Narwhals volunteer: Key Club decorates Rose Parade floats

Annually, the Key Club assists with the Rose Parade decorations at the Phoenix Decorating Center in Irwindale. Along with other Key Clubs in the surrounding counties, members spent the whole day on Dec. 23 decorating the floats as instructed.

“We help decorate floats funded by companies such as Western Asset to bigger companies like Trader Joe’s and Honda,” Julianna Chew, senior and club president, said.

This year, members were expected to directly embellish the floats by placing paint and other decorations on them. For example, they had to glue grains of rice onto a dolphin in a certain pattern. In comparison, last year’s students spent the whole day cutting roses in preparation.

“Newbury Park Key Clubbers worked on an underwater-themed float, helping paint whales, dolphins and a giant octopus,” Lois Bai, secretary and senior, said.

Members were expected to complete everything to precision for hours at a time.

“The Rose Float committee is very strict on how the float looks, you had to redo sections if they didn’t like the way you painted,” Bai said. “Overall, I feel like it wasn’t too hard, but it definitely requires endurance and concentration for long periods.”

Emily Flores, vice president and senior, details the time spent bonding with Adviser, Richard Kick.

“It was so fun; one of the things I really appreciate with Mr. Kick was that he was really active and was like one of the kids,” Flores said.

As the event was held over winter break, only a handful of Key Clubbers helped out. However, Bai claims that this made the volunteering more memorable.

“I feel like this year was also really enjoyable because we went as a smaller group and had a great time getting to know each other as we were working on the floats,” Bai said.

Chew agrees that despite the long hours and precision needed, it was worth the experience.

It’s one of those experiences you can’t pass up. For me at least, being a part of such a large operation like the Rose Floats is really cool. Many never see the floats up close and personal but when you are decorating them they are really, quite literally, right in front of your face,” Chew said. “You saw them, and you helped make them. You kind of get this wonder when you see them up close and see how big these things really are.”


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