Carnival Splendor Cruise Director Lee Mason is living proof just how far Carnival employees will go in their support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the line’s favorite charities.
The affable cruise director made a vow to shave his head if guests and crew raised $30,000 for St. Jude during a recent two-week-long Carnival Journeys sailing that ended on Saturday. A man of his word, Mason had his locks cut in front of a raucous crowd on the Lido Deck when it was revealed that the ship overwhelmingly exceeded its goal — raising a whopping $40,000 for the hospital’s life-saving research and education programs.
The record donation on Carnival Splendor was raised through the ultra-popular Groove for St. Jude dance activity which takes place each cruise throughout the fleet, helping Carnival Cruise Line generate more than $16 million for St. Jude over the past eight years.
Carnival’s partnership with St. Jude began in 2010 and the line has raised not only funds but also awareness of the hospital’s goal to eradicate childhood cancer. In addition to fun activities like the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Sea where kids can build their own stuffed animal with optional accessories with proceeds benefiting the hospital, Carnival supports the hospital through the sale of sweets on board, including Brownie Buoy ice cream flavor hand-picked by the kids of St. Jude and sold at Carnival Vista’s Cherry on Top shop. Artwork from patients is also permanently displayed on Carnival Horizon’s Dreamscape LED atrium sculpture that debuted during the ship’s naming ceremony honoring St. Jude earlier this year.