United Way Charity Cruise Aboard Celebrity Cruises’ Reflection
Raises more than $550,000 to help improve lives in Miami-Dade
More than 500 community and business leaders joined United Way of Miami-Dade for a charity cruise aboard Celebrity Cruises’ newest ship, Celebrity Reflection. The two-night cruise raised more than $550,000 to support United Way’s work in education, financial stability and health. Charitable contributors had a unique, fun filled experience onboard the newest and largest addition to Celebrity Cruises’ luxury fleet, the fifth and final ship in its award-winning Solstice Class series, before she makes her South Florida debut.
Longtime United Way supporter, Lady Monica Heftler, served as the charity cruise’s honorary chair. Heftler hosted several receptions onboard, one of which encouraged guests to wear Live United T-shirts.
“I enjoy giving back to the community and supporting important causes,” Lady Monica Heftler said. “The two night cruise on Celebrity Reflection offered a meaningful way to support the good work of United Way while having a great time at sea, on a beautiful ship, with many good friends and community supporters.”
Among the highlights of the overnight cruise was the ship’s naming ceremony. Richard Fain, CEO and chairman of parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises, honored four Celebrity Cruises employees instrumental in breast cancer awareness as the ship’s godmothers. Fain’s initial announcement of Celebrity Reflection’s godmothers came during Breast Cancer Awareness month and National Cruise Month, giving meaning to the connection between breast cancer and the ship.
All four ladies, Jovanka Goronjic, Celebrity Constellation’s spa manager; Megan Mathie a glassblowing artist on Celebrity Solstice; Helen O’Connell manager of community relations; and Rosey Rodriguez manager of the special events team, have been affected by breast cancer. Some have had family members deal with and overcome cancer and others have had personal experiences with the disease.
“We are so grateful to Celebrity Cruises for giving us this extraordinary opportunity aboard Celebrity Reflection. This is truly a gift,” said Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade. “Over the years Celebrity Cruises’ unwavering support of our mission has had a tremendous impact on the lives of thousands of our residents and the community as a whole.”
In addition to the naming ceremony, guests aboard the charity cruise enjoyed around-the-clock entertainment, including receptions, theatrical performances and some of the most creative and innovative amenities afloat at sea.
Participating sponsors included: Solstice sponsor, Lady Monica Heftler; Lido sponsors: American Airlines, Greenberg Traurig P.A., LNR Property LLC and The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald; Panorama sponsors: Baptist Health South Florida, Cisco Systems Inc., Diaz Oliver Family, Insight, Kongsberg Maritime Inc., Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra LLP and TD Bank; Vista sponsors: Bank of America, Catholic Health Services, City National Bank, Ernst & Young, Eulen America, Florida Blue, Florida East Coast Industries Inc., Matthew Gorson, Holland & Knight, JP Morgan Chase, MCM Corporation, Northern Trust, Odebrecht, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Ryder System Inc., South Florida Business Journal, Steiner Leisure Limited, thinkLAB Ventures LLC and Wells Fargo; Sunrise sponsors: Aetna Inc., FreshPoint, KPMG International, Right Management, United HomeCare Services Inc. and Zuni Transportation Inc.