In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month it’s a good time to spotlight Holland America Line‘s ground-breaking On Deck for the Cure® program which was started by the Seattle-based cruise line as an experiment in 2006. The program has been so successful that it has been adopted by other World’s Leading Cruise Lines brands, including Carnival Cruise Lines, Seabourn Cruise Line, Costa Cruises and Princess Cruises. In July of 2010 Holland America Line achieved an admirable goal, having raised $2 million for breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs.
The program is really quite simple. On every Holland America Line cruise guests and crew are given the opportunity to participate in a 5K walk around one of the ship’s decks. It costs $15 to participate, of which a minimum of $11.25 (75 percent) is donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. The walk is typically held on a “day at sea” so that guests do not miss valuable port time. For the $15 donation guests are given a t-shirt and pink rubber wristband and are invited to a pink lemonade reception following the walk. Guests may walk less, or not at all, depending on their preferences. The main goal is to raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure and to increase awareness about breast cancer.
Guests are notified of the walk specifics by notices in the daily schedule and by announcements on the ship’s P.A. system. At the specified time participants gather in one of the ship’s lounges to hear a brief talk about the program and why it’s important. At the end of the talk there is normally an opportunity for guests to volunteer if they are a survivor of breast cancer, which several usually are. The speaker also makes the point that breast cancer is increasingly experienced by men as well, although to a much lesser degree.
Next time you’re on a cruise think about participating in the program. For a small donation of your time and money you could make a difference in someone’s life, and you can also walk off some of those larger meals.
To learn more about breast cancer, please see the following links:
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
Holland America Line On Deck for the Cure® Fact Sheet
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