MUSC, Carnival Cruises forming partnership

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The Medical University of South Carolina Children's Hospital is forming a partnership with Carnival Cruise lines, which sails regularly from Charleston.

Hospital and Carnival officials gathered Monday to make the announcement. The partnership will include a number of in-kind and monetary donations by the line as well as fundraisers.

Under the partnership, Carnival's involvement includes:

  • Four Fun Centers, mobile entertainment units that include a Nintendo Wii console, flat panel television and DVD player.  Each Fun Center can be rolled up to the side of patients' beds or throughout the hospital.  Two laptops will also be donated, both items helping to improve the quality of the child's life in the hospital setting.
  • Quarterly shows for the children in the MUSC Children's Hospital Atrium, by a Carnival cruise director, Fun Ship Freddy and other talent.
  • A total of 1,000 Towel Pals delivered throughout the year to provide companionship and comfort to the children.
  • A donation to the Children's Hospital through fundraising efforts at the Cooper River Bridge Run.
  • A spring fund-raising effort, currently in the planning stages,

"We are excited to expand our partnership with MUSC Children's Hospital after a fun tie-in at last year's Cooper River Bridge Run," said Mike Julius, managing director U.S. sales for Carnival.

"We are looking forward to the positive impact of this partnership," said Dr. Ray Greenberg, MUSC president.  "Since becoming a greater part of our business and tourism community this year, Carnival Cruise Lines is continuing to demonstrate its commitment to the Charleston area."

Last May the 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy arrived in Charleston, becoming the first cruise liner to be based permanently on South Carolina's coast.

Cruises this year will mean an estimated $37 million to the economy in South Carolina where tourism is an $18 billion business.

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