Parenting Blog

A Marriage of Fun And Fundraising Between Carnival and St. Jude

Carnival Horizon Naming Ceremony with Queen Latifah

Carnival Horizon Naming Ceremony with Queen Latifah

If you’ve ever cruised with Carnival, you know already that the popular cruise line is committed big style to supporting the everlasting efforts of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, helping to ensure that children with cancer get the treatment they need and that their parents never get a bill for the care, travel, accommodations, or anything at all.

Maybe you’ve ‘Grooved with St. Jude’ mid-ship, outdoors on the deck.

Maybe you’ve bought the t-shirt.

Maybe you’ve donated.

If so, if you’ve done any of that, I say thank you and I love you.

St. Jude Carnival Horizon Naming Ceremony with Queen Latifah and President Christine Duffy

St. Jude Carnival Horizon Naming Ceremony with Queen Latifah and President Christine Duffy

I have had the good fortune of cruising Carnival six times with my kids. I’ve also had the extreme pleasure of visiting St. Jude in Memphis twice — once as a St. Jude blogger, once as a volunteer at Carnival’s epic annual day of play celebration. Those were some of the best days of my life.

Carnival Day of Play St. Jude

This framed photo Carnival so kindly sent me, of me with a charming St. Jude kid, sits on my dresser, next to where I work every day.

The St. Jude mission and the St. Jude kids are an inspiration, as is the commitment of Carnival Cruise Line to direct dollar after dollar to the cause year after year, tallying an eye-popping $16,000,000 to date.

LOOK AT ALL THOSE ZEROS.

Carnival Cruise Christine Duffy St. Jude Richard Shadyac Jr.

Carnival Cruise’s Christine Duffy, ALSAC’s Richard Shadyac Jr. and incredible St. Jude kid Victoria.

Last month, I was able to take my mom up to NYC for the naming ceremony of the Carnival Horizon and while it was a fun night of partying, lip syncing and eating too much of everything, it was also a night to stand and applaud again Carnival’s fundraising efforts for St. Jude.

A giant check was presented to Richard Shadyac Jr. (CEO of ALSAC, St. Jude’s fundraising organization) for a cool hundred grand, which obviously was wonderful, but the greatest, most happy-tear-jerking part of the entire celebration pier side on the Hudson River was this:

The St. Jude Dreamscape in the Carnival Horizon Lobby Bar

The St. Jude Dreamscape in the Carnival Horizon Lobby Bar features artwork for dozens of St. Jude kids.

An epic dreamscape in the lobby three bar of the Carnival Horizon featuring artwork by dozens of St. Jude kids. This swirling LCD screen and the additional circular screen on the roof of the three story lobby are the first thing you see when you board the ship. It’s a reminder of the fun you’ll be having during your cruise and the fundraising you, your fellow guests, and all who cruise with Carnival continue to do for St. Jude.

It’s beautiful in every way.

There were several St. Jude kids, some of whom were responsible for some of this beautiful artwork, and their families on board with us which made the event that much more special for all lucky enough to be there with Carnival President Christine Duffy, Carnival Corp CEO Donald Arnold, Horizon Godmother Queen Latifah, Eagles Super Bowl winning kicker Jake Elliott, and hundreds of others equally as committed to having fun on Carnival and raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Quick side: as we go headlong into graduation season and the summer of birthday parties, consider doing what I recently did for a medical school grad gift: splitting the amount of the gift in two — half to the graduate, half to St. Jude in his honor.

Thanks to Carnival for hosting my mom and I in NYC last month and for all they’ve done for my family but more importantly, all they have done and continue to do for the families of St. Jude kids fighting for their lives.

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