Carnival Cruise Lines, the worldâ€™s largest cruise operator, has partnered with St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital to launch a comprehensive fundraising initiative with a goal of raising $3 million for the organization over the next three years. St. Jude is one of the worldâ€™s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases.
The program, called Care to Play: Carnival For St. Jude Kids, kicks off the week of March 28 aboard all 22 Carnival ships and provides guests an opportunity to participate in fun, interactive activities designed to raise funds and awareness in the fight against childhood cancer.
The new shipboard fundraising effort is the second phase of the Carnival-St. Jude partnership that began late last year with the lineâ€™s initial $50,000 donation to St. Jude. Funds were raised through Carnivalâ€™s â€œVirtual Book of Dreamsâ€ contest which asked kids to share their dreams for an opportunity to become the cruise industryâ€™s first waterslide godchild.
Care to Play activities include the â€œGroove for St. Jude,â€ a fun dance activity held once each cruise that allows guests to make a $10 donation and â€œgroove to the musicâ€ in one of the shipâ€™s high-energy dance clubs with sounds provided by the shipâ€™s DJ. Guests receive a Care to Play T-shirt and wristband and 100 percent of their donation goes directly to St. Jude.
Another component is Carnivalâ€™s Teddy Bear Workshop in which children from the lineâ€™s Camp Carnival program can build their own cuddly St. Jude keepsake bear. To show their support, kids can also customize their bear with doctorâ€™s apparel, including scrubs, surgical mask, and a lab coat. One hundred percent of profits, after all related expenses, benefit St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital.
Additionally, copies of the â€œThe Dream Plucker of Perrysport,â€ a highly imaginative childrenâ€™s book based on creative stories and illustrations submitted by Camp Carnival participants, will be sold in the shipboard Camp Carnival facilities for $5.95. One hundred percent of the purchase price of this item will be donated to St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital. Several hundred copies of the book have also been donated to the hospital.
A number of other fun and exciting activities are planned for the future and will be announced at a later date.
Just in time for Opening Day, Carnival will be auctioning off the baseball bat signed by All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez of the World Champion New York Yankees that was used in the Carnival Dreamâ€™s naming ceremony in New York. Those interested in bidding on this one-of-a-kind commemorative item can visit www.carnival.com/stjude, a special Web site that highlights the Carnival-St. Jude partnership. One hundred percent of the auction proceeds will benefit St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital.
The site also includes a two-minute video on Carnival-St. Jude initiatives, a listing of the lineâ€™s yearly progress toward its fundraising goal, and a link to St. Judeâ€™s Web site where visitors can donate directly to the organization.
â€œCarnival Cruise Lines is pleased to launch the Care to Play initiative which provides our guests with a number of wonderful and memorable ways to help some very special children,â€ said Gerry Cahill, Carnivalâ€™s president and CEO. â€œWith a goal of $3 million, these fundraising opportunities will enable our guests to assist St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital in their groundbreaking efforts in the fight against childhood cancer,â€ he added.
â€œWe truly appreciate the commitment of Carnival Cruise Lines to the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital,â€ said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. â€œEach dollar raised through the Care to Play campaign will help in our fight to find cures for cancer and other deadly childhood diseases so that children in communities everywhere will have a second chance at life.â€
About Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival Cruise Lines is the largest and most popular cruise line in the world, with 22 â€œFun Shipsâ€ operating voyages ranging from three to 15 days in length to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Panama Canal, Canada, New England and Europe. Carnival also has two new ships on order â€” the 130,000-ton Carnival Magic, which is scheduled for delivery in 2011, and a sister ship set to debut in 2012.
About St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital
St. Jude Childrenâ€™s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the familyâ€™s inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more information, please visit www.stjude.org.