posted on November 12th 2018 in /

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – On Sunday, November 11, 2018, at 12:00 noon, a youth basketball tournament and
open house will honor “Big Steve” McElvene, a University of Dayton basketball player and tissue donor
from the Fort Wayne area. McElvene is a 2019 Donate Life Rose Parade® floragraph honoree, selected
by Community Tissue Services. Over 200 boys and girls, from 5th through 8th grade, will participate in the

Just two months after helping Dayton reach the
2016 NCAA tournament, McElvene (pictured),
only 20 years old, died at his home in New Haven,
Indiana of an undiagnosed heart condition. As a
registered donor, he was able to heal more than
75 people through tissue donation. He registered
as a donor at the BMV just one day before he

Community Tissue Services, in conjunction with
Indiana Donor Network, selected McElvene as
one of the 2019 Rose Parade® floragraph honorees. His floragraph – a portrait of a deceased organ,
tissue or eye donor created with organic materials such as spices, seeds and flowers – will be on display
at the open house this Sunday. The floragraph will be part of the Donate Life float at the Rose Parade®
in January and McElvene’s family will be putting the finishing touches on the floragraph this Sunday at
the event.

McElvene’s mother, Jenell Shoals, stated, “He was just a happy person. He never wanted anyone to
be upset – he always wanted everyone to be happy, and he would go out of his way to make sure
everyone was happy.” Jenell will also be in attendance at the tournament and open house on Sunday.
Media are invited to attend this event in celebration of Big Steve and the lives he was able to heal
through the gift of tissue donation. His family, representatives of Indiana Donor Network and
representatives of Community Tissue Services will be available for interview throughout the day.


Who: “Big Steve” McElvene, Indiana Donor Network, Community Tissue Services

What: Youth Basketball Tournament and Open House

When: Sunday, November 11, 2018, 12:00 pm

Where: McMillen Park Community Center, 3901 Abbott Street, Fort Wayne, IN

Agenda: 12:00 pm – Basketball tournament begins

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Floragraph open house

2:30 pm – Steve McElvene’s family finishes floragraph