After achieving a goal of raising $3 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital over a three-year period with their Care to Play: Carnival for St. Jude Kids campaign, Carnival Cruise Lines has expanded upon its partnership by becoming the Official Celebration Partner at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and has committed to a goal of raising an additional $5 million over the next four years.
Carnival kicked off its role as Official Celebration Partner last week during the St. Jude prom which was highlighted by an appearance by legendary spin-master DJ IRIE, the cruise line’s official DJ who entertains crowds at Miami Heat games and clubs from South Beach to Las Vegas. DJ IRIE took part in an unforgettable “Night in Manhattan”-themed event created for prom-goers, with cuisine and décor reflective of the Big Apple. To make the night even more special, Carnival provided free tuxedos to the young gentlemen to help them look their best.
The company will also help patients celebrate special moments at the hospital, including birthdays which will feature a new gift from Carnival specially created for St. Jude kids, complementing traditional birthday festivities. A Carnival-sponsored “Day of Play” is also planned at the hospital this fall with music, food, dancing, giveaways and more.
A variety of fun new fundraising activities, both on board and ashore, are planned as part of Carnival’s ongoing support to St. Jude in the fight against pediatric cancer. These activities include a special bingo game with a portion of each bingo card benefiting St. Jude, as well as a water slide activity with a $1 donation for each person who zips down the line’s signature water slides during a designated time on board. And when guests purchase a designated bakery item from the line’s on-board shops or prior to their cruise on carnival.com, Carnival will donate a portion of each item sold to St. Jude.
These activities complement the popular fundraisers that kicked off the original Care to Play campaign in 2010 that includes an engaging dance activity called “Groove for St. Jude” and the Beary Cuddly Workshop where kids create their own St. Jude-themed bear complete with scrubs, surgical mask and a lab coat. Carnival’s travel agent partners also contribute to St. Jude, with agents donating $10 each when participating in the line’s ship familiarization tours and luncheons.
Carnival has also revamped the St. Jude portal within its web site (www.carnival.com/stjude) which includes information on the expanded partnership and an updated chart reflecting progress toward the new $5 million fundraising goal.
“We are pleased to expand our relationship with St. Jude and become its Official Celebration Partner, while at the same time increasing our fundraising goal to $5 million over the next four years,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “We hope that our fun in-hospital celebrations will bring smiles to kids’ faces and the funds raised will support St. Jude’s life-saving research and education programs,” he added.