BIG HOPE 1 was inspired by Vince Schu and his wife Julie, who have both had their families impacted by cancer. Vince is a long-time Ceres Barge Line employee in charge of the heavy lift division and he arranged with Sherwin-Williams to donate the pink paint. Mark Fletcher convinced the extremely motivated and willing Jeffboat shipyard to put in the extra labor to paint the barge and make sure it looked exceptional on the day it was launched.

BIG HOPE - There is always hope that one day there will be a cure for cancer and Ceres' hope is that we can make a difference in finding that cure. Cancer has absolutely touched everyone's life in some way.

By utilizing the branding of the pink color used by various breast and reproductive cancer campaigns, our hope is that every time BIG HOPE 1 comes into an area, people will recognize the meaning of the barge is to create awareness for every type of cancer. Our goal is to get the BIG HOPE 1 in and around the inland waterways system to get different cities involved by touring BIG HOPE 1 all over the US. We have had requests to place BIG HOPE 1 in multiple locations including under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, MO.

BIG HOPE 1 was launched in May 2012, and Ceres agreed at that time to contribute a percentage of the net earnings from BIG HOPE 1 to fund cancer research for a minimum of 5 years. Mary Crowley Cancer Research in Dallas, Texas was chosen as the recipient of those donations beginning in 2012. Since that time, BIG HOPE 1 has been used to raise money to advance cancer research and impact patients. Through Ceres and its vast network of philanthropic customers and vendors, the BIG HOPE 1 has generated donations of more than $1,000,000 to Mary Crowley Cancer Research.

Shannon Cagnina - former Chief Operating Officer of Mary Crowley Cancer Research indicates that “these dollars have allowed Mary Crowley to transform their pioneering clinical trials for advanced cancer patients into an exquisitely aligned program of matching every patient to treatment based on the patient’s personal molecular profile. Mary Crowley’s Patient Molecular Registry is leading the industry as an example pharmaceutical companies are following to better align patients to investigational drugs most likely to benefit them. This is truly personalized medicine, and it is possible thanks to BIG HOPE 1 and everyone in the barge industry who has contributed”.

Ceres requests that all donations related to the BIG HOPE 1 be handled directly by Mary Crowley Cancer Research. Donations may be made to Mary Crowley Cancer Research at