A local Rotarian will be walking in the 123rd Annual Rose Parade in Pasadena on Monday, Jan. 2. Patricia Ellis of Bishop will be one of 15 Rotarians chosen to be an “outwalker” with this year’s Rotary Rose Parade Float.
Ellis, secretary for the local district, was chosen after Bishop won a fundraiser raffle, according to Rotary Club of Bishop President Dr. Leo Pisculli.
Pisculli said the position is “quite an honor” as Ellis will be involved in several activities leading up to the parade, including having dinner with Rotarian International President Kalyan Banerjee and assisting in the decoration of the float. It is also a position of distinction as Ellis will represent small-town Bishop to the more than 30 million TV viewers worldwide.
While Ellis has not been a Rotarian long, Pisculli said, she has been very involved, including being elected secretary her first year in the club.
She has also assumed the management of Bishop Rotary’s Snack Shack. And, Ellis’ contributions to the community go beyond her work with Rotary. She volunteers to serve and clean at a local Soup Kitchen, and has also been Mule Days’ co-chair for the big headliner act concert and show on Thursday for the past decade.
Ellis will be easy to spot in the parade walking next to Rotary’s float dressed in a bright yellow jacket. Pisculli explained the yellow jackets are worn by Rotarians and other volunteers during polio immunization missions. Eradicating polio is a goal of Rotary International.
The 2012 theme for Rotary’s Rose Parade Float is “Inching Towards the End of Polio.” The flowery float depicts a “happy and determined inchworm in medical attire,” states a press release, which represents “the final inch” of Rotary International’s 25-year effort to end polio worldwide. This will be Rotary International’s 32nd year in the parade.
Rotary International and its cadre of contributing organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other volunteers have contributed nearly $1 billion toward battling polio and have helped vaccinate more than three billion children since 1985.
Poliomyelitis, or polio, has been all but erased in most parts of the world but still affects millions of children, particularly in Asia and Africa, annually. According to rotary.org, “More than 10 million children will be paralyzed in the next 40 years if the world fails to capitalize on its $5 billion global investment in eradication.”
The parade and Rose Bowl Football Game will be held Monday, Jan. 2, per Rose Parade lore and bylaws from the 19th century that state the events will never take place on a Sunday.
Other outwalkers and float riders include Banerjee, of Bangladesh, India, president of Rotary International, and more than a dozen other Rotarians, mostly from Southern and Central California and one from Seattle, Wash.