We are so grateful to all of our donors who make our mission possible.
Our 2022 Summer Day Camps are in the midst of opening for the 2022 camp season!
Your donations help send children with cancer and their siblings to camp, completely free of charge.
On the Horizon for Evelyn
A Horizon Day Camp–Metro DC Family Spotlight
In many ways, Evelyn is your typical kindergartener. She loves school, gymnastics, soccer, reading, drawing, and playing with her younger sister. But in many ways, she is not. In February 2021, Evelyn was diagnosed with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). She is being treated at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and will receive chemotherapy through next May.
Evelyn’s family learned about one of Sunrise’s new day camps, Horizon Day Camp–Metro DC, at a pediatric oncology resource night. Evelyn’s parents, Katharine and Kevin, signed Evelyn up right away. Evelyn is the first camper to have registered with Horizon Day Camp–Metro DC and is serving with her parents as the camp’s ambassador family. Ambassador families represent the camps at various functions. Evelyn and her parents share Sunrise’s enthusiasm for the start of summer!
“Evelyn is very excited to meet new friends, be outside doing activities, get in the pool, do crafts, and learn new camp songs,” said Katharine. “Plus, this will be Evelyn’s first time at camp!” As Evelyn was in full-time day care prior to starting kindergarten, this summer is the first one that Evelyn has school vacation months to fill. “The task of finding something fun, enriching, and affordable for 10 weeks of the summer is a challenge when both parents are working,” explained Katharine. “This summer, we had the added challenge of finding a camp that was inclusive for kids like Evelyn with medical conditions that require an extra level of safety including for COVID.”
Katharine said that she was impressed with Horizon–Metro DC’s mission and focus on having fun—while also allowing for safety precautions and scheduling flexibility. “Horizon will be a special place, where instead of being an outlier, Evelyn and our family know that we are in a place where others will go out of their way to make sure Evelyn is safe and included,” Katharine said. “We are so incredibly thankful for that and can’t wait to see what the summer holds for Evelyn!”
We Walked So They Could Soar!
SunriseWALKS held the first three walkathons of the year and raised over $1.3 million in just one weekend! Long Island held its first in-person walkathon since 2019 back at their campgrounds and celebrated 17 years of SunriseWALKS. Meanwhile, Metro DC held its first-ever walkathon at National Harbor, making a magical introduction to their community and raising over $50,000! And finally, Atlanta continued to exceed fundraising goals, and hosted its walkathon during the first week of camp, kicking off the summer.
SunriseWALKS Staten Island was Sunday, June 26. They had over 1,000 walkers and raised close to $300,000.
There’s still time to donate much-needed donations! Visit www.sunrise-walks.org to donate to any of our June events, and to learn about our upcoming WALKS planned for this October.
A Grant Granted
Big news! On June 16, CAPTRUST Community Foundation (CCF) announced Sunrise Association as a 2022 CCF national grant recipient of $25,000! David Miller, Sunrise Association Board Member, had introduced Sunrise to CAPTRUST. This was the first year that Sunrise applied for a CCF grant. From the 77 applicants, one organization was chosen as the Charity of Choice winner and five organizations (including Sunrise) were selected as national grant recipients.
“We are so thankful that CCF selected Sunrise,” said Josh Krinick, Sunrise Association Development Executive. “Together, we will continue to expand the Sunrise brand and bring the joys of childhood to children with cancer around the country.”
CAPTRUST is currently working with Aurora Day Camp–Atlanta to coordinate a time to visit their program and to volunteer. Sunrise is looking forward to developing this relationship and working together to meet the shared goal of enriching the lives of children in our communities.
Steam for S.T.E.A.M.
Inspired by the Laura Rosenberg S.T.E.A.M. Shack initiative that was launched at Sunrise Day Camp–Long Island, Horizon Day Camp–Baltimore continues to provide enhanced science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (S.T.E.A.M.) offerings. “Providing wonderful learning opportunities, amid a fun, caring, inclusive camp environment is always a priority for us,” said Horizon–Baltimore’s Camp Director Shayna Gruner.
Horizon Day Camp–Baltimore was fortunate to receive a $100,000 grant from the Philip A. Zaffere Foundation that continues to fund items such as iPads, 3D printers, robots, and other innovative items, all of which help guide children’s inquisitive nature and stimulate critical thinking. “We know if we can expose children to the various S.T.E.A.M. disciplines with state-of-the-art tools, they are not only going to have a lot of fun, but they will learn in the process and perhaps even shape their future career path,” Shayna added. The S.T.E.A.M. program is just one of many diverse program offerings at Horizon Day Camp–Baltimore, but it has quickly become a camper favorite!
Sunrise Association President and CEO, Arnie Preminger was thrilled to welcome Mildred Cohen to Sunrise Association Headquarters. Mildred, a Sunrise supporter from the start, learned about the organization from her years at the Barry and Florence Friedberg JCC, which she always considered a home away from home. “I’ve known Arnie a long, long time, from when he was director of the JCC for over 25 years,” Mildred explained. “I’m 97 years old so I’ve been around a long time too!”
Mildred chose to support Sunrise because “it’s children, children, children,” adding that she has been knitting blankets for children with cancer for over 20 years. Mildred once visited Sunrise Day Camp–Long Island and enjoyed helping to serve bagels, lox, and cream cheese. “It was beautiful,” she said.
“I love all the people involved in Sunrise. I love Arnie and I used to know his whole staff,” Mildred said. “They’re all wonderful.”
Mildred, Sunrise thinks you’re pretty wonderful too!
Sunrise in Schools
And today’s lesson is about…Sunrise! Last month, Sunrise’s Nicole Faber presented via Zoom to the entire third grade at Lakeville Elementary School in Great Neck, NY. As the Senior Coordinator of Sunrise on Wheels and Sunshine from Sunrise, Nicole’s role typically involves supervising an amazing group of volunteers, making sure protocol is followed, delivering the most fun, compassionate, and creative programming to hospitals, and coordinating hospital visits requested by families. Nicole is happy her job involves school outreach, too!
“I love spreading the word about Sunrise and getting students involved,” Nicole said. “The [Lakeville third graders] are an amazing group of children and it was an honor.”
To prepare for her visit, Nicole sent her contact at the school a Sunrise video to share with the children. Nicole’s contact then sent her a wonderful list of questions that the children created, so Nicole knew the topics the students wanted to explore. The students’ questions that stuck with Nicole most were:
– What new goal do you think it’s time to accomplish?
– What inspires you to work at Sunrise and why?
– If a child is in remission, can they attend camp?
– Do you think your job is difficult?
“These questions from third graders are so impressive as they reveal a knowledge of cancer and an understanding and compassion about working with children who have cancer,” Nicole explained. “Despite their young age, the children know that our work at Sunrise is emotional. They also asked a lot of other great questions including what activities the children enjoy most, how many children attend Sunrise Day Camps, and more.”
Thank You to Friends of Sunrise
On May 12, the Friends of Sunrise community came together for the first time in two years to celebrate and honor Denise and Kenneth Faltischek with the Sunrise Champion Award and Melanie Cogan with the Community Partner Award.
The room was filled with compassion as we listened to the inspirational story from our camp parent Evelyn, and her remarkable Sunrise camper Brianna. We raised over $700,000 to send children to camp this summer! If you were unable to attend and would like to donate visit our event website: www.friendsofsurniseli.org
A special thank you to Glen Head Country Club for being our longtime partner and for all our Friends of Sunrise.
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.