Ruble to be honored on Donate Life float in Rose Parade
by Jennifer Cohron
Oct 20, 2013 | 3203 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An artist’s drawing of the Donate Life float that will be part of the Rose Bowl Parade in January 2014. The float will include a tribute to Richard Ruble, who died in January of a brain aneurysm. He was 52.
An artist’s drawing of the Donate Life float that will be part of the Rose Bowl Parade in January 2014. The float will include a tribute to Richard Ruble, who died in January of a brain aneurysm. He was 52.
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Richard Ruble will represent Alabama on the Donate Life float in the 2014 Rose Parade on New Year’s Day.

Ruble was volunteering as construction coordinator of the Walker County Long Term Recovery Committee when he died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in January. He was 52.

Ruble and 71 other organ, eye and tissue donors will be honored on the float with individual floragraphs, or portraits made out of organic materials.

Ruble’s family will put the finishing touches on his floragraph at the inaugural Ruble Run they have organized for Saturday, Nov. 2.

Proceeds from the 5K will benefit the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign as well as educational efforts of the Alabama Organ Center.

“I woke up one morning and thought, ‘He loved to help other people. How can we continue to help our community?’” said Ruble’s widow, Belinda.

Registration forms for the run include the Bible verse Proverbs 22:9 — “He who is generous will be blessed.”

The date of the run will coincide with what would have been Ruble’s 53rd birthday, Nov. 1.

The Rose Parade, which is held each year in Pasadena, Calif., will come two weeks shy of the anniversary of his death.

Ruble’s family will be flying to California to watch the parade and participate in other festivities with the families of other deceased donors.

This year’s Donate Life float is called “Light Up the World.”

The 72 floragraphs will adorn five lanterns rising nearly 30 feet into the air, with the flames of the second and fourth lanterns animated to flicker with life.

Ruble was selected to be featured on the float by staff members of the Alabama Organ Center.

“We try to identify someone that a large population could relate to,” said Ann Rayburn of the Alabama Organ Center. “He had a generous spirit and had been an active volunteer in the community. When the family talked about their decision to donate, it was not really a decision but something they knew that he wanted to do. So it was clearly a way that Richard lived his life.”

According to the Alabama Organ Center, more than 3,800 people in Alabama are currently awaiting a transplant.

The state has an average of 120 organ donors each year.

This will be the third year that the Center has sponsored a floragraph on the Donate Life float. Ruble will be the state’s only representative on the float.

The floragraph is being made by artists in California. It will be shipped to Alabama so that Ruble’s family can add the final piece, his eyebrows, in a special pre-run ceremony.

The inaugural Ruble Run will be held at 9 a.m. at Gamble Park on Nov. 2

Registration fees are $25 for the 5K, $20 for the Family Fun Run and $20 for the Senior Stroll.

Sponsorships are $150.

For more information, call 522-0732.