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2 Geneseo families, 1 Rose Parade float

GENESEO REPUBLIC  | Lisa Depies

As this year's Rose Parade rolls down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., one float in particular will have ties to two Geneseo families.

As this year's Rose Parade rolls down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, Calif., one float in particular will have ties to two Geneseo families.

For the past 12 years, the Donate Life float has honored organ donors and recipients. Living donors and recipients ride on the float or walk adjacent to it, while deceased organ donors are memorialized in "floragraphs," portraits created entirely from organic materials.

The 2017 float will feature a floragraph of Sgt. Leevon Ritter, whose father and stepmother, Les and Roxanne Ritter, live in Geneseo. Geneseo mother-and-daughter Cindy and Carlie Newton will appear with the float as a living donor and transplant recipient.

Only recently did the Ritters and Newtons learn about each others' connection to the 2017 Donate Life float.

"It's such a small world," said Carlie Newton.

Carlie, 19, a sophomore at the University of Iowa, was diagnosed with the liver disease Biliary Atresia when she was an infant. Continue reading


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