The Christian Opportunity Center (COC) is excited to announce the unveiling of its newly rebuilt Tulip Time Festival float, just in time for the highly anticipated festivities in Pella.

The Tulip Time Festival is special for COC and the individuals we support, symbolizing community spirit and cherished traditions. However, COC’s participation in the Tulip Time parades was limited for years by the lack of wheelchair accessibility on the COC float.

Motivated by a commitment to inclusivity and a love for the Tulip Time festival, COC’s Executive Director, Jodi Tukker, championed the initiative to ensure that the float was made for individuals of all abilities.

After exploring several external options and encountering challenges in finding someone able to complete this project, COC’s maintenance department stepped up to take on this endeavor. Doug Vermeer and Corben Mears, our maintenance team members, spearheaded the project with the goal of inclusivity and accessibility.

What initially started as a project to modify the existing float soon evolved into a complete rebuild, as structural issues were uncovered. Undiscouraged by the challenge, Vermeer and Mears, along with maintenance team member Loren Dykstra, embarked on the ambitious task of constructing a new float, primarily using reclaimed wood sourced from past COC maintenance projects along with salvageable pieces from the original float. To allow for wheelchair accessibility, a ramp that is stored underneath the float was added.

Their craftsmanship and the generosity of a local electrician, Brad Overbergen,
who donated his time to wire the lighting for the float, ended in a float embodying COC’s commitment to inclusivity and community. Individuals in COC’s Pella Life Skills program have been excited to see the progress as they watched the new float take shape.


“We are incredibly proud to reveal our new Tulip Time float, and it is an example of the staff of COC’s dedication to creating accessible and inclusive experiences for all of the people we support,” said Amy Zuck, Public Information Director at Christian Opportunity Center. “Our Executive Director and Maintenance Team led the way on this project, bringing together our team to ensure everyone we support can be a part of this event. It’s all about inclusivity and being part of the community – something we’re all about here at COC!”

The new float will debut during the Tulip Time parades on May 2 – 4 in downtown Pella.

For more information about the Christian Opportunity Center and its mission, please visit our website at