Sunrise Association Hosting Soccer Festival for Families Battling Childhood Cancer

A group poses for a phot at a Sunrise Association Day Camp.

Find out how you can attend, support or donate to this amazing cause!

The Sunrise Association will be hosting a free event for families dealing with childhood cancer on Sunday, May 7th, at the Katz-Dalsey Academy Charter School in Camden, New Jersey. The 1st Annual GO FOR GOLD Soccer Challenge and Carnival will be held on May 7th from 9:30 AM to 1 PM, and the event will include a 4v4 recreational soccer tournament for ages 3-10. To complete the festival atmosphere, GO FOR GOLD will also feature games, characters, arts and crafts, food trucks and more for everyone in attendance to enjoy.

The overarching goal of the day will be to provide these children and their families with sunshine, laughter and happiness. A special guest at GO FOR GOLD will be Ethan Zohn, a two-time cancer survivor, philanthropist, former pro soccer player and three-time Survivor contestant who won the third season of the show. Additionally, New Jersey Youth Soccer will be supporting the event through its Innovate to Grow Initiative as part of the 4v4 Festival Series Sponsored by US Youth Soccer League America.

“Our May 7th Youth Soccer Challenge and Community Carnival is our way of both giving back and asking the community to come and get to know who we are and what we do,” said Rachel Black, Executive Director of Sunrise Day Camp for the Greater Philadelphia Region. “We are here to serve as part of the village of support for all the children in our region facing a pediatric oncology diagnosis now, in addition to the over 600 new children that are diagnosed annually in our region alone.”

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. The Sunrise Association 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.

“I am really looking forward to the GO FOR GOLD event, and I am grateful to the Sunrise Association for getting me involved,” said Ethan Zohn. “As someone with two older brothers, I understand how special it is to share time with your siblings in an environment like this. Growing up, we spent each summer of our childhood in camps, and I will always cherish those memories. I love that Sunrise Association is offering these kids the opportunity to forget everything else for a day and just spend time with their siblings and family.”

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.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to support this event,” said Evan Dabby, NJ Youth Soccer 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.”

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.

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