By Pamela Arnoldson

Buddy Cruise is a Lithia based charity serving individuals and families with special needs. It had a record breaking conference in 2015 and hopes to top it in 2016.

Last year Buddy Cruise hosted its annual event on board Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas with over 350 in attendance.

While sailing, the group visited St. Kitts, St. Maarten and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The week was packed with workshops, activities, and excursions. It even hosted the first ever Halloween carnival at sea. There was something for all ages and abilities. This annual Buddywalk at Sea, to raise awareness for Down syndrome, had over 800 people participating.

This October Buddy Cruise sets sail on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Sea.

“We invite everyone to join us whether they have a loved one with special needs or not. You will have an amazing time. It’s a life-changing event,” said former Donald Trump Apprentice star and current Buddy Cruise Director Troy McClain. “Join us once and you will become a Buddy Cruiser for life.”

Buddy Cruise was founded in 2008 and provides educational resources, advocacy and awareness for individuals and families with special needs. In addition to the cruise, Buddy has events scheduled across the country. In the coming months, it will be taking part in conferences in Montreal, Canada, Orlando, Florida, and Spearfish, South Dakota. It will host its first charity golf tournament in Boston, Massachusettes and will be the recipient of a fundraising event generously arranged by Chef Robert Irvine.

Jorge Arnoldson, director and Lithia resident, also invites you to become a Buddy Cruiser for Life.

“We already have our 2017 event on the books for Monday, October 30, It will be an exciting Halloween sailing,” he said.

To join in the fun, or any other Buddy Cruise, the only way to reserve is by calling 877-239-2789. For more information about Buddy Cruise, email joinus@buddycruise.org. Visit buddycruise.org for more information on Buddy Cruise.