For over 9 years, Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, has been a steadfast advocate of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) and this year, the tradition continues as survivors and supporters joined the ‘Light the Night Walk’ fundraiser.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Southern Florida chapter held the event virtually. CP Cares, the philanthropic arm of Cruise Planners, held a Burger Bash fundraiser in honor of COO and Co-owner Vicky Garcia, who is battling a blood disease herself.
Vicky shared her personal story with all those that attended the Light the Night virtual event. Despite the toll this has taken on her health, Garcia has not wavered in her support of the organization and has doubled down on her efforts to support the cause.
“I’m always humbled to see how many people show up to support LLS,” said Garcia. “Our Cruise Planners family truly cares. It’s been a tough year, but seeing everyone there gives me strength to keep fighting. I’m proud to help an organization that has given back to so many.”
Cruise Planners has helped raise more than $2 million for the non-profit charity’s South Florida chapter throughout the years. Vicky Garcia was honored in 2012 as LLS’ Woman of the Year while Michelle Fee, Cruise Planners’ CEO & founder was honored in 2014.
This year, Cruise Planners was the #1 Corporate Participant, raising over $81,000 through Vicky Garcia’s personal page, incorporating innovative fundraisers such as the Burger Bash, raffle prizes that included a 3-night stay at the Hard Rock Hotel, cruises, sports memorabilia and donations from their home office team members, franchisees and many industry friends.
“It’s the generosity of all our suppliers, travel advisors, friends, family and team members that help us make a difference in fighting blood cancers. Every little bit helps, and I’m blown away by the amount of money we’ve been able to raise,” said Garcia.
Garcia is currently on the Board of Trustees for the Southern Florida Chapter of LLS, and said she believes in karma and will support the organization until “forever”. The Light the Night walk and fundraiser is a celebration of life to bring awareness to LLS’s mission of finding a cure for blood cancer. Each lantern holds a special meaning: red for supporters, yellow for people who have lost loved ones, and white for survivors.