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Press Release

Union Bank and the American Heart Association Unveil 2017 Rose Parade® Float, Keep the Beat Alive

Press Contact:
Carolyn Janda

Nina Ronstadt

Kristine Kelly

LOS ANGELES, CA – (Oct. 18, 2016) Union Bank and the American Heart Association (AHA) Western States Affiliate today announced their float “Keep the Beat Alive” for the 2017 Rose Parade presented by Honda. The premier float will promote the AHA’s message that CPR saves lives and celebrate the passage of a new California law that will provide lifesaving CPR training to thousands of high school students each year. 

Embodying the parade’s themeEchoes of Success, the float will highlight youth who saved a life by administering CPR, as well as the person they saved, and will also honor the future generations of lifesavers the new legislation will create. 

Phoenix Decorating Company will design and build “Keep the Beat Alive” decorated with more than 2,500 pounds of flowers and standing 22 feet high and 55 feet long. Its final weight is estimated to be 14,000 pounds. 

In September 2016, California passed a law that will require hands-only CPR training for a majority of high school students. Every year, mothers, fathers, students, teachers, grandparents, coaches, Scoutmasters, and countless others, young and old, are saved by the administration of CPR by a teen who received CPR training. The bill will create a new generation of potential CPR lifesavers who can make the difference in the few critical moments when a person suffers cardiac arrest. Approximately 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed immediately and effectively, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. 

Union Bank and the American Heart Association float will promote hands-only CPR training awareness and appeal to youth and their families by featuring music, dance, and a beautiful floral display. The float will feature a heart-shaped DJ booth/stage where Ilisa Juried, a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter/dancer/actor who survived cardiac arrest at age 18 because a bystander administered CPR, will premiere an original song she wrote and produced. The song has a rhythm of 100 beats per minute – the recommended compression rate for CPR administration. 

Other musical elements include a larger-than-life piano keyboard flanked by four giant floral drums that will serve as a stage and backdrop for the float riders. A CPR dance team will also engage the audience with a CPR gestures dance choreographed by Juried. 

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to join with the American Heart Association to help celebrate the thousands of lifesavers the new hands-only CPR training in high schools will create in communities throughout California,” said Pierre P. Habis, head of Union Bank Consumer Banking and Enterprise Marketing. “Supporting youth and wellness in the communities we serve is central to Union Bank’s mission. No doubt countless lives will be saved in the future because of the CPR training for high school students.” 

“We are honored to join Union Bank to bring the message that CPR saves lives to the millions of people who watch the Rose Parade,” said Kathy Rogers, Executive Vice President for the American Heart Association Western States Affiliate. “We are inspired by stories of youth who saved lives by administering CPR. Their success in saving lives is living proof of the importance of learning CPR.” 

For three decades, Union Bank and the American Heart Association have united in the fight against heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers of both men and women. Union Bank has been engaged in multiple aspects of the AHA’s work, including fundraising, education, volunteer leadership, employee involvement and health messaging. In the last nine years alone, the bank’s employees and clients have donated more than $8.6 million in support of the AHA’s critical research, education, and prevention programs. 2017 will be the second year that Union Bank has joined with the AHA in presenting a Rose Parade float. 

The 128th Rose Parade presented by Honda will take place on January 2, 2017 in Pasadena, California. Originally started on January 1, 1890, the event is produced by the non-profit Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association®. The Rose Parade is part of America’s New Year Celebration® and includes decorative floats, marching bands, and equestrian units. This year’s theme, “Echoes of Success,” celebrates individuals, organizations and institutions that help others achieve success. 

About the American Heart Association 
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

About the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® 
The Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that annually hosts America’s New Year Celebration® with the Rose Parade® presented by Honda, the Rose Bowl Game® presented by Northwestern Mutual and a variety of accompanying events. 935 volunteer members of the association will drive the success of 128th Rose Parade themed “Echoes of Success,” on Monday, January 2, 2017, followed by the 103rd Rose Bowl Game. For more information, visit Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and visit our blog at 

About MUFG Union Bank, N.A. 
MUFG Union Bank, N.A., is a full-service bank with offices across the United States. We provide a wide spectrum of corporate, commercial and retail banking and wealth management solutions to meet the needs of customers. We also offer an extensive portfolio of value-added solutions for customers, including investment banking, personal and corporate trust, global custody, transaction banking, capital markets, and other services. With assets of $116 billion, as of June 30, 2016, MUFG Union Bank has strong capital reserves, credit ratings and capital ratios relative to peer banks. MUFG Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, one of the world’s largest financial organizations with total assets of approximately ¥298.2 trillion (JPY) or $2.9 trillion (USD)1, as of June 30, 2016. The corporate headquarters (principal executive office) for MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, which is the financial holding company and MUFG Union Bank, is in New York City. The main banking office of MUFG Union Bank is in San Francisco, California.

(1)Exchange rate of 1 USD=¥102.91 (JPY) as of June 30, 2016