Aurora Day Camp is a proud member of the Sunrise Association, whose mission is to bring back the joys of childhood to children with cancer and their siblings world-wide, through the creation of Aurora Day Camp, Sunrise Day Camps, Year-Round Programs and In-Hospital Recreational Activities, all offered free of charge.
The Sunrise Association Day Camps began as a “dream” of Arnie Preminger, President & CEO of the Sunrise Association. After attending a benefit concert for Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp (a sleep-away camp for children with life-threatening illness), the dreaming began. Having built and operated summer day camps for more than 30 years at the Friedberg JCC, Arnie researched the existence of summer-long day camps for children with cancer, but to his surprise, found none.
The Dream Becomes Reality
After intensive research and planning, the first Sunrise Day Camp was opened on Long Island in 2006 – the first and only day camp in the world, offered free of charge, for children with cancer and their siblings. Four renowned pediatric oncology facilities had signed on as affiliates, one million dollars had been raised, and the campgrounds prepared. That summer 96 children, including siblings, rediscovered the magic of friendship and the joy of play at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds in Wheatley Heights – all free of charge. The sounds of medical monitors were replaced with laughter, and the feelings of cold machines and sharp needles quickly disappeared with warm hugs from counselors and new friends.