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Building upon its relationship with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, Carnival Cruise Lines has kicked off its inaugural St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign, part of a national fundraising effort in which the hospital’s charitable partners raise money for the organization over the holidays.

As part of its role in St. Jude Thanks and Giving®, Carnival is asking guests embarking in its U.S. homeports if they would like to make a $1 donation toward St. Jude, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other deadly diseases.

St. Jude Thanks and Giving® complements Carnival’s ongoing Care to Play program whose goal is to raise $3 million over a three-year period for St. Jude.  Care To Play provides Carnival guests with an opportunity to participate in fun, interactive activities designed to raise funds and awareness in the fight against childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. Activities include the “Groove for St. Jude,” a fun dance activity, as well as Carnival’s Teddy Bear Workshop in which children from the Camp Carnival children’s program can build their own cuddly St. Jude keepsake bear.

Carnival’s St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign kicked off earlier this month and will run through Dec. 31, 2012.