Dewitt, NY – Twenty-five current and former Christian Brothers Academy students, along with faculty and friends braved bone-chilling icy waters to raise funds for Camp Sunshine, as they participated in the CNY Polar Dip on Jan. 16 at Verona Beach State Park in Durhamville.
Founded in 1984, Camp Sunshine, located in Casco, ME, provides retreats combining respite, recreation and support, while enabling hope and promoting joy, for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through the various stages of a child’s illness. Camp Sunshine is the only program in the nation offered year-round with the distinction of having been designed to serve the entire family in a retreat model.
Faculty member Vin Horan has been taking CBA students during summer vacation to volunteer at Camp Sunshine for more than 10 years. For the second consecutive year, Horan organized the local CNY Polar Dip. Over $10,000 was raised, including $7,000 from Team CBA. The money will be used to send CNY families with life threatening diseases to Camp Sunshine.
“The bottom line is that I love Camp Sunshine, so I’m willing to do what I can, even to the point of jumping into ice water, to help raise money to send CNY families – whole families – who really need a break from the daily cares and concerns they have regarding their seriously sick children, to Camp Sunshine,” Horan said.
“I know that every dollar my team raised will be used to give local families an opportunity to step away from the incredible hardship of living with and caring for children with life threatening diseases, for a week where they will be allowed to relax, have fun, and be a part of an amazing, loving, community of support,” he added.
Each year, Camp Sunshine hosts ten polar dips throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The goal this year is to raise more than $400,000, which will send nearly 160 children with life-threatening illnesses and their families to one of Camp Sunshine’s illness-specific sessions in 2016.
“I am hoping that this plunge will help raise awareness that there are so many families right here in Central New York that are bravely fighting against terrible pediatric diseases each and every day, who could really use what Camp Sunshine has been offering for so many years – a cost-free and care-free week of love and laughter.”
Former students who took the plunge included: Monica Hanson ’14; Allee Eber ’14; Mack Conan ’15; Reilly Rebhahn ‘15 and Jordan Sheridan ‘13. Current students included: seniors Cassandra Finkbeiner, Rose Collins, Emily Hanson, Tommy O’Connor, David Goodwin, Will Ierlan, Kate LaCasse and Nate Burns; juniors Kate Benware, Emily Rivito, Danielle Kennedy, Bella Lay, Jack Sheridan, Mila Talev, Rachel Ziemba, Mickey Pirro and Chiara Corey and eighth grader Quinn Horan. Faculty member David Roache joined Horan at the plunge. Also, former students who did not plunge, but raised money included Tom Benz ’15 and Ari Marshall ‘13. According to Horan, 15 students who took the plunge, also volunteered at Camp Sunshine in the past.