SUNRISE DAY CAMPS PRESENTS
ITS FIRST ANNUAL SUNRISE ASSOCIATION DARE
TO DREAM BENEFIT
Hundreds of guests raise $700,000 to kick-off
The Sunrise Association
Close to 300 guests joined the inaugural honorees, Laurie
and Stephen Girsky, and Sara and Barry Mandinach, along with
members of Sunrise Association Board of Directors, friends
and family for the First Annual Dare
to Dream Benefit, held on Thursday, May 8th at the St.
Regis New York to raise funds for the newly-formed Sunrise
Sunrise Day Camp, for children ages 3 1/2 - 16, is the only
dedicated full summer day camp in the nation for children
with cancer and their siblings. Founded in 2006 on Long
Island by the Friedberg JCC, Sunrise Day Camp is designed to
meet the emotional, social, recreational and physical needs
of these children while allowing them to enjoy the comforts
and safety of their own homes at night. Sunrise is offered free
of charge to
all children being treated for cancer and their siblings.
Last summer, more than 850 children enjoyed day camp at
Sunrise’s three locations – Long Island, Israel and the
newest camp in Pearl River. Nearly 3,000 children benefit
each year from Sunrise’s many year-round programs both at
camp and at 20 affiliated pediatric oncology hospitals in
the NY metro region.
Dare To Dream celebrated
the kick-off of the Sunrise Association which will create,
oversee and guide new Sunrise projects – day camps,
year-round and in-hospital programs – throughout the world,
bringing the magic created in New York and in Israel to
children everywhere. The goal of the Sunrise Association is
to bring back childhood to children who have had theirs
brutally and tragically taken away; it brings back the
feeling of warmth on a summer day, the magic of friendship
and the joy of play. It doesn’t cure the cancer; rather, it
heals the child.
The evening’s celebration was hosted by Jill and Marc Stern
and Joy and Steven Zelin, who co-chaired the evening.
“A heartfelt thanks to our long-time friends and supporters
Sara and Barry Mandinach and our wondrous backers and
benefactors Laurie andStephen
Girsky for allowing us to honor their work to make the lives
of our Sunrise children a little brighter,” said Arnie
Preminger President and CEO of the Sunrise Association.
“Our deepest thanks and appreciation for the stewardship of
this extraordinary event go to Jill
and Marc Stern and Joy and Steven Zelin,
and their committee who aided in raising $700,000 for the
Sunrise Association,” Mr.
The assembled guests heard firsthand how Sunrise Day Camps
make a difference in children’s lives. Camper Sarah Heyne
is currently 16 and in 11th grade
at Deer Park High School. Her remarks are excerpted below:
When I was 9 years old and in the fourth grade, I discovered
I had a cancer called Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma. You would
think I would have cried or freaked out like many kids
would. Nope, I remember being so mad instead! I was afraid
of missing school and experiencing my hair fall out. You
see, when I had cancer, I was very insecure about myself. I
never left the house without wearing a bandana and I refused
to take it off. I was also really shy so I didn't really
speak to anyone.
One day, my mom heard about Sunrise Day Camp and what it had
to offer through my hospital, Memorial Sloan Kettering. When
I first went to Sunrise Day Camp, I was a Stormer- one of
the 3rd thru
campers. Being a new camper, I was so nervous because I was
afraid to talk to new people. Thankfully, I already knew a
camper who was from my school – Samantha Perrone. Sam
introduced me to so many new people – people I am still good
friends with today. My sister Kelsey also came with me to
camp that first summer, and having the two of them there
really helped me a lot. It was a lot easier than I thought
to make new friends, because everyone always had a smile on
their face. I knew I was going to have a fun time. And I
was right. Because of Sunrise, I was able to open up and
talk to many people. I have made so many great friends at
Sunrise and I can't wait to return year after year to see
Last summer I was a counselor in training. I enjoyed
interacting with the little kids – the 3 ½ year old “Acorns”
– I could relate to their issues and loved making them
smile. Sunrise was the one place I could be myself and not
feel alone when battling my condition.
Now, here I am 6 years later, in remission, and ready to
return to Sunrise this summer to become a counselor! I am so
excited – I feel like it’s my chance to help other kids know
they aren't alone in their fight. I want to show them they
can participate in the activities and more importantly make
lasting friendships, even with an illness.
If it wasn't for Sunrise, I wouldn't be where I am today.
Thank you for attending this event and listening to my
words. Thank you for your donations which allow me and the
friends to attend this special camp year after year.
As long as there is cancer touching the lives of kids like
me – I also hope there will always be Sunrise Day Camp for
us too. There are so many kids who deserve to experience
the same love, warmth, kindness, and friendship from Sunrise
as I have – and with your help –
I know they will.
For more information on Sunrise Day Camps and the Sunrise
please contact Arnie Preminger, CEO & President
For giving opportunities, please contact Beth Fetner,
Senior Vice President of Development, Sunrise Association,
15 Neil Court, Oceanside, NY 11572,