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HOLLAND AMERICA LINE DONATES BLANKETS KNITTED DURING GRAND WORLD VOYAGE TO PROJECT LINUS

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June 6, 2012.

Holland America Line partnered in the donation of 85 blankets and 50 hats to the Seattle chapter of Project Linus Friday, June 1, aboard ms Amsterdam while the ship was in Seattle. Linda Lane, the local head of the Seattle chapter, accepted the donations that were knitted by a group of volunteer “blanketeers” during the 2012 Grand World Voyage aboard ms Amsterdam.

Project Linus provides new, handmade blankets, afghans and hats to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need. Many of the blankets and hats will be given to the Ronald McDonald House by Project Linus, adding to Holland America Line’s long-standing support of the charity that helps families with sick children.

“It gives me great pride knowing that our guests care as much about giving as we do and that they took time out of their holiday to make these beautiful blankets and hats,” said Stein Kruse, president and CEO. “We support charitable endeavors through many different efforts and we are happy to assist our World Cruise guests in supporting a worthy organization like Project Linus.”

The onboard effort to knit as many blankets and hats as possible during the 112-day voyage was organized by Holland America Line guest and Project Linus volunteer Arna Lewis, from Seattle, Wash. David Coleman of Toccoa, Ga., led blanket-making efforts after Lewis departed the ship. Lewis’ son Rick, also from Seattle, attended the donation presentation in her stead.

During each sea day the “Sit and Knit” group of more than 50 guests got together to knit squares, hats and blankets. Both seasoned and novice knitters took part in the effort, including ship captain Jonathan Mercer’s wife, Karen.

On a previous Grand Asia Voyage in 2010, Lewis organized another group that knitted 120 hats and 38 blankets that went to hospitals and cancer patients in the Seattle area through Project Linus. Coleman has made plans to continue a Project Linus effort on next year’s Grand World Voyage, departing January 5, 2013, from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“This was not only a great way to help others but also to meet new people — the group included guests from Spain, Japan, Mexico, Australia, Belgium, Canada and of course the United States,” said Lewis. “It is our hope that this kind of event will continue, especially on long voyages, and those interested in helping should contact their local Project Linus chapter. As a result of the first cruise a Project Linus chapter launched in Colorado.”

Project Linus was formed in 1995 and is based in Bloomington, Ill., with chapters around the country. For more information, visit the Project Linus National Headquarters website at www.projectlinus.org. In Seattle and King County, contact local chapter representatives via e-mail at linus4kidz@yahoo.com.

To learn more about Holland America Line’s charitable programs, please visit http://www.hollandamerica.com/about-best-cruise-lines/Main.action and click social responsibility.”

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