This Sunday at the Katz-Dalsey Academy Charter School in Camden, the Sunrise Association will be hosting a free event for families in the Greater Philadelphia Area who are dealing with childhood cancer. The 1st Annual GO FOR GOLD Soccer Challenge and Carnival will include a 4v4 recreational soccer tournament for ages 3-10, and it will also feature games, characters, arts and crafts, food trucks and more to create a vibrant festival atmosphere.
“We are excited and humbled at the response from the community and the level of support we have already received,” said Rachel Black, Executive Director of Sunrise Day Camp for the Greater Philadelphia Region. “We are well on our way towards ensuring we can provide a meaningful and joyful camp experience to all families in our region facing a childhood cancer diagnosis. The best part is, Sunrise GO FOR GOLD is a fundraiser that feels a lot like camp, complete with fun games, food, music, and arts and crafts. We cannot wait to celebrate with everyone on Sunday!”
The overarching goal at GO FOR GOLD will be to provide these children and their families with sunshine, laughter and happiness. A special guest at the festival will be Ethan Zohn, who is a two-time cancer survivor, philanthropist, former pro soccer player and three-time Survivor contestant who won Survivor: Africa.
“As someone who has survived Survivor and survived the cancer journey not once, but twice, I know firsthand the challenges that come with it. But I also know the incredible strength and determination that it takes to overcome those challenges,” said Zohn. “Children suffering from cancer, and their siblings, just want the opportunity to act and be treated like children. Sunrise programs allow kids who are so often denied normal childhood experiences to play among their peers in a safe and fun environment, where they feel no insecurity about the difficult journey they are facing, and where they are supported and encouraged by those sharing the same experiences.”
The 1st Annual GO FOR GOLD Soccer Challenge and Carnival will be a fun-filled event in a festival atmosphere. Helping to structure the soccer activities will be staff from New Jersey Youth Soccer, who will focus on participants simply enjoying the game rather than creating a competitive environment. New Jersey Youth Soccer is supporting the event on Sunday through its Innovate to Grow Initiative, as part of the 4v4 Festival Series Sponsored by US Youth Soccer League America.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to support this event,” said Evan Dabby, NJYS Executive Director. “We remain focused on providing fun and safe opportunities to play, and this collaboration with the Sunrise Association fits directly with our mission.”
The Sunrise Association recognizes the incredible stress that is placed on a family when a child is battling any form of cancer, and their mission is to help bring back the joys of childhood to those children, their siblings and their parents. Their foundation organizes summer camps at seven locations throughout the nation in addition to an international camp in Israel and a virtual experience as well. Further, the Sunrise Association conducts year-round programs and in-hospital recreation activities, all of which are offered completely free of charge.
Any members of the Greater Philadelphia Community who would like to support the 1st Annual GO FOR GOLD Soccer Challenge and Carnival are encouraged to attend. Additionally, sponsorship opportunities are available for interested businesses, with all funds going to the Sunrise Association to help families battling childhood cancer.