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Glendale may still have Rose Parade float after Rick Caruso donation

July 20, 2011 |  4:29 pm

Developer Rick Caruso extended a lifeline to Glendale's float entry in the annual Rose Parade, donating $25,000 in a last-minute challenge to the community to raise the other half needed to salvage the project.

The City Council had said that an $18-million budget deficit would force the city to scrap its $80,000 subsidy of the float unless the community pitched in $50,000 to help fund the roughly $130,000 cost of  construction and management, the Glendale News Press reported.

Typically, the Glendale Rose Float Assn. is asked to raise $50,000, but the volunteer organization has in recent years struggled to attract major donors. In turn, city officials created their own account to which tax-deductible donations could be sent.

But as of last week, Glendale's float was on life support, with just $596 in donations received and the deadline for signing a float construction contract looming.

City officials have said the contract must be signed by the end of the month to allow enough time for construction.

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, Rick Lemmo — a Caruso Affiliated executive and former president of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce — announced the $25,000 "challenge grant" to get the community to raise the other $25,000 to make the float happen. Caruso is the developer behind Americana at Brand in Glendale and the Grove in Los Angeles.

"We can use the Rose Parade to let everyone know what a world-class city Glendale is," Lemmo said.

Since the announcement, several other local businesses have contacted City Hall about possibly making large donations, said city spokeswoman Vicki Gardner.

"Things are looking up," she said.


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-- Melanie Hicken, Times Community News

Photo: Glendale's float "Say Cheese" in this year's Rose Parade. Credit: Raul Roa / Times Community News