Sunrise Scoop - December 2022

Sunrise Highlights

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

Give the Gift of Joy

Just in time for the holidays, we have a gift that will bring happiness to everyone. 

Donations to the Sunrise Association from now until the end of the year will be matched dollar for dollar—up to $150,000–by a very generous, anonymous donor. Together, let’s double the JOY for children with cancer and their siblings.  

Please make your donation today! 

Thank you for the gift of JOY!

Camper Story

About Abi from Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River

Abigail was born on November 28, 2014. When she was seven months old, she was diagnosed with cancer. At her six-month visit to the pediatrician, a few things were off – she wasn’t sitting up, she was very quiet, and the circumference of her head was more than average. After several tests and MRIs, Abi‘s parents, Diedra and Shaun, learned that their beautiful baby girl had a low-grade glioma, or brain tumor. It is rare that people with these tumors are cured. Abi was so young that inserting the port for her chemotherapy treatments was a challenge. Hospital visits and infusions became the family’s new normal.  

Abi’s baby brother, Alex, arrived in 2018. Shortly after his birth the family learned about the Sunrise Association from the Child Life staff at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in New York. They were so incredibly grateful to learn about Sunrise because their life had been turned upside down. Abi joined Sunrise virtual camp, which is now called SunriseVX, in 2020 and was enthralled with the program and staff. Both Abi and Alex participated in SunriseVX in 2021 and then attended in-person camp at Pearl River in 2022. The kids talked about swimming and the pool all summer, but also really enjoyed gaga and just being with their counselors and friends. “Sunrise was a huge help in so many ways!” said Diedra. “We cannot wait until Summer 2023!” 


Your generosity helps children like Abi and her brother Alex.

Sunrise Event – A Great Night for the Night Run

Runners, take your mark! On November 2, Sunrise Israel participated in its 13th annual Tel Aviv 10K Night Run. With over 1,500 runners and 63 companies supporting our children, the event raised more than $230,000 in one night becoming the largest fundraising event for Sunrise Israel!   

Thanks to the generous support of our partner American Airlines, the event included a raffle for 100,000 AAdvantage miles. Ofry Chemouil from the Herzog Fox Neeman law firm was the winner!  

It has been great to watch the Tel Aviv Night Run – and the amazing Sunrise community supporting it – grow. Congratulations, Sunrise Israel! To support our Israel programs and services, please click here.

Sunrise News – Sweet Dreams

Dare to Dream–Atlanta 

The third annual Dare to Dream Atlanta gala on November 5 was a tremendous success. The Greater Atlanta Community raised $295,000 for Sunrise’s Aurora Day Camp, while celebrating special honorees Bob Hope and Ricky Steele. This is Dare to Dream Atlanta’s highest total ever! 

Watch the videos that premiered at the gala to learn more about the impact Aurora has on the Greater Atlanta community. 

Dare to Dream–New York 

Just 11 days following our successful Atlanta event (see article above), nearly 300 guests gathered for Sunrise Association’s ninth annual Dare to Dream benefit at the elegant Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers in New York City. The event was hosted by Dave Price, weather anchor at WNBC. Sunrise Association honored the Steven M. Perez Foundation (the Perez and Elhai families). Sunrise Association also honored Lisa Drayer and Dr.Jeffrey Drayer, in honor of their beloved mother Barbara Drayer, for their tireless dedication to helping bring back the joy of childhood to children with cancer and their siblings.  

A highlight of the evening was hearing from Diedra, our featured parent speaker, about how Sunrise helped change the lives of her two children Abi and Alex. (The family’s story is shared at the beginning of this newsletter.) Our first in-person Dare to Dream NYC event since June 2019, this very special evening was filled with love and ended up raising $784,000 in support of our children! If you would still like to make a donation to Dare to Dream, please click here. 

From left: Beth Fetner, Arnie Preminger, Rickey Perez, Rachel Perez, Jesse Elhai, Dana Elhai, Dave Price, Barry Drayer, Lisa Drayer, David Strumeyer , Mandi Drayer, Dr. Jeffrey Drayer.  

Sunrise News – Day for Doing Good

Regeneron, a pharmaceutical-Biotech company, hosted its sixth annual Day for Doing Good on October 27, welcoming Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River to its main office complex in Tarrytown, NY. Volunteer New York, a group that inspires and equips volunteers, coordinated this community event that mobilized over 3,000 Regeneron employees and served over 150 nonprofit organizations. We are so grateful to have been a part of this endeavor for the second time! 

Project Leader, Nicole Ragone, also a former Sunrise Day Camp–Long Island counselor, coordinated 20 employees to create 70 hands-on science activity kits. The kits included a bookmark, fidget toy, a personal note from a Regeneron employee and circuit cards with instructions. The kits will enhance our existing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Music) programing by providing campers with enriching experiences as part of our year-round programs. We value our continued partnership with Regeneron and Volunteer NY and look forward to future opportunities to work together. 

Supporter Spotlight – Way to Go, Jericho!

From left: Jericho’s Marc S. Alpert presented the donation to Sunrise’s Bonni Gould, with Jericho parents Jennifer and Leo Vartanov.

Parents from the Jericho School District on Long Island presented Sunrise Association with a check for $35,000 on November 17. Earlier in the month – 80 students from Jericho High School played soccer for pledges from family and friends in the school’s annual Kick It for Cancer event on November 4. The students raised $4,100 for Sunrise, kicking up the $286,975 total that the high school has raised since 2006 even higher! Thank you, Jericho, for your continued support.

Sunrise Shout Out – Children’s Oncology Camping Association (COCA) Awards

The winning Staten Island photo.

The Children’s Oncology Camping Association’s annual conference was last month. Sunrise Association was awarded the 2022 Best of COCA Award for our September Childhood Cancer Awareness Campaign. Sunrise Day Camp–Staten Island also took home first prize for Best Camp Photo! Thank you to everyone who voted for these beautiful, happy campers.

A post from the winning social media campaign.

Sunrise In the News

We love this news segment about the Arts & Crafts and Toy Drive we did for Dallas-Fort Worth hospitals during September’s Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. The segment features Joy Zelin, Sunrise Association Board Chair and Brill and Jason Garrett (former head coach of the Dallas Cowboys). The segment aired on October 24 on Dallas’ CW33, please click here!

Endurance News: We've Got Bibs!

Team Sunrise will be represented at the Chicago Marathon in 2023! Interested in running one of the country’s premier marathons and raising money for Sunrise? Contact MaryKate Smith at 

Please note: Sunrise Association policy requires that all event attendees be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. 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.