Rose Parade floragraph to feature Sides

By LEA RIZZO, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 12/28/17

A little girl from Nauvoo who died a decade ago has been selected as a floragraph honoree on the Donate Life float in the 129th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif, set for New Year’s Day.

Savannah Faith Sides, who passed away in a car accident in …

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Rose Parade floragraph to feature Sides

Posted

A little girl from Nauvoo who died a decade ago has been selected as a floragraph honoree on the Donate Life float in the 129th Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif, set for New Year’s Day.

Savannah Faith Sides, who passed away in a car accident in May 2007 at the age of 5, will appear on the Donate Life float along with over 40 other organ, eye and tissues donors.

Savannah’s family completed her memorial floragraph last month at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.

The nearly-completed floragraph was transported to Birmingham so Savannah’s family could put on the finishing touches themselves — her eyebrows.

“This way, each family that’s represented on the float gets an opportunity to actually be a part of the floragraph itself,” said Sandy Sides, Savannah’s mother. “We’ll get to work on the float itself when we get there, too.”

One month prior to her passing, Savannah saw her parents registering online to be organ donors and asked if she could be one as well. Since her death, Savannah has saved five lives through organ and tissue donations and has allowed two other individuals to be able to see.

Savannah was previously honored in the Rose Parade in January 2011 through a rose in the Donate Life float’s Family Circle Garden.

This time, however, Savannah’s memorial portrait will be created through a floragraph, which is a portrait made only of organic materials, such as spices, seeds and crushed flowers.

Her story was submitted earlier this year and her family found out in September that she was picked to be on the float this year.

Sides said the “chances of being chosen are zero to none.”

“We’ve sat there and watched the parade year after year since Savannah died,” she said. “Even that first year when she had the rose in the rose garden, we were proud of that and that was a big deal to us.

“But me and my husband said, ‘One of these days, she’s going to be on that floragraph.’ We never dreamed it would actually happen,” Sides added.

Sides and her husband are being flown out to Pasadena by the Alabama Organ Center for the Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses Parade, which is set to start at 10 a.m. CST.

“We are so excited!” she added.

“The Rose Parade gives the organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation community an opportunity to come together as a team to inspire millions of viewers to support their fellow Americans by registering as donors,” said Chris Meeks, executive director of the Alabama Organ Center, Alabama’s non-profit organ and tissue recovery agency that coordinated Savannah’s donation.

“There is no better way to make a difference in someone’s life than through the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation. The 2018 float beautifully conveys the gift of time and the magnitude of the gift.”