Flowers 4 the Float

The Nurses' Float
Celebrate and Honor All Nurses
at the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade®

Directors & Advisors

Bare Root, Inc. was planted on April 16, 2007 when 5 nurses formed a not-for-profit corporation for the sole purpose of raising funds to design and build a Rose Parade Float in celebration of nurses and the nursing profession. The Tournament of Roses Parade is held in Pasadena, California every January 1st and the parade is seen by millions of people around the world.
This project came to life because the President of the Tournament of Roses, in 2013, will be a nurse and her name is Sally Bixby, RN, MS, CNOR. The founding board members saw this as a once-in-a-life time opportunity to present to the world nurses and the nursing profession in a way never seen before. Nurses are often the unrecognized face of the health care system yet they are the ones who provide direct care and comfort that supports patients getting better.
We saw this as a unique opportunity to

  • To honor, celebrate and thank nurses for what they do for the patients in their communities.
  • To educate the public about what nurses really do for their patients.
  • To create an interest in becoming a nurse
  • To provide scholarships to nurses with any funds remaining from the project.

Our name is Bare Root, Inc. because this is the name of the 'root' of a rose bush/tree. All members of the board of directors are nurses and between them there are over 200 hundred years of experience.


There are 2.9 million nurses in the U.S. If every nurse gave $1.00 we would create a spectacular float and be able to offer ample scholarships at the completion of the project.

Meet the Board of Directors

Monica Weisbrich

President – Monica Weisbrich, BSN, RN

"As a California-born registered nurse, I have always loved watching or going to the Rose Parade each New Year's morning. When we became aware a registered nurse and colleague was to be President of the Tournament of Roses, an opportunity of a lifetime came into being. What better way to show the world the unique, diversified, caring and patient advocacy profession nursing is. Once a nurse, always a nurse as the world will see on January 1, 2013 when the Bare Root, Inc. float dedicated to nursing appears in the Tournament on Roses Parade. One needs no better reason to get involved or let this opportunity pass the world by.

Experience----My professional career has been quite single-minded—Operating Room Nursing also known as Perioperative Nursing. I have traversed the entire spectrum from staff nurse to Director to Vice President of Surgical Services. I entered the business world as a manager of a supplementary staffing agency specializing in Perioperative Nursing and presently am a consultant. My professional nursing organization involvement reaches from local to state to national levels."

Judy Dahle

Chief Operating Officer – Judy Dahle, MS, MSG, RN

"I have been committed to nursing for 44 years and I believe that nurses from all specialties, within all healthcare models are the backbone of quality, safe patient care. In 2013 we have the opportunity to recognize their service publicly to people around the world. I feel that the Rose Parade Float will represent a very positive image of the contribution nursing has given the world since the time of Florence Nightingale. It will bring nurses from around the world together to support and recognize each other as well as receiving a tribute by millions of people."

Paul Wafer

Vice President of Marketing – Paul Wafer, MBA, RN

"I am involved with this project because I believe that nursing is a noble, worthy profession and that nurses need to be recognized for the service and care they provide to those in need.  I also want to represent a positive image of nursing for men and encourage them to consider the profession."

Paul has 30 years of healthcare experience.  His surgical leadership experience has encompassed both large and small surgery programs over a 20-year period.  Paul’s span of responsibility has also included many hospital-wide leadership positions including Chief Nursing Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Executive Officer.  He has extensive consulting experience as well.  Paul completed his BS at Loyola Marymount University and his Master in Business Administration at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. Currently he has a successful consulting business Alpha Consulting Group

Pat Spongberg

Secretary – Pat Spongberg, RN, BSN, CNOR (E)

"Nursing is my passion.  It has been my privilege to practice as a Registered Nurse for 53 years. This is such a unique opportunity to be involved in creating a forum that honors all nurses.  Nurses make a difference for patients and families every day, and this is a chance to celebrate and recognize our colleagues."

