1,000 Attend SunriseWALKS Staten Island and Raise $300K to Send Children with Cancer and Their Siblings to Camp

June 29, 2022

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — They turned their miles into charity.

The Joan & Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center hosted SunriseWALKS, the proceeds of which are earmarked for the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, a free camp for children with cancer and their siblings.

This year’s SunriseWALKS, presented by Home Team Mortgage, was staged at Staten Island University Hospital “Community Park,” home of the Staten Island FerryHawks. The event raised nearly $300,000.

Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “I want to thank all of our supporters for making this possible for our campers. It is thanks to our donors and sponsors that we can bring joy and fun back into these children’s lives. We get to see the impact you have all summer when we see our campers smiling and having fun. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all so much for your support of our kids.”

The day included carnival and camp-inspired games and activities like a dunk tank, face-painting events and relay races, flag football, Krav Maga (a military type of self-defense) demonstrations, and running the stadium’s bases. Walkers also enjoyed special performances by magician Steve Rose, L.A. Dance, and the Wagner High School Marching Band.

The celebrity emcee was Staten Island’s own Carmine Giovinazzo, best known for his role as Detective Danny Messer in the hit CBS series “CSI: New York.” The event also included special messages from other celebrities.

SunriseWALKS is the JCC’s largest fundraiser for the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island. This year the walk was chaired by Gail and John Castellano, Ilana and Niles French, and Macenzie O’Leary and family.

Recognizing the extraordinary financial demands that a child’s chronic illness can place on a family, Sunrise Day Camp and its year-round programs are provided to families completely free of charge, on a non-sectarian basis.

A member of the Sunrise Association, Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is the only summer day camp of its kind in New York City and serves children from Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and nearby New Jersey.

Sandy Haft, Director of Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, said, “Sunrise Day Camp is a special place, where we keep cancer outside the four walls of camp. Your support for SunriseWALKS means the world to us because it helps us bring some sunshine to children who need it most.”

For further information or to donate visit https://www.sunrise-walks.org/statenisland/Donate