In honor of World Cancer Day (Feb. 4) Holland America Line has announced that to date cruise guests and employees of the company have raised more than $4.7 million for cancer support through “On Deck” programming. The current On Deck for a Cause program benefits six international cancer organizations located in the United States, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom.
 
On Deck invites guests to participate in a noncompetitive 5k fundraising walk during every sailing on each of the line’s 13 ships, with hundreds of thousands of cruisers having walked in support of the program since its inception in 2006. Proceeds are distributed among the American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society, Cancer Council Australia, Cancer Research UK, Deutsche Krebshilfe (German Cancer Aid) and KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society). Previously the program benefitted Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
 
“We sincerely thank all Holland America Line guests and employees who have generously donated to On Deck for a Cause and helped us reach $4.7 million to help fight cancer,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Cancer is a disease that touches too many lives around the world. Through On Deck we will continue to help find a cure.”
 
Guests of all ages are invited to donate $20 to the Holland America Line Foundation, with a minimum of 75 percent ($15) distributed to the organizations. The remaining 25 percent covers program and administrative expenses. On a day at sea, participants join in a 5k walk around the ship’s decks. Guests may walk less or not at all, as they prefer. Participants also receive an On Deck for a Cause T-shirt and wristband and attend a post-walk reception. Depending on the ship, the distance to reach 5k ranges from nine to 12 laps.