When the eyes of the nation turn to Pasadena on New Year’s Day for the annual Tournament of Roses parade, they’ll see a memorial to the Stillwell boy who lost his life at the hands of a hate crime in 2014 — but whose decision to become an organ donor helped the lives of others.
For 14 years now, the Westwood-based Midwest Transplant Network has been among the organizations to help sponsor a parade float to encourage people to register as organ donors. This year, the float features floral portraits of 60 people who donated their organs. Reat Underwood, the 14-year-old who was killed by a white supremacists in a shooting outside the Jewish Community Center in April 2014, is among the honorees. Underwood had signed the organ donor consent on the back of his driver’s permit just months before the shooting.
Late last week, representatives of the Midwest Transplant Network came to Boyer & Corporon Wealth Management in Overland Park, where Reat’s mother Mindy Corporon works, to unveil the floral portrait before it was shipped to California to be added to the float.
A rendering of the float design is below: