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28 December 2016

The UPS Store Celebrates Literacy at the 2017 Rose Parade

SAN DIEGO, December 28, 2016 – The UPS Store today officially announced the company’s first-ever float in the 2017 Tournament of Roses® Parade. The float, “Books Bring Us Together”, brings to life the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, highlighting the importance of childhood literacy on a national stage. The float complements the 2017 Rose Parade® “Echoes of Success” theme as literacy is an essential ingredient to every child’s success.

The Toys for Tots® Literacy Program, developed by The UPS Store and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation in 2008, provides books and educational resources to economically disadvantaged children in communities across the country. The program aims to enhance children’s ability to read and communicate effectively by igniting their imaginations through stories and tales.

“We’re proud of our partnership with Toys for Tots, and the Rose Parade is a perfect place to spotlight our mission to raise awareness of the importance of childhood literacy,” said Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store. “Our participation in the Rose Parade allows us to celebrate the wonder and excitement books bring to the lives of children.”

The UPS Store’s float is expected to be tallest in this year’s parade at 42 feet high and weighing in at 18 tons. The float features animal friends – a mouse holding a book, a gigantic giraffe with reading glasses and the U.S. Marine Corps teddy bear – all reading together. More than 60,000 chrysanthemums in six different varieties decorate the float, along with thousands of carnations, roses, lilies and orchids in various bright colors. The float’s animation includes the giraffe turning his head side to side and wiggling his ears. The mouse and the teddy bear turn their heads as well, rocking side to side as the toy tops on the back end of the float spin.

The three bowties on the giraffe represent more than three million dollars The UPS Store has raised for the Toys for Tots Literacy Program since the its inception. As the float glides down the parade route, massive hydraulic cylinders allow the 32-foot tower of books and 42-foot giraffe to lower to a height to pass under power lines and bridges for a safe, smooth ride.

“I fell in love with the Rose Parade when I was 9 years old and designed my first float at 13. The UPS Store's entry has exactly the kind of magic that appealed to me as a kid,” said Charles Meier, creative director of Paradiso Parade Floats. “It's the sort of float you'd want to hug if it weren't 42 feet tall, made out of steel and covered in floral glue. I'm delighted with it.”

As a result of monies raised by UPS and The UPS Store, the literacy program has distributed more than 36.8 million books to children across the United States. This year is no exception. The 4,500 plus locally owned and operated The UPS Store® locations nationwide, their franchisees and employees continue their fundraising through the end of the year by accepting monetary donations at check-out and encouraging book donations. Float riders include local franchisees from The UPS Store and their children.

Don’t miss The UPS Store float, “Books Bring Us Together,” in the 128th Rose Parade on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 8:00 a.m. PST. To find The UPS Store location nearest you or to make a contribution to support literacy, visit

About the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation is a not-for-profit organization authorized by the U.S. Marine Corps to provide fundraising and other necessary support for the annual U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Now in its 69th year, Toys for Tots provides joy and a message of hope to less fortunate children through the gift of a new toy or book during the Christmas holiday season. For more information, visit

About The UPS Store
With more than 4,500 locations, The UPS Store® network comprises the nation’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, print and business service centers. The UPS Store locations in the U.S. are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of The UPS Store, Inc., a subsidiary of UPS (NYSE: UPS). Services, pricing and hours of operation may vary by location. For additional information on The UPS Store, visit For information on franchise opportunities for opening a The UPS Store location, visit Follow The UPS Store on Twitter at @TheUPSStore and like The UPS Store on Facebook at Copyright © 2016 The UPS Store, Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Pasadena Tournament of Roses® Association
The Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that annually hosts America’s New Year Celebration® festivities with the Rose Parade® event presented by Honda, the Rose Bowl Game® 2017 presented by Northwestern Mutual and a variety of accompanying events. 935 volunteer members of the association will drive the success of the 128th Rose Parade theme of “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 Paradiso Parade Floats
Based in Irwindale, California, Paradiso Parade Floats is a boutique float builder for the Tournament of Roses® parade specializing in high-end designs for select clients. Paradiso's distinctive vision has earned the highest prize-winning rate in the industry. Owner and creative director Charles Meier holds the record as the youngest designer in the history of the parade, having created his first entry at age 13. Over the last 25 years, sophisticated design, lush flowering and meticulous craftsmanship have become his signature. For more information, please visit


Chelsea Lee
The UPS Store

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