We are so grateful to all of our donors who make our mission possible.
Love and Laughter for Lacey
Sunrise Greater Philadelphia programs help Lacey “just be a kid and forget about her cancer treatment for a bit”
A six-year-old’s birthday is often filled with balloons, cake, presents and lots of fun and laughter that lasts for a whole week. But on the week of Lacey’s sixth birthday, her parents, Jessica and Brian, were in the hospital with her. Lacey had been having pain in her ribs and legs intermittently. On Lacey’s birthday, her grandmothers brought balloons, cake, and presents to her room at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The next day, Jessica and Brian received the devastating diagnosis that Lacey had cancer – B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Soon after, a doctor implanted a port, which would be used in the days and months ahead to send life-saving chemotherapy medication throughout her small body.
Initial blood tests had not shown Lacey’s cancer, but a subsequent MRI detected it. “Her resilience amazes us,” said Jessica, adding that while “Lacey’s treatment has been a long and challenging road, it’s luckily been one with much hope and support.”
Much of that support is from Sunrise. Through regular Sunrise on Wheels visits during Lacey’s treatment, Jenni Rebetti, Sunrise Day Camp–Greater Philadelphia’s Director of Development and Programs, became Lacey’s best friend! Jenni introduced Lacey and her family to Sunrise Day Camp, and after going last summer, Lacey made new best friends who now rank a little higher than Jenni! Some of these camp friends include girls who had also been diagnosed at CHOP around the same time and had planned to attend camp together. The camp experience kept the girls connected, because they “otherwise went to different CHOP clinics and lived far apart,” Jessica explained.
Lacey’s younger sister Charlotte, 3, also loved making camp friends and everything about Sunrise Day Camp – from the welcome music, counselors and snacks to the themed-days and other surprises. “We looked forward to the girls going and having fun together, socializing with the other kids, and for Lacey to have some normalization with all the treatment and other things she was going through,” said Jessica. “It was so important to us that Charlotte could also attend since this past year seemed to revolve around Lacey’s treatments.” Having both girls at camp also helped Jessica focus on work, as she had recently returned after taking a leave.
Lacey is in remission now but still undergoes chemotherapy as part of her treatment plan. She looks forward to seeing Jenni at clinic – and this summer at camp. “Even the smallest interactions with the Sunrise on Wheels volunteers at clinic has helped make our kids’ journeys a little more tolerable and brighter and Sunrise Day Camp provided a safe place for Lacey to play and socialize with other children who are familiar with the things cancer treatment can involve,” explained Jessica. “It allowed her to just be a kid and forget about her cancer treatment for a bit.” Lacey’s family is incredibly grateful for the gift of Sunrise.
Sunrise Association News – Camp Registration Soars
As of March 13, 619 campers had already enrolled across our 11 in-person camps as well as SunriseVX, marking a 240-camper increase over last year at this same time. Both Sunrise Day Camp–Philadelphia and Sunrise Day Camp–Metro D.C. – which both opened in 2022 – were already within 70 percent of their total numbers for all of last year, while Sunrise Day Camp–Chicago had 20 children already registered for this summer’s inaugural season. And out of these 619 children, 127 are brand- new campers as opposed to 75 at this time last year. With our marketing and recruitment barely underway, we’re hoping to set new records this summer in all camps!
Sunrise Association Event – A Night of Laughter
Michael Reisman is a highly successful Wall Street and banking professional who moonlighted as a comic for many years, eventually saving enough money to launch the famed Gotham Comedy Club as co-owner. Over the past several years, Michael has taken on yet another role – that of a philanthropist who, for the past several years, has been setting aside one night a year for a private comedy show to benefit the Sunrise Association.
Michael’s fundraising is no laughing matter. Crushing all expectations this year, Michael raised over $250,000 in advance of the performance, which took place on March 22. Through all the Gotham fundraisers that Michael has held since 2014, he’s raised over $1 million for Sunrise!
Arnie Preminger, Sunrise Association President & CEO, reached out to thank Michael – whose son worked as a counselor at camp the past seven summers. “Serving these kids gives me and my family immense joy. I am so proud to be part of the Sunrise family,” Michael told Arnie. “You changed me. You’ve altered the career trajectory of my son. You’ve filled my heart with love. It’s me who should be thanking you!”
On behalf of the Sunrise family, Arnie expresses immense gratitude for Michael and the untold numbers of supporters who have not only changed the lives of our children, but who have had their own lives changed by the experience of volunteering for Sunrise.
Sunrise Association Event – Cheers to Sunrise
It was another record-breaking year for Sunrise Association’s Young Professionals Committee at the 15th Annual Sunrise on the Rocks presented by RBC Capital Markets. Over 400 young professionals gathered on March 4 at 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar in Manhattan for their annual event, which includes fantastic entertainment, an open bar, dancing and an incredible silent auction.
The event raised more than $158,000. “It was another fabulous year for our Young Professionals Committee. It was great to see all the young professionals dressed to the nines, and you could sense how excited they were to be a part of the Sunrise community and support our families,” said Josh Krinick, Sr. Development Executive.
A huge thank you to our sponsors including RBC Capital Markets, High Five Foundation, PJT Partners, Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C., Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Gettry Marcus CPA, Eisner Amper and the Morrison Forrester Foundation. A special shout out to event chairs Katie Kaminsky, Ryan Miller, Katie Richner and Tyler Spellman as well as the entire event committee.
If you are interested in joining the Young Professionals Committee, please contact Josh Krinick at email@example.com.
Horizon Day Camp–Metro DC Event – Horizon Hits It Big
Horizon high rollers hit the tables at the Pozez JCC in Fairfax, Virginia on February 25. No hedging bets – supporters went for broke having fun and raising money for Horizon Day Camp–Metro DC! It was in the cards that they’d hit the jackpot – the event, which included table games (roulette, blackjack and craps), a silent auction, dancing, beverages and delicious fare, raised enough to support two campers. “I believe that a big part of my work as Horizon’s fundraiser is to bring unbridled JOY to the adults who are supporting our cause,” said Marcia Sheehan, Director of HorizonWALKS Metro DC. “We did just that with Casino Night and have a program that can grow exponentially to support even more children in the future.”