The Third Annual Dreams of Summer Gala benefiting the kids of Arizona Camp Sunrise & Sidekicks was held on March 12 at Phoenix Marriott Tempe at the Buttes. The fundraising arm of the camp, Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation, was grateful and humbled by the show of support that came from gala guests, sponsors and supporters. The gala raised more than $112,000 that will help to fund the 2016 summer camp that is located outside of Payson, plus its additional programs that take place throughout the year.
The evening kicked off with a lively silent auction that included everything from spa gift certificates and bottles of wine to sports memorabilia and event tickets. The beautiful gala was set in a ballroom perched atop the Buttes and VIP emcee, Norris Thomas welcomed guests. After some brief words by the Southwest Kids’ Cancer Foundation Board President, Stephen Ramey, the evening took flight.
The camp host and hostess for the evening were Jamieson Schmitt and Maggie Siegel, who greeted gala goers and assisted in selling “golden tickets” that would find one lucky winner with a stash of cash to use exclusively during the live auction. VIP Host Cooper Posz also assisted in making this an upbeat and memorable evening. Inspiring words from Executive Director and Chief Development Officer, Barb Nicholas assisted in relaying the importance of the camp and its programs and what it means to the children who attend. Mother of one of the campers, Summer Windes also inspired and thanked the crowd during her speech.
A special video “camp spotlight” was shone on Tanner “T-Bone” Sisemore for his upbeat attitude, his unique style of personal charm and his embodiment of camp spirit.
The live auction was simply magical.Live auctioneer Jennie Heal of Supreme Auctions, encouraged the crowd as she auctioned off jewelry, trips and the always popular, camper-decorated Adirondack chairs. Live music was performed by Les Paul Roque who kept things lively all through the gala.
At the end of the evening, guests, sponsors and supporters came away with a greater knowledge of Arizona Camp Sunrise & Sidekicks, plus a closer tie to some of the special kids that the camp serves each year
To help support the camp and its many worthwhile programs that take place throughout the year, visit www.azcampsunrise.org.
In addition to monetary donations, you can also assist Camp Sunrise & Sidekicks by volunteering and supporting the organization through the use of Amazon Smile and Fry’s Rewards. Just designate Southwest Kids’ Cancer Foundation as the recipient of rewards through either Amazon Smile or Fry’s Rewards.
About Arizona Camp Sunrise & Sidekicks
Arizona Camp Sunrise & Sidekicks, the first camp in Arizona for children with cancer was founded in 1983. There were 23 cancer patients and 8 staff members in the White Mountains for the inaugural camp. Staff and children slept in tents and everyone assisted with cooking duties. In 1985, the camp moved to the R-C Scout Ranch, south of Payson. Thanks to the generous support of many, facilities now include seven cabins, a dining hall with a kitchen and a health center. The annual gala helps to fulfill the dreams of the children who attend this camp and its programs each year by providing vital fundraising dollars to the camp.