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Rose Parade to have first African American president in 2019

February 25, 2011 | 11:52 am

In 2019 the Rose Parade will mark its 130th anniversary. It will also mark another milestone: It will be led by the first African American president of the Tournament of Roses Assn.

Gerald Freeny, 50, who joined the nonprofit association as a volunteer in 1988, was recently elected to the group’s executive committee. Under its bylaws, he is scheduled to serve as president in 2019 and oversee the 130th parade, as well as the 105th Rose Bowl Game.

Freeny, who works in law enforcement, is a native of Pasadena. He said his parents and grandparents were longtime volunteers in community organizations. That is why he joined the Tournament of Roses Assn. while in college at Cal State Los Angeles, at the suggestion of a professor who was a member.

“I grew up here and had the opportunity to go to the parade as a child, to go to the Rose Bowl game as a child,” he said. “It’s an honor to be able to give back to Pasadena.”


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Photo: Gerald Freeny, left, standing in front of the Target float in 1995. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times