Princess Cruises Vice President of Public Affairs Ralph Samuels presents a $25,000 check to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center Board Member Karen Cowart, the cruise line’s first donation recipient from the Princess Animal Welfare Sponsor (PAWS). PAWS supports local causes and charities that foster nature, animals and wildlife. Also pictured: Animal Planet’s Dave Salmoni with local kids holding Stanley the Bears

Princess Cruises presented its first donation from the Princess Animal Welfare Sponsor (PAWS) to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) in the amount of $25,000 earlier this week.

PAWS was established by Princess  to donate a portion of proceeds from the sales of Stanley the Bear, the cruise line’s plush bear, to local causes and charities that support nature, animals and wildlife, the company said. 

“Our support of the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center furthers our commitment to nature and wildlife in the places we visit, as well as offers a much-desired authentic Alaska experience to our guests,” said Ralph Samuels, vice president of public affairs, Princess Cruises.

The AWCC plans to use the donation to fund an enhanced bear viewing and sitting areas on the property and a new family interactive space. In addition, the AWCC will be providing Princess Cruises bear related items, such as bear paw prints to be used in the cruise line’s Camp Discovery youth centers.

“We’re honored to be the first recipient of $25,000 from the Princess Animal Welfare Sponsor and applaud the cruise line for supporting our sanctuary, dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife through conservation, research, education and quality animal care,” said Karen Cowart, AWCC board member.

Named in a Facebook contest that generated nearly 9,000 entries, Stanley was chosen in honor of the founder of Princess Cruises, Stanley B. McDonald.