Last updated: 03:00 PM ET, Tue September 29 2015

Carnival Cruise Lines Reaches Ambitious Fundraising Goal for St Jude's Two Years Early

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Carnival Cruise Line | Kristina Rundquist | September 29, 2015

Carnival Cruise Lines Reaches Ambitious Fundraising Goal for St Jude's Two Years Early

Two years ago when Carnival Cruise Lines announced it would be raising $5 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, little did the cruise line know that it would be making a very special announcement this month. Not only had Carnival reached its fundraising goal, but it achieved this milestone two years ahead of schedule. And, as the Official Celebration Partner for St. Jude, Carnival Cruise Lines has set another ambitious goal for itself: to raise an additional $10 million by 2020.

“Our relationship with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is something that we truly cherish here at Carnival and we are pleased to reach our fundraising goal a full two years ahead of schedule to support the hospital’s lifesaving research and treatment programs,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival president. “With $8 million raised over the past five years, Carnival has committed to raising $18 million for St. Jude by 2020, something that we’re extremely proud of.”

The announcement came during Carnival's third annual Day of Play, an event for patients and their families, where the hospital lobby was transformed into a magical play area. This year, the cruise line took a page from its own book and modeled the event after its popular fleet-wide Seuss at Sea program. Everyone got in on the act, with a Seuss-a-Palooza Parade and Story Time, where the audience was treated to an enthusiastic reading of The Cat in the Hat.

There was even a replica of Dr. Seuss Bookville, the Seuss-inspired family reading areas featured aboard the Carnival Freedom and Carnival Vista (set to debut in Europe on May 1, 2016). Other activities included face painting, a beanbag toss, a photo booth, arts and crafts, dancing and more. Tasty Dr. Seuss-inspired snacks and treats were given out, along with a variety of fun giveaways.

Carnival conducts a variety of Care to Play: Carnival for St. Jude Kids activities onboard its ships over the course of the year, such as special treats in celebration of National Cherry Popsicle Day and the "Slide for St. Jude," which raised $50,000 this year. Among the most popular are the Groove for St. Jude dance and the Bear Cuddly program, where children can make their own bears, the proceeds of which go to support the hospital.

Carnival also donates a portion of the sale of a designated bakery item to the hospital when sold from the line's onboard shops or purchased prior the cruise on Carnival's support also extends throughout the hospital. Whenever a patient celebrates their birthday there, Carnival brings the cake. Additionally, Carnival is a supporter of the annual St. Jude Teen Formal, where the legendary DJ IRIE spins the latest hits.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is one of the nation’s leading hospitals for the care and treatment of childhood cancer and is unique in that the majority of its funding comes from individual contributions. Thanks to generous donors, families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food, because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

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