Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Going to Extreme Lengths to Help Make-A-Wish®

My name is Ken Rush, Cruise Director for Royal Caribbean International and currently assigned to Allure of the Seas. While onboard I am in charge of all of the activities and entertainment.

Royal Caribbean International as a company sponsors quite a few charities and one of them is a personal favorite of mine, Make-A-Wish® which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Every week onboard we hold a Make-A-Wish, “Walk for Wishes” event where guests have the opportunity to make a donation to Make-A-Wish and receive a complimentary t-shirt that reads, “I helped grant a wish”. Then if they choose, they may go for a group walk 2.25 times around our jogging track. Guests really enjoy doing this and on Allure I have seen us raise anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 a week for this great activity.

The month of June is my favorite month onboard as that is what Royal Caribbean calls, Destination Joy. In addition to “Walk for Wishes”, all of our ships feature many other ways for our guests to contribute to this wonderful charity. In June 2012 on Allure we held live auctions, casino tournaments, a crew raffle, crew donations, and more.

The LIVE auction is one of my favorite events to host. Guests bid on everything from a Galley tour with the Executive Chef to Free Bingo for the entire cruise to dinner with the Captain and so much more. It is amazing how much the guests donate because they know the money goes straight to Make-A-Wish. We sometimes even have guests who walk up and will give $1,000 or more just as a single donation because they want to and don’t want anything in return.

June of 2011 was the most rewarding however because I was challenged by the Executive team onboard (Captain, Hotel Director, Staff Captain, Chief Engineer and Human Resources Manager) that if we raised over $20,000 in one week, I would completely shave my head bald. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do this  and if you have heard stories about me, you may know that my hair is very important to me….haha…anyway, I accepted and we did raise $23,000 so they shaved my head LIVE on camera to a packed audience that loved it!

I loved it as well because this is a great charity. I have met many Make-A-Wish children and families and when you see the look on the children’s faces you can see they are having the time of their life because of their wish being granted. It is a wonderful feeling. I will continue to support this charity personally and professionally! What about you?

29 responses to:
“Going to Extreme Lengths to Help Make-A-Wish®”

  1. Harry Huth

    Ken is AWESOME! We have sailed with Ken on 15 different cruises, Just wish we could have seen the head shaving in person

    • Adam

      Thank you for your comment, Harry. We hope to see you onboard again soon.

  2. Craig and Shelly Johnson

    You definitly are one of the most memorable Cruise Directors that we ever had on one of our many RCCL cruises! Good to see you are involved with a charity as special as Make A Wish Foundation. You look great bald too!
    Happy Sailing and wishing you and your staff a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    The Johnson Family!

    • Adam

      We appreciate the comment and the compliment, Johnson family! Happy sailing to you, as well.

  3. Gwendolyn Noel

    I have enjoyed being a part of your “Walk For Wishes”. It was a fun thing to do not to mention the fact that the money went to children that needed some “JOY” in their like!! We have a cruise coming up in 2013 & plan on WALKING again. Thanks for having this Charity on board as it is a very good cause!!
    By The Way……” THE SEA IS CALLING” , I LOVE the commercials !!!
    Thanks again, Gwendolyn. ( member of crown & anchor with 11 cruises with RRCL !!! YOU ARE THE BEST !!! )

    • Adam

      Thank you for being a part of Walk For Wishes, Gwendolyn. We appreciate your comment.

  4. elaine dempsey

    I was there when you did that Ken and it was an awesome auction too I got a Britto butterfly for 700.00 ,love it and love the Allure also . We went on the Oasis this past month and you can not be compared in any way .You are the best thank you

    • Adam

      Thank you for your comment, Elaine. It means a lot to us.

  5. Jo AnnSmiarowski

    Ken, what a great job raising that money. What a wonderful charity gift and you still look great. Keep up the good work!

    • Adam

      Thank you, Jo Ann.

  6. sheila and maurice

    love ken cruised with him on freedom ships love him in the quest game

    we did the walk on oasis of the seas and wear our tshirts proudly

    all the best to a great guy and we hope soon to sail with him

    • sheila and maurice

      great guy ken
      hope to cruise w u soon
      did the wish found walk
      luv tshirt wear proudly

      • sheila ezeir

        HOPE TO CRUISE W/KEN SOON
        AND DO THE WALK WITH HIM

    • Adam

      Thank you both, Shelia and Maurice, for supporting Royal Caribbean so proudly.

  7. Paul Kern

    Ken, I’ve had the opportunity to cruise with you many times. I have to say that you’ve never looked better because the beauty of your selfless act transcends the mortal stuff we’re made of.

    KUDOS! I was already a fan. Now I’m a fan with exponentially amplified respect for you.

    Happy holidays!

    • Adam

      Thank you for your heartfelt comment, Paul. Happy holidays to you and yours.

  8. Susan Feldstein

    Ken: You are one of the best cruise directors in any cruise line. You followed in the steps of the great Jeff Arpin!

    • Adam

      Thank you, Susan!

  9. Ammette Gordon - Rubinsohn Travel

    I have sailed Royal Caribbean since the 70″s – Nordic Prince- Song of America – and many others . I look forward to the cruises you are on. You are truly the very ultimate and all my clients are assured of having the best cruise when I know you are the Cruise Director. Part of Royal Caribbean’s greatness is YOU and your fabulous staff. You make the Cruise – along of course with the fabulous food and facilities onboard.

    Continue to sail!
    Best regardds – Annette Gordon- Rubinsohn Travel

    • Adam

      Thank you for your comment, Annette.

  10. Samuel Sosa

    Ken is awesome nice to see the face of the party from in land. Thank you for a great time hope to be on the allure soon.

    • Adam

      We hope to see you onboard Allure of the Seas soon, Samuel. Thanks for your message.

  11. Malvin Hobbs

    well done ken we loved the cruise a week ago now seems like only yesterday. I would like to say that Allure and her sister Oasis are the best ships ever. Thank you Ken and Royal Caribbean for a awesome holiday and me and my family will see allure in 11 months.

    Thank you again

    Malvin Hobbs

  12. Ann

    We were on the Allure just last month on the Western Caribbean cruise. It was only our 2nd cruise. Ken was an absolute joy to have as our cruise director. The morning Rush show was just what we needed to get the day started. When Ken came on with his Jamacian hat and dreedlocks I laughed so much. Thanks Ken for a job well done and being involved with Make a Wish Foundation. Your crew was just fabulous!!

    • Adam

      Thank you for your kind words, Ann.

  13. Joan Ponitz

    Ken is the best sailed with him twice no like him and he does love his hair we are going to crusie with him again on the Jan 20 2013 cruise can’t wait to see him again

    • Adam

      Thanks, Joan, we look forward to having you back onboard soon.

  14. Mike Knoth

    As the father of a 16 year old daughter that has been granted a wish by this unbelievable organization, I can only hope that there will be a walk on the Freedom of the Seas the week of 3/24/13. Doing the walk will be one of the highlights of our trip.

    Thank you for coming up with such a great idea.

    • Adam

      Having your daughter onboard will be a highlight for us, Mike. We look forward to your cruise.

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