Events To Raise Funds To Send Cancer Survivors On Free Cruises

March 8, 2012
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Nonprofit organization Kick Cancer Overboard will host two fundraising events this month to provide free cruises to people whose lives have been affected by cancer.

Kick Cancer Overboard (KCO) was founded by Ted Friedli, the owner of Excel Travel in Long Branch. Last May, he ran the idea by his friends DonnaLyn Giegerich and Tom Zapcic, Red Bank, President of Heritage Benefits Group LLC, who both “jumped on board” immediately to help grow KCO.

The group has funded cruises for 20 people since its inception.

Anyone affected by cancer can submit a request for a free cruise on the organization’s website, A committee will review the entries on a regular basis and choose the recipients.

Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas will leave from Cape Liberty in Bayonne on May 19 for 5 days to Bermuda. Prices start at $514 per person.

“Our goal is simple,” Friedli says. “To fill the ship with cancer fighters and survivors, their friends, family and supporters – and celebrate life!”

Kick Cancer Overboard was chosen as one of the charities supported by the NJ Marathon. Last year, the runners and over 100 volunteers raised over $10,000. “We are looking to double that number this year, and compared to what the cancer fighters have to go through, giving up a few hours on a Sunday morning to hand out water to the runners, seems a small price to pay,” Friedli says. “Runners can log onto our website, and commit to running either the Marathon, the Half Marathon, or the Relay (6.5 miles) and directly sponsor a person to sail for free.”

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“The unique thing about KCO,” Friedli says, “is the fact that everybody is a volunteer, and you exactly know what happens with the money. For $777 you can sponsor a cancer fighter, get to know and truly make a difference in that person’s life. Or you can sponsor a whole family … or just come to our next fundraiser for $15. Either way, we appreciate everybody’s support.”

The next event is the Second Annual Fashion Show and Dance Extravaganza, 6 p.m. March 12 at the Two River Theater in Red Bank.

Then, on Saturday, March 17, the Middletown Arts Center will host a concert to benefit children with cancer, featuring music from the Rockit Allstars. Around 25 to 30 young musicians will perform songs from Led Zeppelin to the Beatles, from Janis Joplin to Billy Joel. Admission is $15. VIP tickets are available for $25, and include preferred seating, cocktail party and backstage passes.

For information on sponsorships, volunteering, the upcoming events, or to make a donation, go to or call (800) 392 3588. 

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