The Eleventh Annual Family Fun Day Cruise was held April 21, 2013. The outing was a tremendous success thanks to the generous and kind hearts of Spirit crew members and their families, who volunteer their time to provide a great escape for the families we serve. The cruise is made possible through the generosity of Entertainment Cruises, Inc. Free parking for the event is made available by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation.
Families who attended the cruise were referred to our organization by social workers and healthcare professionals at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Cooper University Hospital, Easter Seals of Bucks, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties, the Ventilator Assisted Children’s Home Program, and Ken-Crest Services.
Families enjoyed a delicious luncheon buffet with kid-friendly favorites and were entertained by clowns in attendance from Kapo's Clowns, Clowns 'R Us, and Miles of Smiles Clown Alley.
This greatly treasured partnership has allowed the Fund to offer almost 4,000 parents, seriously ill children, and their siblings a day of respite from the burdens that serious illness brings.
Here's what families have said about the cruise:
When you have a child with profound special needs you get many stares, many questioning eyes, or worse, nothing at all. One can feel completely invisible in this life. But we felt completely accepted, welcomed, and assisted on the cruise. We felt relaxed. I cannot express enough what a magical state of being that is for us.
My family and I want to give you a great BIG thank you. We don't often get a chance to get out as a family. . . . It was also great to meet some other families with some of the same day-to-day issues we have to deal with. . . . Although my daughter will never walk she asked me to get her some crutches so she could get up and dance. Being a parent of one of these kids is a little hard at times. I hope you can all understand how much a trip like this means to our family.
It's people like all of you who make sick children feel good and for once forget that they are sick....As soon as we got home, the first thing [my daughter] said to me was, "When are we going again?" with a big smile on her face.
Check out the photos from last year's cruise at our Facebook page! A big thank you to Linda McManus Images for photographing the event!