Katherine Louise Calder, foster mother to over 400 children, has a new charge as Godmother of Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship, Freedom of the Seas. In a live announcement made during the show’s coverage of the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, NBC’s “Today” and Royal Caribbean revealed that Calder of Portland, Oregon received the most votes in the ‘Today Sets Sail’’ national Godmother search.
Putting a twist on a long-standing maritime tradition, the cruise line sought an extraordinary person to serve as the Godmother, as opposed to the customary choices of celebrities or dignitaries.
Over the last 27 years, Calder has been a foster care provider for hundreds of special needs children, as well as an adoption advocate in the Portland area. Calder’s long-time dedication to caring for such an under-served community makes her an ideal choice.
The cruise line was so moved by the stories of Calder and her co-finalists, Ieta Kimbrough and Robyn Raphael, that it decided to award each of their charities with a $25,000 donation. As Godmother, Calder will participate in a live christening ceremony for Freedom of the Seas to be aired May 12 on Today.