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Celebrity Cruises Honors Its Own, Naming Four Employees Godmothers Of Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity Cruises is marking Breast Cancer Awareness Month in a particularly unique and meaningful way: Richard D. Fain, Chairman of Celebrity Cruises and Chairman & CEO of parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL), and Celebrity's President & CEO Michael Bayley today revealed plans to honor four employees – two who work aboard its ships, and two in its corporate offices – as Godmothers of Celebrity Reflection, the fifth in its five-ship Solstice Class series.

Like the Godmothers of every prior Solstice Class ship – all with remarkable life achievements, including overcoming breast cancer – the cause is of great personal interest to the selected employees. The Godmothers of Celebrity Reflection are:

  • Jovanka Goronjic – Jovanka joined Celebrity Cruises' AquaSpa staff in 2009, after previously working with Celebrity's sister brand, Royal Caribbean International. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, and endured several rounds of treatment. In tribute to her mother and the cause, Jovanka donated her hair for the creation of wigs for cancer patients. With support from Celebrity, she arranged time off to be with her mother at critical times during her treatment. Her mother has since defeated the illness, and Jovanka now is AquaSpa Manager on Celebrity Constellation.
  • Megan Mathie – Megan is a glassblowing artist in the Hot Glass Show aboard Celebrity Solstice, and previously performed the same role aboard Celebrity Eclipse. Earlier this year, she was informed that both her sister and mother were diagnosed with breast cancer, and flew home to spend time with them. However, both convinced her to return to the ship to continue her work. Determined to support the cause, Megan and her team now host a "Hot Pink Glass Show" on every cruise. There, she shares her story with her audience and through her art, in honor of her sister and mother. At each cruise's end, she auctions a one-of-a-kind pink glass creation to raise funds for Celebrity's charitable partner, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®.
  • Helen O'Connell – An eight-year employee of the company, Helen manages Community Relations, and has a clear and contagious passion for serving her community. She is widely lauded internally and externally for leading the corporation's annual "G.I.V.E. (Get Involved, Volunteer Everywhere) Day," and events leading to it in South Florida and in many of the company's offices and ports of call around the world. Helen also serves as the corporation's primary liaison with Make-A-Wish Foundation and supports Celebrity's fundraising activities for BCRF. Before being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, she traveled to New York every weekend for three months to help care for her father, who was battling bone cancer. Helen is known for always putting others' needs ahead of her own, such as volunteering with numerous organizations in South Florida and caring for her sick aunt in Ireland, while also making her work a top priority.

  • Rosey Rodriguez – A 17-year employee of RCCL, Rosey is manager of the company's Special Events team and recognized at Celebrity for being a key contributor to planning and implementing the events surrounding every Solstice Class ship launch. She is a devoted single mother of two children, Joey, 21, and Alexis, 15. On June 8 of this year, she was diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer, and has since been resolute in her commitment to beat it. While many women would legitimately take short-term disability at this stage, Rosey instead takes her laptop to treatments to allow her to work remotely. Her colleagues say this is entirely in character, as she puts everyone and everything – including her work – ahead of her own desires. She is considered a dedicated leader of her team, admired employee of the company, loving mother and selfless individual.

"The breast cancer cause is one we've adopted across the Celebrity brand, and one with deep meaning for each of these women and their four predecessors," said Fain. "These ladies are not only inspiring in their professional lives, but in their personal lives, as well, with each of them devoted to their own and our company's interest in doing all we can to find a cure for breast cancer."

"These impressive women personify the qualities we admire among our Solstice Class Godmothers: remarkable strength and courage, along with optimism, warmth and genuine care for others," said Bayley. "They beautifully represent countless other women within our company and around the world who have battled the disease or supported the cause in honor of friends or family who have done so."

Celebrity Cruises' support of the cause began in 2008 with an event on Celebrity Solstice to raise funds for breast cancer screenings for low-income women. Next, the brand sponsored the first "Celebrity Sunwalk" in association with Walk the Walk, a breast cancer charity founded by the Godmother of Celebrity Equinox, Nina Barough. And last year, Celebrity became an official corporate partner of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), offering Celebrity's guests the opportunity to make a difference while enjoying their vacation through a unique lineup of onboard experiences that help raise awareness and funds for BCRF.

Celebrity is showing its support of the cause even further this month through multiple initiatives, including an integration and cruise auction featured in Bloomingdale's "Big Pink Book," with a percentage of sales benefiting BCRF; a sweepstakes to win a cruise with a $1,000 donation to BCRF in the winner's name; a "pink" home page takeover of Celebrity's web site, www.celebritycruises.com, and relevant content on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/celebritycruises, throughout the month; a donation to BCRF of $2 for every "Excite the Senses" lifestyle book sold onboard and online; pink-hued emails to customers; "Starring Crew Week" honoring Celebrity's crew across the fleet with special events to raise funds for BCRF, and events engaging and educating employees at Celebrity's headquarters. All of this complements the continuation of the year-around activities supporting BCRF: "Celebrity Freedance" and the auction of works of art created by glassblowing artists from The Corning Museum of Glass at the Hot Glass Show on Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Eclipse.

The four Godmothers of Celebrity Reflection will preside over the naming of the ship in Miami on December 1, and consistent with Celebrity's Solstice Class tradition, will be joined by the Godmothers of each of Celebrity Reflection's sister ships.

About The Breast Cancer Research Foundation:
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, founded by Evelyn H. Lauder in 1993, is an independent not-for-profit organization committed to funding scientific research to achieve prevention and a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime. In October 2012, BCRF will award $40-million to 197 scientists across the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and China. With 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF directed toward breast cancer research and awareness programs, BCRF remains one of the most fiscally responsible charities in the country. For the 10th consecutive time since 2002, it has earned 4 stars from Charity Navigator. Additionally, BCRF is the only cancer organization rated an "A+" by CharityWatch. For more information about BCRF, visit www.bcrfcure.org.

About Celebrity Cruises:
Celebrity Cruises' iconic "X" is the mark of modern luxury, with its cool, contemporary design and warm spaces; dining experiences where the design of the venues is as important as the cuisine; and the amazing service that only Celebrity can provide, all created to provide an unmatchable experience for vacationers' precious time. In addition to offering vacations visiting all continents, Celebrity also presents immersive cruisetour experiences in Alaska, Australia/New Zealand, Canada, Europe and South America. One of the fastest-growing major cruise lines, Celebrity is one of five cruise brands operated by global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE, OSE: RCL). Celebrity's fleet currently consists of 10 ships, with an additional Solstice Class ship, Celebrity Reflection, scheduled to join the fleet in fall 2012. For more information, dial 1-800-437-3111, or call your travel agent. Follow the brand socially on Facebook.

Release: MAR2014-SNAPSHOT, Build #: 83, Built on: 20140409-1225 last recached on Wed Apr 23 04:39:29 EDT 2014