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  On Tuesday, January 26th, 2010Freedom of the Seas called in Labadee, Haiti as part of the ship's usual Western Caribbean itinerary. In addition to being loaded with 173 pallets of emergency relief supplies for the people of Haiti, another major event was planned.

Below is a first account of the event by Jeff Carswell.

At 11:15 a number of officers and staff gathered at the ships gangway to walk to the Columbus BBQ area where we were met by 31 children and teachers from a local Labadee school as well as the site staff.

When the ships crew arrived, the children were already enjoying culinary delights provided by ship. Judging from the enthusiasm they showed, the treats including a small mountain of cakes and a considerable supply of fresh fruit were a big hit.

In addition to the food, the Freedom of the Seas' youth staff and dancers joined the gathering and spread much joy amongst the children by painting their faces based on designs they had selected. The painters' considerable talents were rewarded by big smiles on the children's faces.

 
Then came the more serious part of the visit, although nothing was really that serious, how can it be with a group of beautiful children having fun? Each child was presented with a Freedom of the Seas backpack stuffed with various school supplies which they clearly enjoyed receiving. A generous amount of other supplies also were provided for the teachers to take back to their school.

After presenting the children with the goodies, the Staff Captain (Meinhardt Hansen), Hotel Director (Melroy Antao) and HR Manager (Jeff Carswell) presented the Site Manager's representative with a donation for the Martin Moore Foundation -set up to assist Labadee children with their education.

The total donation, estimated at $5,000 was provided from the Freedom Crew Welfare GIVE Fund.

Considering the recent natural disaster in Haiti it was even more pleasing to be able to share a happy occasion by showing the usual high quality crew support to the children of Labadee - and to help arrange a happy and enjoyable event for them.

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