Sunrise Scoop August 2023

Sunrise Highlights

We are so grateful to all of our donors who make our mission possible.

Go Gold in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Follow us on social media where we’ll be sharing inspiring stories throughout September that show the resilience of our incredible children and the impact of our camps and programs. By liking and sharing our posts you can help us increase awareness about childhood cancer. #gogold 

Camper Profile – Jackson’s Journey

Aurora Day Camp brought Jackson and his brothers “back to life.”  

When what looked like a rash with raspberry-type bruising appeared on her son Jackson, Rebecca was concerned, but not overly. Young children often get rashes and Jackson was only 2 years old at the time. Rebecca took Jackson to see their pediatrician, who took one look and knew this was out of his realm. “This is hematological – I can’t diagnose this,” the pediatrician said. “You need to go to the emergency room.” 

Rebecca remembers thinking, “Hematological, can that be cancer? No way, not us. That won’t happen to us.” While Jackson seemed “too healthy” for something as life-threatening as cancer, Rebecca still couldn’t shake that smallest of possibilities as she and her husband, Cody, waited for Jackson’s blood results.  

“We found blast cells in Jackson’s blood samples,” the doctor stated solemnly. “It hasn’t been verified yet, but this is indicative of leukemia.” And so, with Jackson’s diagnosis in June of 2021, the family’s cancer journey began. Throughout all of the surgeries, hospital stays, countless clinic trips and delays in treatment, Jackson continues to smile, play and run around like any other toddler. He is polite, loving and friendly, and has taught his family to realize that there is always a reason to smile and be happy. “We fight with positivity and optimism,” said Rebecca. “I am smiling because Jackson is smiling every day.”   

Jackson’s older brothers, Cameron and Noah, were 13 and 7 at Jackson’s time of diagnosis. They had to be extra careful isolating themselves from COVID over the past few years, knowing the importance of keeping the virus out of their home for Jackson’s safety. “They have had to miss out on so much to protect their little brother from possible exposure and risk of infections,” Rebecca explained. That’s why last year, when the family learned of Sunrise’s Aurora Day Camp, it was extra exciting for Noah and Cameron to be able to go and socialize safely with other kids. Jackson’s blood counts were too low for him to join them last summer, but the experience was incredibly healing for his brothers.  

“We cannot express how grateful we are for what last summer at Aurora did for Noah and Cameron, who have been so patient and brave and strong, and many times [were] overlooked in all of this,” said Rebecca. “As any family with multiple children knows, a cancer diagnosis doesn’t just affect the diagnosed child. It demands sacrifices from the entire family. Aurora Day Camp brought my boys back to life with just pure love and joy!” 

The boys were elated to attend camp again this summer, especially because Jackson was able to join them this year! “For all three of my boys – Aurora is what they look forward to, the thing that brings them the most joy in the world, the place where they can just be happy. I am so thrilled that they experienced it all together this time!”

 Supplying Smiles: Sunrise Benefits from 'Supplies for Success' Effort

Volunteers packing backpacks at Glen Head Country Club

A heartfelt thank you to our friends at Glen Head Country Club and the Glen Head Charity Committee! Their first “Supplies for Success” event, aimed at benefiting Sunrise Day Camp-Long Island, brought together cheerful volunteers to pack hundreds of backpacks with school supplies for our campers. 

It’s through impactful contributions like these that an amazing school year is kick-started for our Sunrise family. We extend a special thank you to our Sunrise Champions, Judy Faltischek and Joan Grant whose outstanding coordination made this joyful day a reality.  Thank you to the Glen Head Charity Committee for continuing the tradition started by Maxine Oretsky and family, for generously underwriting the costs, and especially for bringing an extra dose of sunshine to help our campers thrive.

A happy camper with her backpack!

Sunrise Spotlight – Summer Dreams in Baltimore

Horizon Day Camp Executive Director Mark McElrath with Summer Dreams Honorees Annemarie and Dan Joerres

In July, Horizon Day Camp-Baltimore hosted an uplifting “Summer Dreams” celebration at the Living Classrooms Foundation. Honoring Annemarie and Dan Joerres from WBAL-TV 11, the event was filled with heartwarming mission messages and music. The shining light was seven-year-old camper, Ailani, whose rendition of “My Fight Song” led to a standing ovation. With The Kahlert Foundation’s $25,000 matching gift challenge, your donations can help us bring back the joys of childhood.

A Horizon Day Camp family sharing a testimonial

Sunrise Event – Levine Golf Outing

Earlier this month, the 17th Annual Mildred & Samuel Levine Memorial Golf Classic raised a record amount – over $1.1 million for Sunrise Day Camp-Long Island. Attendees golfed, played cards and games, shopped, played tennis and for the first time played pickleball. Nearly 500 people attended the dinner and the fun continued at the after party.  

Congratulations to our honorees: George Brewster and Robert DiBiase, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.; Stewart O’Brien (ret.) and Terence O’Brien, NYC Association of Contracting Plumbers; Stuart Rabinowitz, Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, LLP; Glen Stern, Jordan Stern and the Stern Family, Platsky Company; and the recipient of the first Joe Weksler Memorial Community Service Award, Jeffrey Greenfield, NGL Group, LLC.  

A special thank you to our dedicated Event Chairman, Larry Levine and Co-Chairman, Michael Faltischek; Event Co-Chairs: Andrew Cameron, John D. Cameron, Karen and Alan Dorman, and Adam P. Silvers; and our entire Committee for making the Levine Golf Outing such a huge success! 

Sunrise News – Wheels Up! Season 7 has taken off! 

Our Wheels Up! video series transports children from hospital beds across the country to exciting destinations around the world. The video series is currently being show in over 150 hospitals and facilities in the U.S., Canada and Israel.  

As we launch Season 7, we thank the Dorothy and Irving Ross Sunrise Studios and our friends at American Airlines for bringing this excitement and entertainment from the Sunrise Association to children around the world.   

Travel along with us by subscribing to our YouTube channel or downloading the Sunrise Studios app, available on mobile phones and smart TVs. 

Sunrise In the News 

Click here to read: Sunrise Day Camp of Greater Philadelphia gives children a break from medical ordeals 

Click here to read: Arnie Preminger, CEO and President of Sunrise Association featured interview on Faces of Long Island 

Click here to read: Horizon Day Camp to Receive 2023 Ravens Foundation Play 60 Grant 

Fundraising Events

Please click on the event below that you are interested in.

Please join us at our events by clicking on the event title below.

Sunrise in the City
October 12, 2023
Sunrise in the City Casino Night is a new event created by the Sunrise Association’s NextGen Committee, a group of 30-somethings who are dedicated to furthering the mission to help bring joy to children with cancer and their siblings around the world. Taking place Thursday, October 12 at 230 Fifth Rooftop in New York City, this new event will include exciting casino games & entertainment, silent auction & raffle, and an open bar & small bites.

SunriseWALKS is coming to an area near you – save the date! 

SunriseWALKS Pearl River
October 15, 2023
Raise funds for Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River at Camp Ramaquois in Rockland County, New York.

HorizonWALKS Baltimore
October 15, 2023
Support Horizon Day Camp–Baltimore and help restore childhood joys for children with cancer and their siblings.

SunriseWALKS Chicago
October 15, 2023
Lace up your shoes for the 2nd annual SunriseWALKS Chicago at Lake County JCC in Lake Zurich. Join us in bringing happiness to children with cancer and their siblings.