Our History

Our History

Our Mission

Sunrise Day Camp-Chicago, a program of JCC Chicago, is a proud member of the Sunrise Association, whose mission is to bring back the joys of childhood to children with cancer and their siblings worldwide. Sunrise accomplishes this through the creation and oversight of welcoming, inclusive summer day camps, year-round programs and in-hospital recreational activities, all offered free of charge.

The Dream Becomes Reality

Sunrise Association Day Camps began as a “dream” of Arnie Preminger, President & CEO of the Sunrise Association. After attending a benefit concert for Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp (a sleep-away camp for children with life-threatening illnesses), the dreaming began. Having built and operated summer day camps for more than 30 years at the Friedberg JCC, Arnie researched the existence of summer-long day camps for children with cancer, but to his surprise, found none.

Opened in 2006

The first Sunrise Day Camp opened its doors in 2006 on Long Island as the world’s first full-summer day camp for children with cancer and their siblings. Sunrise Day Camp-Chicago is excited for its’ first summer in 2023. It will serve the entire Chicagoland area and is a project of JCC Chicago in partnership with Sunrise Association,
But Sunrise is more than just a camp. It’s a place that allows children with cancer and their siblings to be just kids. It is a creative, safe, healthy, supportive and fun-filled community where peers who have a similar and shared experience are supervised by a dedicated and trained staff who are keenly aware of their unique needs. And our year- round and in-hospital programs ensure that our kids are cared for all throughout the year, and while they are being treated in-hospital.

About JCC Chicago

JCC Chicago, founded in 1903 and rooted in Jewish values, offers a life-affirming journey fostering a connected, inclusive community from birth through senior years. With a focus on growing good kids and building connections, it is JCC Chicago’s mission to strengthen the Jewish community, from generation to generation. Today, JCC Chicago serves a diverse population of more than 60,000 community members who learn, grow and thrive through early childhood, day and overnight camps, teen, adult and family offerings, fitness and wellness, aquatics & sports and special events and happenings year-round. For more information on JCC Chicago programming and commitment to community visit, jccchicago.org

Additional Sunrise Day Camp Locations

Aurora Day Camp • Atlanta, GA

Horizon Day Camp • Baltimore, MD

Horizon Day Camp  •  Metro DC

Sunrise Day Camp • Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Sunrise Day Camp • Chicago, IL

Sunrise Day Camp • Greater Philadelphia

Sunrise Day Camp • Long Island, NY

Sunrise Day Camp • Pearl River, NY

Sunrise Day Camp • Staten Island, NY

Sunrise Israel • Be’er Sheva, Israel

Sunrise Israel • Beit Yehoshuah, Israel

Sunrise Israel • Ramat Yochanan, Israel

SunriseVX • Virtual Experience