All aboard! Last Tuesday, the Foundation had the pleasure of partnering with Boston Harbor Cruises for the fourth annual Joe Andruzzi Foundation Codzilla Thrill Ride – and as always, it was a blast! As the temperature climbed into the high 90s, we were joined by cancer patients and those affected by cancer from throughout the region for an (Up)Beat event – one where they could leave behind cancer treatments and challenging times to enjoy a wild speedboat ride across the Boston Harbor.
Joe and I were thrilled to welcome the day’s riders – a group of JAF patients as well as patients currently undergoing treatments at Dana Farber Children’s Hospital – for a ride they won’t soon forget!
For the uninitiated, Codzilla is Boston’s fiercest “Water Coaster”, a fantastically designed fire engine red speedboat resembling the fabled mutant cod that roams the waters of the Boston Harbor. As the boat takes off at speeds of 40 miles per hour, the crew of the boat tells an animated tale of the Codzilla beast as the captain swerves the boat across the sea, splashing all aboard.
Of course, before the day’s riders took off on the Codzilla Thrill Ride, they and their families spent some time getting to know Joe, where he handed over his prized Super Bowl hardware for the families to see. The kids marveled at the size of Joe’s three Super Bowl rings, before trying them on and striking their best “World Champion” pose for a great photo to remember the day.
Despite the red-hot heat, the kids were truly ecstatic. You could see it on their faces – as soon as Codzilla cruised into the harbor, preparing for our ride to board, they lit up with ear-to-ear grins. They patiently waited as the boat trolled through the harbor’s “No Wake” zone, but once we passed the marker buoys, BOOM – they screamed in delight as the captain pressed on the throttle. They even laughed at the crew’s corny jokes, especially: “Do you know what the Codzilla’s favorite meal is? Believe it or not, his meal of choice is former NFL linemen!”
Once back on dry land, everyone enjoyed a refreshing ice cream treat, a perfect way to cap off a wonderful morning in Boston. Joe did his best to entertain – performing ice cream eating antics, taking more photographs and signing autographs for the patients in attendance. A big thank you goes out to our partner, Boston Harbor Cruises, for helping to bring joy to these patients and their families for the fourth consecutive year.
These laughs, smiles and joyful screams are what make it all worthwhile for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation. Many of those in attendance last Tuesday have been battling through extraordinary circumstances – and to be able to provide this (Up)Beat opportunity, to take their minds away from that struggle is something we’re proud to do. From those just entering treatment to others celebrating years in remission, their courage inspires the entire Joe Andruzzi Foundation team.
P.S. – Check out some photos from the event here!