Audubon Aquarium Welcomes Heart of Passion Teen Participants for Special Breakfast
Teenagers with cancer are getting the red carpet treatment for a special breakfast and tour at Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium on Wednesday, July 19, 2023.
In partnership with the non-profit Heart of Passion (HoP), Audubon is hosting teens with cancer from Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama as part of an annual four-day, three-night Red Carpet Day Retreat (RCD) in New Orleans. The retreat is designed to give the teenagers time to relax, have fun, and make connections with others facing similar health challenges.
The breakfast at Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium is a highlight of their week, according to organizers. They will enjoy a private, before-hours "Breakfast with the Sharks" in front of the huge Gulf of Mexico exhibit, then tour the newly renovated Aquarium and Insectarium.
The Red Carpet Day Retreat happens in New Orleans July 17-20 and this year is themed as a Hollywood movie premiere. The teens will have other adventures throughout the city during the week including a tour of a movie studio, Mardi Gras World and a private riverboat cruise with an “old Hollywood” theme.
The four days of events are designed to help guests have fun and create lasting memories.
“When a teenager is diagnosed with cancer, they often lose some of the typical teenage activities, time with their friends and other social opportunities. By taking part in the Red Carpet Day Retreat, these teens get a chance to make friends with others who have or are also undergoing similar health experiences. It gives them an opportunity to get away and have fun like a normal teenager,” said Savannah Solomon, the founder of Heart of Passion.
Heart of Passion’s Red Carpet Retreat takes a “for teens from teens” approach that serves the guests while providing practical training for local high school leaders through the organization’s Leadership Development Program (LDP). This unique, intensive year-long program offers high school students an opportunity to experience life in the business world while learning about compassion as they plan and execute Red Carpet Day. This year, local teens from Sacred Heart, Sophie B. Wright, Jesuit and Newman are participating.
Since its founding in 2002, Heart of Passion has hosted Red Carpet Day Retreats for teens with cancer in Atlanta, Dallas, Charlotte and New Orleans, serving more than 450 patients in those regions. This is the 32nd Red Carpet Retreat, including a virtual retreat in 2020. This is the first time the teens have visited the Aquarium and Insectarium since Covid. This is the 13th time the event has been held in New Orleans.
Heart of Passion’s dual mission strives to instill a love of community engagement in the next generation of community leaders while tearing down the walls that cancer builds socially and emotionally for teens.
For more information on Heart of Passion and its programs visit heartofpassion.org or facebook.com/HeartofPassion