Sunrise Association

2022 Impact Report

Our Values

  • FUN IS MANDATORY Sunrise is children just being children – having fun playing and laughing together. We want every child, even if they can only attend for one day, to have the best day ever!
  • INCLUSIVITY AND DIVERSITY Sunrise is a worldwide organization made up of people from every walk of life who recognize and embrace the particular journey that our children are on. Sunrise actively seeks to create inclusive communities – whether at camp or in the hospitals – that celebrate diversity and equity among all our children and staff while respecting both the distinctions and the commonalities that bind us together as a human family.
  • HOPE & HEALING While we cannot cure cancer, Sunrise can provide the healing of the heart as well as the hope that each child can experience the true meaning of childhood.

Our Mission

The mission of the Sunrise Association is to bring back the joys of childhood to children with cancer and their siblings worldwide. This mission is accomplished through the creation and oversight of welcoming, inclusive Summer Day Camps, Year-Round Programs and In-Hospital Recreational Activities, all offered free of charge.

Our Vision

We work towards a world where cancer will not be the defining factor in a child’s life; where children and families navigating the difficult world of pediatric cancer can find hope, love and an extra ray of sunshine; where cultural diversity is embraced and every child is celebrated for who they are and for the unique gifts they bring into the world.

From Our Leadership

Dear friends,

Sitting down to write this letter, the word growth is top of mind. Over these past few years, despite unprecedented challenges, we have seen a season of Sunrise growth unlike others. Our in-hospital programs and services are now in more than 100 hospitals across the country, when just four years ago, that number was 26. This past summer we opened two new camps, and we can’t wait for the opening of our 12th camp this summer, in the Windy City of Chicago. Our staff continues to grow proportionally – as do our partner organizations – assuring that we will continue meeting the needs of the increasing number of families in our orbit while assuring that the quality of our existing programs is protected and nurtured.

Looking beyond the numbers, we begin to understand the meaning of this growth. Take the first annual SunriseWALKS Chicago, which took place in October. More than 200 supporters of all ages gathered nine months before a camper will even set foot in the new camp. The community bundled up outside on a chilly morning and raised nearly $55,000 to welcome Sunrise to their campgrounds. It was a tremendous show of faith by a brand new Sunrise community. We’ve seen this before and we will see it again. Families who have just received a cancer diagnosis for a child have no idea that this inspiring group of people has come together to make each other’s lives better. Their lives are about to interact in the most beautiful ways. Because of us. Because of you.

The numbers inspire us to go further, farther and closer to meeting our goal of reaching one-third of all eligible U.S. pediatric cancer patients and their siblings by 2026.

It is attainable. We remember that when we started out in 2006, we had one summer day camp with 96 children enrolled. By this July, we anticipate having 12 locations worldwide – including our virtual camp, SunriseVX. In addition, we are rapidly increasing our yearround services within hospitals worldwide, including our in-person Sunrise on Wheels programs along with our numerous virtual offerings. All in all, we anticipate engaging more than 40,000 children within a year’s time.

We can do this. We will do this. And the stories you are about to read go beyond the numbers to shine a light on why we do what we do. They highlight the joy and smiles that we bring to children and their families. They celebrate our supporters and partners of all ages who are making these dreams a reality. They celebrate you.

We deeply thank you.

Joy ZelinBoard Chair
Arnie PremingerPresident & CEO

A Look Back At 2022…

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Day Camps

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Campers enrolled

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Children served in hospitals

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Weekly In-Hospital Sunrise On Wheels Programs

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Hospitals participating in Sunrise virtual programs

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Sunrise Smiles
  • Sunrise Association
  • Doing regular childhood things like going to school was incredibly difficult for Hina Zahid when she was very young. Hina had battled a brain tumor twice first at the age of 2 and then again after relapsing when she was 9. That’s when Hina found Sunrise Day Camp Long Island and the experience was life-changing.

    “Sunrise offered me an immediate safe space,” Hina explained. “It wasn’t about treatment or cancer it was about having fun.” When Hina aged out of the camper program, she came back the following summer as a counselor and has served in that important role ever since. “I wanted nothing more than to give back to the greatest place on Earth and help other kids experience the same magic as I did.”

    Like Hina, many former campers are helping us continue to make that Sunrise magic. This past summer, there were almost 50 Sunrise and Horizon Day Camp counselors who had once been campers. It’s not surprising that the older camps have seen more campers transition to the counselor role, and as Sunrise continues to grow, we can expect to see many more at all locations. Deanna Slade, Vice President of Camping and Related Services and the Director of Sunrise Day Camp–Long Island, observes that many of our campers-turnedcounselors share similar feelings about why they come back. “These kids have had such an incredible and impactful experience at Sunrise that they want to pay it forward to other kids,” said Deanna. “The campersturned-staff have seen their counselors as their role models and want to give back to our current campers. It’s really special.”

