Through a variety of innovative fundraising activities, Carnival Cruise Lines has raised more than $5 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® for the hospital’s many lifesaving pediatric cancer research and treatment programs.
In addition to its Care to Play: Carnival for St. Jude Kids shipboard fundraising campaign, the cruise line also serves as the Official Celebration Partner for St. Jude, supporting birthday parties, proms and other celebratory events at the Memphis, Tennessee, hospital.
Carnival Cruise Lines is on track to raise $8 million by 2017 through a range of engaging activities, both on board and ashore. These include Groove for St. Jude, a fun dance activity where guests make a $10 donation and receive a Care to Play T-shirt and wristband, and the Beary Cuddly program where kids can build their own stuffed animal with optional accessories such as medical scrubs, all available for purchase with proceeds benefiting St. Jude.
Planned for this year is a special bingo game with a portion of each card benefiting St. Jude, as well as a water slide activity with a $1 donation for each ride during a specified 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 donates a portion of each item sold to St. Jude.
Carnival’s Official Celebration Partner activities include supplying entertainment at the annual St. Jude Teen Formal and hosting an annual Day of Play with music, food, dancing, giveaways and more. Earlier this year, in conjunction with National Dance Day, Carnival provided kids and their parents an afternoon of fun at the first-ever in-hospital Groove for St. Jude, modeled after the popular shipboard activity. Birthdays are also celebrated at the hospital with a special gift from Carnival complementing traditional festivities.
“St. Jude has truly become part of the Carnival family,” said Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines. “Our employees, guests and travel agent partners take tremendous pride in our role as a financial supporter and provider of fun and memorable experiences for the patients of this truly extraordinary hospital and research institution.”
Carnival has also revamped the St. Jude portal within its web site (www.carnival.com/stjude) which includes information on the partnership and a chart reflecting progress toward the company’s $8-million fundraising goal.