By Susan Motander
They can be seen everywhere on New Year’s Day; the White Suits of the Tournament of Roses volunteers. They run the parade. For the second year in a row, one of those in a white suit will be Monrovia City Council Member Larry Spicer.
For the last two years he has been a member of the Tournament. He says he was inspired to join the group when he was working at City of Hope and helped the volunteers who helped to decorate their float. “The guys in the white suits were always there and seem to have the answers to all the questions people had,” Spicer said. “I wanted to be one of those guys, but I had never followed through before.”
Spicer said that in a conversation with a friend last year, he decided to find out what the requirements were for volunteering. They turned out to be very simple: being between 22 and 66 years old and live within 15 miles of the parade with willingness to volunteer plenty of time on and around New Year’s Eve and Day as well as for several events during the year. He went through the process that included an extensive interview and was accepted.
Both last year and this year he will be found at Tournament House (the old Wrigley Mansion) on Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena. You can find him in his white suit near the Red Cross location at the tournament headquarters.
“This is a great assignment for me because I am a CERT Volunteer in Monrovia and so am used to working with the Red Cross,” Spicer said. Because of my background in the military (he was career army) I am more familiar with the use of the radios.”
“Of course there are also lots of committee meetings all year, but I like volunteering and my retirement allows me do so,” he added. He also noted that White Suiters have to purchase their own white suits.
Asked the best part of the experience, he answered: “The people you get to meet…it’s all been great.”
He did note that by volunteering on New Year’s Eve he was not able to attend the Monrovia New Year’s celebration on Myrtle Avenue. “It’s my one regret,” he said.