    These campers-turned-counselors have first-hand connections to cancer, and often express to Deanna that it’s “interesting to be on the other side” of the camping experience. “These counselors spend a lot of time reflecting back to when they were campers,” said Deanna, and often exhibit qualities that make them successful in the counselor role. These qualities include being compassionate, hard-working, thoughtful, creative, dedicated and good team players.

    Returning as counselors also allows former campers to remain active in the Sunrise community. Alis Almonte started Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River as a camper in 2018 and became a counselor in 2021. “Sunrise Day Camp has become my safe space,” said Alis. “There is no place I feel more comfortable in my skin than in the campgrounds at Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River.”

    Nathaniel Blades, 19, has been at Sunrise Day Camp–Long Island for the past 14 summers. His twin brother, Elijah, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) right before their fifth birthday. Nathaniel shared that he returns as a counselor to give back to others and to stay connected. “When my brother and I were campers, Sunrise gave us an opportunity to have a summer and not worry about cancer or treatments. I wanted to give back and give an opportunity for other campers to enjoy their summer,” he said. “There’s no question that I’ll continue working for/with Sunrise. Sunrise is like home, and I never want to leave my family.”

From campers to counselors: Paying it forward

Doing regular childhood things like going to school was incredibly difficult for Hina Zahid when she was very young. Hina had battled a brain tumor twice first at the age of 2 and then again after relapsing when she was 9. That’s when Hina found Sunrise Day Camp Long Island and the experience was life-changing.

“Sunrise offered me an immediate safe space,” Hina explained. “It wasn’t about treatment or cancer it was about having fun.” When Hina aged out of the camper program, she came back the following summer as a counselor and has served in that important role ever since. “I wanted nothing more than to give back to the greatest place on Earth and help other kids experience the same magic as I did.”

Like Hina, many former campers are helping us continue to make that Sunrise magic. This past summer, there were almost 50 Sunrise and Horizon Day Camp counselors who had once been campers. It’s not surprising that the older camps have seen more campers transition to the counselor role, and as Sunrise continues to grow, we can expect to see many more at all locations. Deanna Slade, Vice President of Camping and Related Services and the Director of Sunrise Day Camp–Long Island, observes that many of our campers-turnedcounselors share similar feelings about why they come back. “These kids have had such an incredible and impactful experience at Sunrise that they want to pay it forward to other kids,” said Deanna. “The campersturned-staff have seen their counselors as their role models and want to give back to our current campers. It’s really special.”

These campers-turned-counselors have first-hand connections to cancer, and often express to Deanna that it’s “interesting to be on the other side” of the camping experience. “These counselors spend a lot of time reflecting back to when they were campers,” said Deanna, and often exhibit qualities that make them successful in the counselor role. These qualities include being compassionate, hard-working, thoughtful, creative, dedicated and good team players.

Returning as counselors also allows former campers to remain active in the Sunrise community. Alis Almonte started Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River as a camper in 2018 and became a counselor in 2021. “Sunrise Day Camp has become my safe space,” said Alis. “There is no place I feel more comfortable in my skin than in the campgrounds at Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River.”

Nathaniel Blades, 19, has been at Sunrise Day Camp–Long Island for the past 14 summers. His twin brother, Elijah, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) right before their fifth birthday. Nathaniel shared that he returns as a counselor to give back to others and to stay connected. “When my brother and I were campers, Sunrise gave us an opportunity to have a summer and not worry about cancer or treatments. I wanted to give back and give an opportunity for other campers to enjoy their summer,” he said. “There’s no question that I’ll continue working for/with Sunrise. Sunrise is like home, and I never want to leave my family.”

2021 – 2022 Financial Overview

Sources Of Revenue

  • Special Events

    $3,880,746

  • Contributions and Grants

    $4,564,746

  • SunriseWALKS

    $1,688,454

  • Misc. Income

    $108,179

  • Total Raised in support of the Sunrise Association

    $10,242,125

Uses Of Funds

  • Day Camps, On Wheels and Year-Round Programs

    $7,148,276

  • Management

    $1,061,678

  • General Development

    $736,041

Assets

  • Total Assets

    $16,506,297

  • Net Assets

  • Unrestricted

    $8,290,050

  • Temporarily Restricted

    $3,888,566

  • Total Net Assets

    $12,178,616

Sunrise Programs By The Numbers

Sunrise magic shines brightly from coast to coast in the US and beyond and to children everywhere, through the opening of new camps and multiple in-hospital programs.

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Day Camps

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Sunrise On Wheels Programs

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Hospitals reached by Virtual Programming

Impact Report 2023/24