — with wallets in hand.

Also, our float association is raising funds by selling tickets to the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game. As of Wednesday morning, seats were still available for both events. They can be purchased online at http://www.lcftra.org or by calling or e-mailing David Moffett: (818) 952-8456, yomoff@hotmail.com.

Happy New Year, everyone! Be sure to catch the parade to cheer on our float and our very own Rose Queen, LCHS senior Evanne Friedmann.

CAROL CORMACI is managing editor of the Valley Sun. She can be reached via e-mail at ccormaci@valleysun.net or carol.cormaci@latimes.com.

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