Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy wore a specially-designed pair of cowboy boots crafted by Parker Boot Company of Houston, Texas at the arrival festivities for Carnival Jubilee to Galveston on Dec. 23. The red, white and blue boots will be on permanent display on board the ship.

Carnival launched an online auction last month for one additional pair of boots to benefit its charitable partner Operation Homefront. The organization is dedicated to building strong, stable and secure military families. After a spirited bidding period, the winner of the auction was announced during the Carnival Jubilee naming ceremony on Feb. 24. Duffy recognized Emerson Hankamer, who bid on behalf of the Vacations to Go travel agency headquartered in Houston, for an impressive $25,000 pledge. 

However, Emerson and Vacations to Go proved not only generous, but gracious. The second-place bidder was just shy of Emerson’s winning bid, and Emerson agreed to another pair of boots being awarded if the $25,000 bid was matched. Richard Hoefs, a Diamond-level Carnival cruiser from Granbury, Texas stepped up to meet the challenge, and donated an additional $25,000 to secure the boots for his wife, Carol.

Carnival is proud that through the generosity of a travel advisor and a guest, $50,000 has been donated to a great cause. On a weekly basis, Carnival also raise funds through onboard programs, and at the conclusion of our military tributes hosted on each cruise, the cruise line collects additional donations for Operation Homefront to do their important work.