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Cruisin’ For A Cause Nets 275,000+

By Ron Cox

CruisinForCause

What do you get when you combine 1,850 bikers, a luxury ship and an inexhaustible supply of adult beverages? You’d get the 11th Annual High Seas Rally (formally HOG’s On the High Seas). The High Seas Rally’s (HSR) mission is to raise funds for Debbie’s Dialysis Fund, so named by HSR cofounder Dean Anderson in honor of his late wife Debbie, the other rally founder. The fund allows people, bikers and others, the opportunity to have a real vacation. Dialysis patients usually need a treatment every three days. The fund picks up ALL the costs related to attending the rally including travel expenses for the patient and a companion, rental of machines, hiring staff, cabin costs and $1,000 in pocket money. Rally goers are fond of saying they’re “Cruisin’ For a Cause.”

For the first time in its eleven year history, the itinerary included St. Thomas and St. Maarten in the Eastern Caribbean. The Royal Caribbean’s Freedom Of The Seas served as the base for the seven day pirate themed cruise from November 3-10th.

The fun began with a pool party on Saturday at the host hotel, the Cocoa Beach Radisson. Boarding the ship took most of Sunday, but Sunday night saw the first of the nightly giveaway shows. On board vendors are required to donate a minimum of $5,000 in product however most of them donate more. Throughout the week tickets are sold for the poker walk, cabin raffles, a silent auction, biker bingo and the Dialysis Fund 2013 Road King. The nightly 50/50 gave between $5-8,000 to the winners who frequently donated hundreds or thousands back to the Fund.

Ship board activities included a Belly Smacker contest, Topless Man contest, HSR photo bike contest, High Seas Rally Tattoo contest and almost everyone’s favorite The Treasured Chest contest. About 25 pirate costumed wenches circulated among the audience collecting donations for the Fund. Deanna Lambka from Lodi, California won collecting more than $700 while the Fund received more than $4,000 from all the contestants.

The Best Beard contest had 18 entrants standing poolside at Senor Frog’s in St. Maarten. The female judges got to run their fingers in and around the beards and if they smelled good, so much the better. Doug Flanders from Sugar Hill, Georgia took the First Place medal and the three finalists split $1,000 in vendor prizes.

The Grand Prize giveaway show took place on Saturday, the last night of the cruise. An auction was held for various donated items including an autographed guitar by the band Foreigner and all the signage hung at the tonsil wash emporiums on shore and aboard the ship. The biggest winner was Lawrence Wells from Sun City West, Arizona who won the 2013 Victory. Every HSR passenger received a free ticket for the Victory. Russell Werle from Painesville, Ohio won the Dialysis Fund raffle of a 2013 H-D Road King.

As of this writing there are less than 100 cabins left for the 2014 High Seas Rally cruise, which also sails to the Eastern Caribbean. To get in on the fun check out the web site www.highseasrally.com

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