Two Iowa Women to Be Honored Posthumously in Rose Parade
A pair of Iowa women will be honored at next year's Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California for their life-saving commitments to others.
Emily Bohnsack (likeness on left above) of Wilton and Amanda Wilken (likeness above right) of West Des Moines, both had their lives end entirely too early. Both were killed in automobile accidents. Bohnsack in 2010, when she was 16, and Wilken in 2018, at age 23.
However, both Emily and Amanda live on through others, because they were each organ donors. That's something Amanda's mom, Jeanine Flies, learned only when she passed away. In 2018, Flies told the Des Moines Register, "She'll have the ability to help up to 30 people with her donation of life after her death."
During the January 2, 2023 Tournament of Roses Parade, the floragraphs (at top) created by Emily and Amanda's families on Sunday will be displayed on the 2023 Donate Life Float in the parade. Suzy Bohnsack, Emily's mom, reacted to her daughter's selection to WHO-13 by saying, "The experience of being chosen for Emily is still so surreal, but it's kind of healing to see that she's truly made a difference."
According to WHO-13 in Des Moines, the Iowa Donor Network is sending Emily and Amanda's family members to California so they can be there to see the float in person and join the families of other honorees.
A Donate Life float has been part of the Tournament of Roses Parade since 2004. Below is a time-lapse video of the construction of last year's float. Below that is the WHO-13 video about Emily Bohnsack and Amanda Wilken's inclusion on the 2023 float.