#MatteosDream Sendoff to Pasadena
It was a grand sendoff in Concord, Calif. on Saturday for Lions René Henderson and Liz Lamach.
The couple will travel to Pasadena for the 125th Annual Tournament of Roses Parade, where they will ride on the Lions Clubs International float. The float design was inspired by a playground built for their son- Matteo’s Dream, a park for children of all abilities. You can read more about it here.
Henderson and Lamach, who thought they were just gathering for a maintenance and cleaning day, worked for six hours alongside fellow Lions from across the region, including District Governor Dennis J. Grotrian.
“We had a great work party at Matteo’s Dream today and I was amazed at the turnout, the work completed and the Lion spirit that prevailed,” said Grotrian.
When it was over, everyone gathered for the surprise celebration and sendoff. Lions hosted a special ceremony to present Henderson and Lamach with jackets signed by the community, which they will wear while riding the float on Jan. 1, along with 30 long stem roses donated by Darling Flowers.
Also in attendance was Christian Campbell, a 17-year-old who uses the park and will be riding the float alongside Henderson and Lamach. California State Assembly Member Susan A. Bonilla is sponsoring his trip to Pasadena in celebration of Matteo’s Dream’s impact on the community.
“It was so powerful,” said Lamach of Saturday’s event where 18 different clubs in the region attended to show their support. “It was an incredible afternoon.”
Henderson and Lamach will join Lions International President Barry J. Palmer in Los Angeles on December 30, when they will join the Lions members in decorating the float.
Lions Clubs International is showing support by hosting our first-ever social media contest on Facebook and Instagram. We’re giving several chances to win an official Matteo’s Dream Rose Parade commemorative pin. You can read more details about the contest and the official rules here.
Additionally, we are asking Lions everywhere to continue sharing the YouTube video in an effort to spread the word about the unique story behind the float design.