Always A Sunrise


Sunrise_060116ACelebrating a decade of giving, the Friends of Sunrise cocktail party recently raised a record $841,000 to benefit Sunrise Day Camp-Long Island and its volunteers.
Opened in 2006 with 106 enrolled campers, Sunrise Day Camp-Long Island is the world’s first full-summer day camp for children with cancer and their siblings, provided completely free of charge. In 2015, the camp’s 10th year, more than 500 campers enjoyed a summer of fun, friendship and laughter.
Before the camp even opened its gates, a group of UJA-Federation of New York supporters came out for what would become Sunrise Day Camp’s annual Clean-up and Planting Day. From that first volunteer day, the Friends of Sunrise was born—setting out on a mission to introduce their North Shore community to Sunrise Day Camp through summer volunteer days and raising funds through the annual Friends of Sunrise Cocktail Party at Glen Head Country Club. Over the past 10 years, this group has raised nearly $6 million. Chairing the 2016 Friends of Sunrise event were Vicki and David Miller of East Hills, Bonni Gould of Roslyn, Jill Podell of Brookville and Gary Podell of Jericho.
This year’s event honored Michele and Evan Cagner and Michelle and Harold Morgenstern with the Sunrise Volunteer Award.
The Cagners, of Oyster Bay Cove, are deeply committed to service and to making a difference in the lives of children in need. Evan, president and CEO of BCNY International and Synclaire Brands, has worked with the Soles4Souls charity since its inception and has donated more than 1.5-million pairs of shoes to those in need around the world. Most recently, Michele and Evan have generously donated Sunrise slippers to children undergoing treatment in the hospital and have recently expanded their donation to include backpacks, hats and sandals for all campers at Sunrise Day Camps and care packages to be handed out at the hospitals.
Michelle and Harold Morgenstern, of Roslyn, demonstrate a passion for volunteerism and a deep commitment to the Sunrise Association. They have been involved with Sunrise Day Camp since its inception. In 2015, Harold, senior vice president of national advertising sales at Discovery Digital Networks, was instrumental in the building of a new treehouse at Sunrise Day Camp-Pearl River and assisted in bringing in Quicken Loans as a national sponsor for its debut on Animal Plant’s Treehouse Masters show.
The Sunrise Community Partner Award was presented to Gabe Landau and Eric Schiff of ESP Productions, an entertainment and production company.
Schiff’s life was touched by cancer when he lost his good friend, Steven Perez, to the disease 13 years ago. President and CEO of ESP Productions, Schiff, who resides in Melville, has been involved with Sunrise since its inception though his board involvement with the Steven M. Perez Foundation. Landau of Port Washington is a partner and the COO of ESP Productions. Together, their contributions to Sunrise have been numerous. They have donated both their time and financial resources to ensure that these children enjoy a summer filled with happiness and smiles. During camp, Schiff and Landau partner with Rebecca Hollander of the Americana Manhasset to create a summer carnival. During the year, their expertise at many fundraisers have helped raise the profile of Sunrise.

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Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.


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