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CareOregon’s flash mob float gets “Happy” for the Starlight Parade

Stefanie Cao and Tamara Pedrojetti with Heath Share of Oregon member Tommy

CareOregonians who participated in the May 31 Rose Festival Starlight Parade – or who watched it in person or live on TV – are still buzzing about it.

“It was a wonderful, uplifting event for all involved. Even the police officers were dancing with us,” says Tamara Pedrojetti, Community Relations program coordinator, who organized the float. Her team of creative volunteers, float participants and supporters exhibited high energy and creativity.

“In short, it was an enormous success,” Tamara says. “It was a huge hit with the crowds who witnessed it.”

Watch this video link on YouTube, then share on Facebook, Twitter and send to friends and family!

Then enter our “Guess the number of YouTube Hits by New Years” contest by emailing your guess to Tamara Pedrojetti.

Patrick Curran, CareOregon’s CEO, agrees. “It was an amazing experience to walk along the parade route on a beautiful summer evening and hear thousands of people clapping along to the music and cheering for the CareOregon float. It was a true community gathering. Thanks to all the CareOregon staff and members who participated that evening, and a special thanks to Tamara Pedrojetti for her tireless work as our fearless leader.”

The CareOregon 2014 Starlight Parade entry was a big step up from last year’s entry, in the scope of the planning and the number of participants. This year, CareOregon had more than 50 staff volunteers from all levels of the organization, as well as a number of CCO members who serve as CareOregon “CHEAs” (Community Health Engagement Advocates).

“Clearly, it brought us together in celebration of our 20th Anniversary with a big community splash,” says Tamara. “Kevin Rouse, CHEA co-chair, was the driving force behind the Starlight Parade entry. He pushed us to first apply to be part of the parade last year, and helped us pull together a very successful float.”

Kevin Rouse, CHEA Co-Chair
Kevin Rouse, CHEA Co-Chair

CHEA members also picked the song for the float, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. The team decided to make the entry a kind of rolling flash mob. A Zumba instructor worked with the float participants for a week before the parade, teaching them a set of dance moves to go with the song.

“The CHEA members were instrumental in the behind the scenes work that involved a lot organization and manpower,” says Tamara. “I couldn’t have done it without their help.”

Thanks also go to Martin Taylor, director of Public Policy and Community Relations, as the administrative sponsor of the Starlight Parade activities.

Stefanie Cao, Medicare marketing manager, and her family helped set up the music mix, organize food for the volunteers on parade night and serve as the music “mix master” on float. They all also danced alongside and in front of the float, along with many other volunteers who spread the excitement that day.

“As soon as we finished our first dress rehearsal, we started to realize how big the float was going to be,” Tamara says. “Everyone was whipping out their cell phones to video us!”

On a side note, our float was designed and built with sustainability in mind. Axiom Custom, the company that built our float, used mostly recycled materials. And, it can be used again in future years for a parade or other special event. It can easily be modified with new design elements, and it will fit on any 24-foot flatbed truck.