Rose Parade float featuring HGTC grad wins award

dbryant@thesunnews.comJanuary 1, 2014 

Kacey Archer gently places seeds in the eyebrow of Joseph Keith Wallace's portrait at Horry-Georgetown Technical College in Myrtle Beach on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013. Archer was Wallace's girlfriend. He died from a ruptured brain aneurysm in August 2012 at 25 years old. He was an organ donor and he is credited with saving four lives through organ donation. His family is being honored with a spot on the Donate Life Rose Parade float. During the Wednesday gathering, Wallace's family completed the portrait using seeds and other organic material. The parade will air on NBC at 11 a.m. Jan. 1, 2014. Photo by Janet Blackmon Morgan /


A float that featured the face of a late Horry-Georgetown Technical College alumnus during the Tournament of Roses Rose Parade on Wednesday was among the parade’s award winners.

The Donate Life “Light Up the World” float, which featured a 12-by-16-inch floral portrait of Joseph Keith Wallace, won for “Excellence in Presenting Parade Theme,” according to the parade’s website.

Wallace, a 25-year-old HGTC graduate with an associate’s degree in golf course management, died Aug. 2, 2012, from a ruptured brain aneurysm after experiencing an extreme headache and going comatose the previous day.

Because Wallace, a Manning resident – also a brother of Myrtle Beach City Councilman Randal Wallace – had registered as an organ donor when renewing his S.C. driver’s license, his gift in passing has saved four other people’s lives through organ transplants, and others who received tissue.

Relatives and friends put the finishing touches on Keith Wallace’s floral portrait for the parade float during a ceremony in Myrtle Beach on Dec. 18.

This marks only the sixth time the Palmetto State has been represented on the float, an opportunity funded by a grant from Bridge to Life, a biotechnology company in Columbia helping advance the science of organ procurement and preservation. The Donate Life float was among 45 floats and 91 elements in the 125th annual Rose Parade. About 24 floats won awards.

Contact DAWN BRYANT at 626-0296 or at or follow her at

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