Carnival Foundation, the charitable arm of Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest leisure travel company, conducted its second Relay for Life fundraiser on Friday, Oct. 13, raising $335,000 for the American Cancer Society.
The event surpassed Carnival Foundation’s goal and raised more than $235,000 through individual employee fundraising and a donation from the foundation. Carnival Corporation chair Micky Arison and his wife, Madeleine, donated an additional $100,000 to the campaign through the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation.
The event was attended by Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald, Carnival Cruise Line chief operating officer Gus Antorcha and American Cancer Society CEO Gary Reedy. Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald served as event host, and Carnival Cruise Line senior vice president Terry Thornton was the keynote Survivor Speaker representing cancer survivors.
“Nearly everyone is touched by cancer in some way, whether it is personally or through a family member, friend or colleague, so it is a very worthy cause to help organizations like American Cancer Society raise the funds to fight this important fight,” said Linda Coll, executive director of Carnival Foundation. “Our employees showed incredible dedication to Relay for Life these past few months, and we are proud to have exceeded our fundraising goal. We sincerely appreciate the collective efforts and everyone who came out to support our event.”
During the company’s Relay for Life, participants from teams made up of employees from Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival Corporation took turns walking around the “track” outside of its headquarters in Doral, from noon to 7 p.m. The teams, each named after a different cruise destination, raised funds in the months leading up to the event.
The opening ceremony was a high-energy kickoff that celebrated the lives of those who have battled cancer, inspired hope and served as a reminder that fighting cancer is a year-round priority. Employee cancer survivors at the event were invited to take the first lap around the track to celebrate their recovery.
To bring an energetic vibe to Relay for Life, signature shipboard experiences from Carnival Cruise Line were brought ashore and entertained those who walked during the event, including Seuss-a-Palooza Parade, and versions of the popular Lip Sync Battle and the Love & Marriage game.
Relay for Life ended with an emotional Luminaria Ceremony that served as a time to remember people who succumbed to cancer, to support people who currently have cancer and to honor people who have fought cancer. Employees wrote the names of those who have fought or are currently fighting the battle against cancer on special bags, and the bags were illuminated to shine with hope for a cancer-free world.
For more information about the American Cancer Society, to get help, or to join the fight, call anytime, day or night, at 800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.