Share Your Inspiring Stories, Win a trip to America’s New Year Celebration

 

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With less than three months to go, the 126th Rose Parade on January 1, 2015 promises to be an inspiring and unforgettable celebration and we want to hear from you!

The theme of the 2015 parade, “Inspiring Stories,” encourages us to reflect on and appreciate the many people around us who elevate the human spirit.  The 2015 parade Grand Marshal, Louis Zamperini, was the embodiment of an inspiring story.

His story will continue to be shared on New Year’s Day and your own personal inspiring stories will be showcased through our new #RoseParade #Inspiring Stories social media campaign. We encourage you to submit an inspiring photo, story or video through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. With each entry, you become eligible to win a trip for two to the 2015 Rose Parade presented by Honda and the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual. Simply share your stories with the hashtags, #RoseParade and #Inspiring. Upon your submission, you will be able to view them here.

What inspires you? We can’t wait to hear your stories.

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Louis Zamperini: A Life Full of “Inspiring Stories”

Aligning perfectly with the 2015 theme, “Inspiring Stories,” this year’s grand marshal comes as no surprise – Louis Zamperini. An Olympic runner turned World War II Airman and prisoner of war, Zamperini is a living inspiration having overcome multiple hardships, and leading a quest for forgiveness through his career as an inspirational speaker.

As Tournament of Roses® President Richard L. Chinen noted in his speech this morning, “There is no one more qualified to serve as grand marshal with the 2015 theme ‘Inspiring Stories’ than Louis Zamperini. His life story illustrates the strength of human spirit in so many ways.”

At the young age of 19, Louis ran the 5,000-meter race for the 1936 Olympic team in Berlin, but that was just the start of his inspirational journey. When World War II began, he retired from running to serve his country. Following a plane crash during a routine reconnaissance run, Zamperini and a fellow crewmember survived an astounding 47 days adrift at sea before being captured as prisoners of war by the Japanese navy.

Following his two years of torture as a prisoner of war, Louis Zamperini began his quest for forgiveness. He became a missionary in Japan and, in a true act of compassion and humility, he preached forgiveness to the very guards who tortured him during the war. In 1998, he was asked to carry the Olympic torch at the Winter Games in Nagano, Japan – close to where he was held captive years before.

2015 Grand Marshal Louis Zamperini

2015 Grand Marshal Louis Zamperini. Photo credit: Brad Graverson, Los Angeles News Group

Despite all the hardships in Zamperini’s life, the twinkle in his eyes is undeniable. His unwavering optimism and his ability to elevate the human spirit are what define him best.

Zamperini’s story is the focus of two books: an autobiography entitled “Devil at My Heels” and “Unbroken”, a biography by Laura Hillenbrand – soon to be a motion picture directed by Angelina Jolie and released December 2014.

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Tournament Hits a Home Run with Vin Scully as 2014 Grand Marshal

Dreams have come true for sports fans everywhere – especially Los Angeles Dodgers fans. Tournament of Roses President Scott Jenkins has selected Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully as the 2014 Grand Marshal. Announced at Tournament House on Thursday, September 5, Scully was made to feel right at home with flourishes from “the national pastime.”

With pennants hung from balconies, Dodger Blue curtains framing the front door, and Cracker Jack being munched by the crowd, anticipation built, along with speculation, as the music of an organ accompanied the murmur of the anxious attendees. Following introductory remarks by President Jenkins and the familiar rally of “Charge!” from the organist, the drapes parted to reveal the beaming 85-year-old broadcast legend.

“Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant Thursday to you!”

“Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant Thursday to you!”

After a standing ovation and cheers from the audience, Scully applauded the Executive Committee for inviting him during one of the Dodgers’ more successful seasons, and predicted that the team will win the Western Division. All jokes and his fun-loving nature aside, Scully expressed his sincere gratitude.

“I am deeply humbled and greatly honored to be the Grand Marshal of the 125th Rose Parade,” he said. “I look forward to sharing this wonderful moment with my wife, Sandi, and the millions who will be watching.”

An icon spanning generations, Scully’s professional baseball broadcasting career began in 1950 and continues today. In fact, Scully will call his 65th season for the Dodgers in 2014. Despite numerous awards and having witnessed some of the greatest moments in baseball history, Scully remains humble and plans on using his time as Grand Marshal to connect with and thank the sports fans who continue to provide the roar of the crowd that he has loved since childhood.

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