By Laura Berthold Monteros
For the second year in a row, Union Bank and the American Heart Association Western States Affiliate are teaming up to sponsor a float with a message in the Tournament of Roses Parade. “Keep the Beat Alive,” designed by Michelle Lofthouse and built by Phoenix Decorating Company for the 2017 Rose Parade on Jan. 1, will promote teaching high school students to perform CPR. The float will highlight youth who actually saved a life by administering CPR and the person they saved, and will honor the future generations of lifesavers who will learn CPR through new California legislation. More than 200,000 students will be trained every year.
The float was unveiled last month at a ceremony at Abraham Lincoln High School in Los Angeles, and Union Bank made a donation of eight CPR in Schools training kits to Lincoln and Crenshaw High School. The event also featured a CPR training lesson for students and announced a CPR dance team, comprised of students from both schools, to appear in the Rose Parade along with the float.
In September, 2016, California passed Assembly Bill 1719 that requires hands-only CPR training for a majority of high school students. AHA says that 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 is proud to donate these kits to Lincoln and Crenshaw High Schools to support CPR training this year and many years to come,” said Leticia Aguilar, Los Angeles-Central Coast Region President, Union Bank.
“We look forward to the Rose Parade where we will continue convey the importance of educating youth to save lives through our beautiful float and our CPR dance team.”
“With the passage of AB1719, about 270,000 California high school students will be trained in hands-only CPR each year, making our communities safer than ever before,” said Dr. Jessica Sims, Emergency Physician and board member of the American Heart Association, Greater Los Angeles Division. “We are pleased to join with Union Bank to celebrate the law today and at the Rose Parade, where we will spread the important message of hands-only CPR to millions of viewers.”
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.