Suzanne Ward

Treasurer – Suzanne Ward, MA, MN, RN, CNOR (E), GC-C

Suzanne is so exited about the Nurses' Float and she didn’t wait to be asked to join the founding group, she invited herself to become involved.  She is very glad the group accepted her.  Living in Southern California for the past 40 plus years she has experienced many Rose Parades and she knows this is the perfect venue to put Nurses in a spotlight they so richly deserve.  Suzanne is the most excited about decorating the float. 

Suzanne F. Ward has many years of experience as a nurse.  She specialized in the perioperative area after graduating with her BSN from Loma Linda University Loma Linda, California.  She went on to get Masters of Art degrees in Health & Safety Studies at California State University Los Angeles and in Spiritual Psychology from University of Santa Monica.  She also graduated from the UCLA School of Nursing with a MN in Nursing Administration. She has been a staff nurse, an educator, a supervisor, and a Director of Surgical Services.  Suzanne continues to stay active in nursing by doing association work, designing websites for nurse organizations. She consults with businesses and groups to improve communication skills via soul centered workshops.

Sara McMannus

Sara Follin McMannus, RN, BSN, MBA

“I have been a nurse for 34 years. I earned my BSN from The University of Iowa and MBA from the University of Phoenix. In the course of my career, I worked as a staff nurse, charge nurse and educator. In addition to working in critical care, I also worked in the post anesthesia recovery unit and staff development. Currently I am the Clinical Program Manager for GE Healthcare. My recent work in the field of education has been devoted to helping to develop clinical education programs.

I have been a member of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) since 1985 and a member of the Greater Long Beach Orange County (GLBOC) chapter. I have the privilege to serve on the GLBOC Board of Directors and I am a member of Sigma Theta Tau. I am passionate about the importance of clinical knowledge and life long learning. It is also very important to me to support and encourage nurses. Working with others at GE Healthcare helped to launch the Believe in the Power of Nursing theme.

When I heard about the opportunity to build a Nurse’s Float for the Tournament of Roses Parade in 2013 I contacted Flowers 4 the Float to find out how I could help. This was a perfect fit, since I now live in Southern California, to volunteer with others to build a float to honor and celebrate nurses. So many nurses have influenced my life in such a positive way, it is time to appreciate and acknowledge their contributions. This great event gives us the reason for nurses, patients and the community worldwide to join together in tribute to nurses; past, present and future.”

Suzy Ritchey RN, ONC,CNOR, CRNFA

Suzy Ritchey RN, ONC, CNOR, CRNFA

I am a nurse with over 30 years of experience as an operating room nurse and over 20 years as a CRNFA specializing in Orthopaedic surgery. I am an active member of the National Association of Orthopedic Nurses (NAON). I live and work in the Southern California area and when I heard about the Nurses' Float project I just knew this was something nurses had to do. I saw the opportunity presented to nurses to finally be recognized on a national and international stage and I wanted to be actively involved.

Meet Our Advisors

We are fortunate to have volunteer advisors guiding us through this project.

Chris Basom
Cathy White
Your Money Matters, Inc.
27401 Los Altos, #470
Mission Viejo, California 92691

Ross T. Boling
Rotary International District 5320
Rotary Club of Mission Viejo
28671 Deepcreek
Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Graphic Designer
Kathleen Morris
Design Corral
723 E. Woodbury Road
Altadena, CA 91001
Phone: 626.798.8275
Fax: 626.798.7632  

John Murphy, President
JTM Financial
26161 Marguerite Parkway #E,
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Sherry S. Reese, Principal
Reese & Associates
69701 Van Gogh Rd.
Cathedral City, CA 92234
Mobile:  818-262-0404

Joseph G. Rost, Financial Advisor

Dr. Marlyn Smith-StonerDr. Marilyn Smith-Stoner, Social Media Contributor

Leading up to the Parade Dr. Stoner provided coverage of the main events on Facebook and Twitter. Dr. Marilyn Smith-Stoner is a professor of Nursing at CSU San Bernardino, her specialties are end of life care and technology in nursing education. She developed a model for end of life care called the Silver Hour. One important piece of trivia, she is a California native, married to California native for 38 years. She travels internationally to consult on nursing education andtechnology. But there is no place like home.