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Saturday, Sep 20, 2014
Brandon News

Charity lunch aboard cruise ship to benefit ECHO


Published:

A charity luncheon, including a tour of Royal Caribbean’s “Vision of the Seas” cruise ship, will take place Dec. 13, for the benefit of Brandon’s Emergency Care Help Organization, or ECHO.

The ship’s galley staff will prepare and serve lunch to prepaid participants in an on-board restaurant while the ship remains docked at Port Tampa Bay.

“We normally do a ship tour, see staterooms and have lunch,” said event organizer Kathy Pohl of Cruise Planners.

This ship, Vision of the Seas, was built in May 1998 and refurbished in October 2013. The tour will give a glimpse of the upgrades to previous passengers and give a taste of onboard life to those who have never cruised.

“This was my idea for Tampa,” said Pohl, a Brandon resident. “Our home office (South Florida) had a similar event and it was very successful.”

Royal Caribbean’s business development managers agreed to host the event, and Sherry Leybovich, Lithia- based owner of Cruise Planners, is “onboard,” said Pohl.

“If we have a great turnout and interest, I would like to make this an annual event and pick different local charities to receive the contribution.”

Because the ship must clear customs before luncheon attendees can board, start and end times are estimated: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 13. Dress is dressy casual.

Door prizes will be awarded, and participants will receive onboard credit to use on a cruise booked within two years.

Lunch/tour tickets, which are nonrefundable, are $30 per person. Seating is limited. Contact Pohl, Leybovich, Kelly Bryant (Tampa) or Renée Beckford (Apollo Beach) at (813) 657-0844, or toll-free at (888) 464-1827.

Cruise Planners’ travel agents work with all the major cruise lines and book all-inclusive resorts, land tours, destination weddings and tours. Cruise Planners — www .cruisesforu.com — is the 2009 Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year winner and 2012 Best of Brandon bronze winner.

Send community news to Barbara .Routen@gmail.com.

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