Cruise Ships Host, 'On Deck for the Cure" to Raise Money for Breast Cancer Research
On recent two week trip through the Panama Canal on the Coral Princess cruise ship, I participated in a fundraiser called, "On Deck for the Cure." A few days before the event, cruise passengers received a flyer in their staterooms outlining the event and how to participate. The fundraiser was a 5K walk around the Promenade Deck on our ship at 1:00 p.m. on a day we were at sea. The cost to participate was a minimum of $15.00. Cruisers could pay the money themselves by filling out a form and turning it in at the passenger services desk. The money would then be added to their bill for the cruise. They could also collect pledges from other passengers. Each passenger that turned in a form was given a navy blue baseball cap with the words, 'On Deck for the Cure" embroidered on it in pink. All that was required of participants was to fill out the form, and it was not required to even walk on the day of the event. Or one could choose to walk only part of the 5K. It is not a race or a competition of any form. There was a wonderful camaraderie amongst the walkers as we all knew that we were doing something meaningful together. Before the walk started, we all lined up behind a pink ribbon across the deck. The staff asked if there were any survivors among us. One woman raised her hand, and she was ushered upfront to cut the ribbon that would start the event. There was a lump in my throat after watching her. On the particular ship I was on, it took 11 trips around the Promenade Deck to equal 5K. At the end of the event, walkers were given a reception of orange juice, water, fruit, and yogurt. Upon returning home from the cruise, I decided to find out more about the, " On Deck for the Cure" event because it was so inspiring for me to participate.
The "On Deck for the Cure" fundraiser was originally started by the Holland America cruise line in 2006. The event has now expanded to include a total of five cruise lines, including Carnival, Princess, Seabourn and Costa. The event has to date raised more than 2.7 million dollars for the Komen for the Cure program. Named after Susan G. Komen who died of breast cancer, the Komen for the Cure program supports breast cancer research in the hope of some day finding a cure for the disease. Each cruise line does their event a bit differently depending on the cruise line and the size of the ship. For instance, the Seabourn ships are not conducive to walking around a deck, so the event on board on Seabourn ships is a quiz. The donation is $20 per participant. Carnival cruise lines ask for a $10 donation per participant. The walk takes place on the ship's jogging track instead of the Promenade deck. Carnival gives t-shirts to walkers instead of baseball caps. Holland America asks for a $15 donation and gives t-shirts, wrist bands and provides a pink lemonade reception to participants after the event is completed. Pink is the chosen color because it signifies the Komen Foundation and breast cancer research. On Princess ships, the standard gift is the baseball cap, with a reception of fresh fruit and juices afterward. The Princess ships have Promenade decks which are covered decks that go around the ship on the seventh floor making it just about the middle of the ship. Depending on the size of the ship, participants may need to walk anywhere from 9 to 12 laps around the Promenade deck to equal 5K. On each of the cruise lines, 75% of the donation by participants is given to the Komen Foundation.
I salute Holland America for being the leader in this endeavor. They have these walks on most of the ships in their cruise line, and because there are so many ships and so many different itineraries, they can hold up to 500 "On Deck for the Cure" events annually. Combine that number with the other four cruise lines, and that is a lot of money being raised at sea in the hopes of someday finding a cure for breast cancer.
"On Deck For the Cure" Poll
Would you like to participate in this event while on a cruise?
Here's a video of an On Deck for the Cure Breast Cancer walk on the Golden Princess Cruise Ship
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© 2013 Karen Hellier