The Misameach Cruise has become legendary, a magical afternoon aboard a luxury cruise ship that allows families with sick children to enjoy some much-needed joy and entertainment. This year’s cruise, though, took an already incredible experience to a whole new level with an all-star lineup of entertainers.
On Sunday, June 25th, hundreds of lucky attendees strode down the Paulus hooks marina to the backdrop of dozens of volunteers singing and dancing.
The music started before the boat left the marina, as the dance floor took on a life of its own. Families settled in, finding their places at the many gaily decorated tables and enjoying the lavish lunch buffet that seemed to never run out.
And then, with a slight lurch, the boat took to the choppy waters of the Hudson River, as it embarked on its three-hour trip, a trip that, since its inception several years ago, has become symbolic of the remarkable experiences created by Misameach for hundreds of sick children and their families.
Families enjoyed the view out on the decks, taking in the sights of the Statue of Liberty, South Street Seaport and the helipad, and the imposing Manhattan skyline. They were joined by many special guests.
But what truly transformed the experience was the entertainers who gave up of their time and talents to be misameach with Misameach. A veritable who’s who of the Jewish entertainment industry, entertainers included superstar Avraham Fried, Yehuda Green, Meilich Kohn, Yoel Lebovits, also known as the Pester Rebbe, Michoel Shnitzler Chili Posen and Uncle Moishy. They had the entire crowd dancing with trademark Misameach ruach, with the Eli Lax band providing unbeatable background music.
The legendary Turx emceed the event, bringing smiles and laughter to everyone present.
Never seeming to tire, the volunteers danced the cruise away, sweeping children into the lively circles and watching the smiles transform their faces as they felt the warmth and the love and the joy of their Misameach family.
While the ground level was turned into a concert hall, the second floor was home to a child’s wonderland. Aside for the food, a whole host of games and activities entertained the children for the duration of the cruise. Crafts,clowns, face painting, cotton candy and more were supervised by dedicated volunteers who naturally and gracefully made every child feel special.
And then, before anyone was quite ready, the program wrapped up and the boat made its way back to the dock.
As the exhilarated passengers disembarked, carrying with them memories they will cherish for a very long time, they were treated to one last expression of Misameach’s generosity: a gift bag loaded with toys and games for children of all ages, stages and genders.
Long after the ship docked and the band packed up its gear, the music and the magic that was created there will continue to reverberate in the hearts of each and every attendee.
PHOTO CREDITS R, LANGSAM AND Y JOSLOWISKY