Sunrise Scoop - July 2022

Sunrise Highlights

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

July 19 was national Camp Kindness Day. At Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River, camper Perla Flores, 15, came up with the inspiring idea to hand out positive notes to campers and counselors throughout the day. A few other campers from Perla’s Explorers group helped distribute the cards, which Perla named “Rays of Sunshine.” 

Perla’s experience of seeing what her younger brother—camper Juniel, 8—endured throughout his cancer battle helped her develop her need to show kindness to others. Juniel was diagnosed with an eye tumor when he was 3 months old. After several radiation treatments, doctors were finally able to get rid of the tumor for good. Juniel, who can barely see out of one eye and is fully blind in the other, is now going on 4 years of being clear after the radiation. Perla has been at his side and a major support to her family throughout it all, and Juniel is able to “navigate through any obstacle as if he had 20/20 vision,” said mom Dahiana Ruiz.  

“Perla continued to support and help and even when she didn’t have to go to appointments or stay for treatments. She stayed to support me and keep me company, which would make sitting through treatments and so many things so much easier,” said Dahiana. “She has such a warm and caring heart and that spreads to her wanting to show kindness. She wants to make others as happy as she tries to make her brother. She loves being a light of positivity in the darkness and I think that was started by the darkness of her brother’s diagnosis.” 

Perla was asked at camp about why she came up with her Rays of Sunshine idea. “I wanted to put a smile on someone’s face,” Perla explained. “I wanted to make whoever received a card feel special and shine a light into their day. One act of kindness can brighten up anyone’s day and you never know what someone is going through.” 

Perla’s mother doesn’t know how Perla was able to be “so positive, strong, and patient” throughout Juniel’s battle and is “so proud and grateful.” Sunrise is very proud of and grateful for Perla too.

An oldie but goodie! Deanna with campers at SunriseStock 2016.

Peace, Love, and…Bubbles!  

Deanna Slade, Regional Director of NY Camps – Sunrise Association and Camp Director, Sunrise Day Camp–Long Island, is responsible for much of the sparkly magic that happens every day at Sunrise Day Camp–Long Island. But perhaps one of the best things the New York camp director has done at camp yet is the annual SunriseStock, which took place this year on Thursday, July 28. “I wanted to bring something to a space where we could make it really magical and special,” said Slade, who truly believes that she belonged in the era of Woodstock. The one-day program included tie dying, peace signs, flower crowns, music, rock painting, beading, and bubbles! Tapestries line the hill and small groups of campers took part in any activity they like. “It’s an easy, breezy day—my own private Woodstock,” said Slade. “And what makes it more special is that the kids love it!”

Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River campers enjoying Arts and Crafts Day!

Volunteers Get Crafty 

For the past 10 years, Sunrise’s Nicole Faber has co-chaired Volunteer Arts and Crafts Day at Sunrise Day Camp–Long Island. This year the day of community fun took place on Thursday, July 7. Volunteers helped the campers with crafts that included candy necklaces, slime (with colorful slime sprinkle add ins!), sand art, glitter tattoos, pixie face paint, fish-themed stick puppets with top hats, tie dye baseball caps, and bottlecap keychains. A special shout out to Bonni Gould who with her friend, prepped all 500+ candy necklace bags (with licorice, peach rings, Fruit Loops and Cheerios)! Faber, who prepped the 500 containers of glue for slime, said “it is an honor and joy to do this for the kids and amazing to see volunteers experience the joy of Sunrise.”  

Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River held their craft day for volunteers on Friday, July 15. Sponsored by Allison Fehrenbaker, this event included decorating cupcakes, making slime and sand art, tie dying, and taking Polaroid pictures in a Safari-themed photo booth. Sunrise arranged the art activities and materials but Allison baked all the cupcakes—260 total! “It warmed my heart to see how all the children just love being at Sunrise,” she said. “Every activity makes them happy and they are so grateful and polite. Such a magical place.”

Sweet! Volunteer Michelle Morganstern helps a camper make a candy necklace.

Singing Golfing in the Rain

The 6th Annual Sunrise Pearl River Golf Outing took place Monday, July 18 at Fenway Golf Club. The flash-flood warnings and monsoon-style rains did not stop the dedicated philanthropists from showing up and supporting our incredible honorees: Kevin PlunkettJean Marie Connolly, and Ken Jenkins. Even with the golf portion of the day getting washed out mid-way through the round, the event raised over $375,000 for Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River. A special thanks to our event chairs: Andy Cott and Andy Frank, and the entire event committee for their dedication to making this day a success.

From left: The 2021 honoree Adam Barsky with Plunkett, Connolly, and Jenkins.

Rise Up for Sunrise 

The second-annual Rise Up for Sunrise event will take place the third week of September and will offer both in-person classes held at Sunrise Day Camp-Long Island and virtually. Powered by Randi Eisenshtat and Cher Meli, and sponsored by Marc Eisenshtat of Northwestern Mutual, this fitness and wellness event allows supporters to do what they love most with 100% of donations benefiting Sunrise. Activities include dance, HIIT, yoga, and meditation. Anyone interested in learning more about this event or instructors interested in donating their time to lead a class in person or virtually for the event and share the proceeds with Sunrise can please reach out to Aileen Hoffman – or call 516-659-1020.

Please note: Sunrise Association policy requires that all event attendees be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.  Please bring proof of your Covid-19 vaccination to the event. In-person events will be held in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, including local, state, and CDC guidelines, to protect the health and welfare of our staff and guests.