Sunrise Scoop June 2023

Sunrise Highlights

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

Camper Profile – Welcome Lukas and Jakob

The brothers were the first campers registered for Sunrise Day Camp–Chicago’s inaugural season, which began on June 12   

Four years ago, Nicole Voelz brought her son Lukas to the pediatrician after a rash showed up on his neck. The last diagnosis she expected was cancer. But the following day, Lukas, who was then 21 months old, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. “I was upset and sad and scared and worried, and feeling all of these emotions at once,” Nicole recalls. “It came out of left field. It was nothing that we were prepared for. 

For the next eight months, Lukas spent most of his time in the hospital. He lost his ability to crawl or walk due to his weight gain, a side effect of his prednisone. He couldn’t even lift his head up.  

Through all the poking and prodding, IVs and overnight hospital stays, Lukas put on a brave face and never stopped battling his cancer. “He doesn’t let anything stop him,” said Nicole. “He has that fighting spirit where he wasn’t going to give up on the challenges in front of him.” He also has an awesome older brother/best friend Jakob, who supported him at every appointment. The family is beyond grateful that today, Lukas is one year off treatment and doing great! 

This summer, Lukas and Jakob are so excited to attend the inaugural season of Sunrise Day Camp–Chicago together. “I just want them to have this time where they can learn, grow and do all of the things that they missed out on,” Nicole shared, explaining that the boys haven’t experienced the joy of playing outdoor games in the summer, learning how to hit a baseball or competing in a soccer game. “They are so excited to just be kids,” she said, noting that splashing around in the pool and making new friends is top of their list. 

For the Voelzs, the chance for Lukas and Jakob to go to camp means everything to them. “We are just very thankful for this opportunity for our kids because they’ve lost out on so much,” Nicole explained. “Being able to have them participate in something like this is so huge.” 

Sunrise Events – Soaring SunriseWALKS

On June 4 in Staten Island and June 11 on Long Island supporters followed the SunriseWALKS slogan – We Walk So They Can Soar! While the two walk events have very different settings – Staten Island’s takes place in a baseball stadium and Long Island’s is held at the Wheatley Heights campgrounds – both events, as well as the other five SunriseWALKS – share the common goals of raising significant funds to send children to camp while also providing supporters of all ages with a fun and meaningful experience.  

At SunriseWALKS Staten Island, a marching band and cheerleading squad set an uplifting tone, which was magnified by a jumbotron showing pictures of Sunrise children and event sponsors. Participants were offered discount tickets to the Staten Island FerryHawks baseball game later that day. SunriseWALKS Long Island’s celebration included a DJ, live radio station broadcast and a two-hour-long carnival. Camp counselors created a WALKS team and set a goal of $23,000; because they met their fundraising goal, the counselors won the grand prize of pieing Arnie Preminger, Sunrise Association President and CEO, in the face. What‘s more fun than that? 

Staten Island has now raised around $288,000 in funds and Long Island over $800,000. We are continuing to collect donations to help the important fundraising events reach their respective goals of $300,000 and $1 million. With the cost of camp at $6,000 per child, think about how many more campers will enjoy a fantastic summer because of these essential donations. There’s still time to make a difference in the lives of children impacted by cancer! Please support with a donation Staten Island / Long Island.  

For more information about SunriseWALKS and how to engage your company, healthcare provider, school, family and more, please contact National Director, Suzanne Beck at

Sunrise Event – Camp Counselor Appreciation Day  

This July 7 is the inaugural celebration of Camp Counselor Appreciation Day. Established by the Sunrise Association, this special day recognizes the unique, impactful and dedicated young professionals who bring love, joy, happiness and hope to children at summer camps – at all Sunrise Association Day Camps and at other summer camps across the country. 

“We do our best to show our camp counselors every day just how much we appreciate and love them, but to have a day at camp dedicated to expressing our appreciation for them is fantastic,” said Deanna Slade, Vice President of Camping and Related Services and Director of Sunrise Day Camp–Long Island. “Our counselors very much deserve it. They put their hearts and souls into our mission every single day.”  

Follow the action with #campcounselorday on social media and see how Sunrise Association Day Camps are sharing their appreciation for their counselors on July 7. 

Sunrise News – Team Sunrise


We are excited to announce that Team Sunrise is an official partner in the 2023 TCS New York City Marathon! We are looking forward to joining forces with the running community to continue our adventure into marathons – and we are looking for runners to join us in raising funds for Sunrise.

Sunrise In the News 

Click here
to read a beautiful story about Staten Island’s special day.

Fundraising Events

Please click on the event below that you are interested in.

July 17, 2023 
Westchester Golf Outing
The 7th Annual Westchester Golf Outing benefiting Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River is on Monday, July 17. This year, we are thrilled to expand our golf outing and have golf at two premier Westchester courses – Fenway Golf Club & Metropolis Country Club. Additional activities include tennis, cards, and shopping & lunch followed by cocktails and dinner at Fenway. Join us as we honor Justin Driscoll, President & CEO of New York Power Authority. For more information, visit

August 7, 2023
Mildred & Samuel Levine Memorial Golf Classic
The 17th Annual Mildred & Samuel Levine Memorial Golf Classic will be on Monday, August 7. Golf will be held at three courses: The Seawane Club, Rockaway Hunting Club and Hempstead Golf & Country Club. In addition to golf, the event offers tennis & pickleball, cards & games, shopping & lunch, and cocktails & dinner. Join us as we celebrate and honor our 2023 honorees: George Brewster, Robert DiBiase, Stewart O’Brien, Terence O’Brien, Stuart Rabinowitz, and the Stern Family/Platsky Company. All proceeds benefit the children of Sunrise Day Camp–Long Island. Purchase tickets, sponsorships, journal ads and donate at

SunriseWALKS is coming to an area near you! 

October 15, 2023
SunriseWALKS Pearl River
SunriseWALKS Pearl River is an annual community event that raises funds for Sunrise Day Camp–Pearl River. The festive day takes place in Rockland County, New York at the beautiful Camp Ramaquois.

October 15, 2023
HorizonWALKS Baltimore
HorizonWALKS Baltimore helps raise critical funds for Horizon Day Camp–Baltimore. All proceeds enable Horizon Day Camp to support Sunrise’s mission – to restore the joys of childhood to local children with cancer and their siblings. 

Should COVID-19 remain at or below its current levels, we will not require proof of vaccination at our Sunrise Association events. Nevertheless, for the safety of our Sunrise Association staff and guests, we request that you not attend the event if you are not feeling well or have been knowingly exposed to anyone with a communicable illness. While masking is not required, please respect those who choose to mask and/or socially distance. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.