Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Oncology Summer Camp kids enjoy day at Clearwater Yacht Club, thanks to Olivia Lives


Related News/Archive

As Black Eyed Peas' tunes blasted from the stereo, and the Gulf of Mexico breeze whipped across their faces, 12 youngsters crowded at the front of a 32-foot angler boat Tuesday afternoon, their eyes plastered on the horizon.

Suddenly, a gray fin emerged above the waves. Raleigh Johnson, 7, gasped in delight.

"I saw one!" he shouted. "A dolphin! They're right there!"

About 30 campers and volunteers from Oncology Summer Camp, a one-week program organized by the Children's Cancer Center in Tampa, paid a visit to the Clearwater Yacht Club on Tuesday for a day on, and in, the water.

Split up into three groups, the children rotated between chowing down on hamburgers and hot dogs, pushing one another off floaties in the yacht club's swimming pool and venturing out on a vessel owned by local boater Jack Vasilaros, 20.

That maritime outing was sponsored in part by Olivia Lives, a local foundation that helps to provide safe and fun outings for children and teenagers suffering from cancer. The organization is named after Olivia Ceraolo, a Palm Harbor teen who died of bone cancer in 2004, at age 16.

Olivia was a sailor at the Clearwater Yacht Club who competed at an international level. In 2002, she went to Bermuda to represent the United States in the North American Championship for the Optimist Dinghy Class.

Carla Ceraolo, Olivia's mother, says it is comforting to watch other children who are battling cancer spend a joyful day in the same waters that her oldest daughter loved so dearly.

"I know she's looking down and seeing all the kids enjoying themselves on the water, and I know that's making her happy," Ceraolo said.

This isn't the first time that participants in the Oncology Summer Camp made a trip to the Clearwater Yacht Club.

Last year, the group spent a couple of hours at the club swimming pool. But because of this year's partnership with Olivia Lives, event organizers were able to find a boater willing to take the children out for a bit of dolphin spotting.

Gabbie Davidson, 19, of Palm Harbor is a cancer survivor and a chaperone at the camp. Surrounded by rolling waves and sprightly sea creatures, she said camp doesn't get much better than this.

"For once, we're not worried about getting hurt," Davidson said. "We're more worried about having fun and making friends."

Martine Powers can be reached at or (727) 445-4224.

How to help: Though children of all ages suffer from cancer, the vast majority of items donated to cancer centers are toys for kids 8 years old and younger. Olivia Lives, a local foundation that helps to provide safe and fun outings for children and teenagers suffering from cancer, is collecting electronics such as laptop computers, iPods, DVDs and video games for hospital-bound teenagers. To donate, contact Judy Widger, a former director at the Clearwater Yacht Club, at (727) 643-0088.

Oncology Summer Camp kids enjoy day at Clearwater Yacht Club, thanks to Olivia Lives 07/06/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 6, 2010 8:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hurricane Maria's winds hit 175 mph as it aims at Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands


    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Hurricane Maria barreled toward Puerto Rico on Tuesday night after wreaking widespread devastation on Dominica and leaving the small Caribbean island virtually incommunicado. …

    A boat lays on its side off the shore of Sainte-Anne on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, early Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017, after the passing of Hurricane Maria. [Dominique Chomereau-Lamotte | Associated Press]
  2. Hillsborough School Board approves 2017-18 budget


    TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday approved a budget of $2.83 billion for the 2017-18 school year.

    Photo illustration. []
  3. All Eyes photo gallery: 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 79, collapses buildings in Mexico


    A magnitude 7.1 earthquake stunned central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 79 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped. The quake came less than two weeks after another quake left 90 dead in the country's south, and it …

    Rescuers work on a collapsed building on Amsterdam Avenue in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck, Sept. 19, 2017. Dozens have been reported killed across the country, including 42 in the state of Morelos, close to the epicenter of the quake, and at least 20 buildings in Mexico City have collapsed. (Adriana Zehbrauskas/The New York Times) XNYT169
  4. Rays video tribute to ex-manager Joe Maddon upon return with Cubs


    Here is the Rays video tribute to former manager Joe Maddon, who returned to the Trop for the first time on Tuesday with his Cubs team:

  5. After Irma disruption, Miami eager to face Toledo


    LAKE BUENA VISTA — Like thousands of other evacuees, Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz headed north to escape Hurricane Irma with his family, two suitcases and the anxiety of not knowing what would happen to everything he left behind.

    Miami coach Mark Richt watches during a victory over B-CU in the Sept. 2 opener. The Hurricanes haven’t played since.