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Southwest Kids’ Cancer Foundation Gala Benefits Children’s Oncology Camp and More
By Lynette Carrington
This year marked the 5th annual gala for Southwest Kids’ Cancer Foundation, supporting the efforts of Arizona Camp Sunrise and Sidekicks. The camp, founded in 1983, is located outside of Payson and provides a week of summer camp experience for children that have or have had cancer, plus additional programs for their siblings and families.
Other camp inspired programs and retreats are also conducted throughout the year and everything is provided free of charge for the children and families. This year’s gala was branded as the Celebrating Life – Campfire & Marshmallows Gala and was held March 3 at The Camby, Autograph Collection.
Longtime camp supporter Steven Koch said, “This is my favorite event of the year. The program really helps us see how valuable the camp is to these young kids fighting cancer and their siblings. I am so happy to be able to help with their mission.”
Emcee Carey Peña kept the program moving smoothly while gala guests learned the inspirational stories of the camp’s children and families. Mr. Paul Mosier spoke about his daughters Harmony and Eleri and their experiences with camp and what the “campily” of Arizona Camp Sunrise and Sidekicks has meant in terms of support and friendship.
Mother to Arizona Camp Sunrise and Sidekicks campers Benecio and Sebastian Moreno, Dennisse Moreno said, “Jello wars, marshmallows and galas, Oh my! From day camp to the current teen retreat, Arizona Camp Sunrise and Sidekicks has played a big part in my boys’ lives. They have become better people because of camp. Oh, let’s not forget they’ve become better dancers as well! It is an honor to be part of such an empowering group of individuals from every walk of life.”
The Campfire & Marshmallows gala title sponsor was Applied Medical. Star Sponsors included Arizona Diamondbacks, Snell & Wilmer Law Offices and Today’s Patio.
The gala included fun campfire songs performed by Matt Hultsch during the silent auction, a live auction conducted by Jennie Heal, a mystery box table by Kendra Scott and the dessert sponsor was Nothing Bundt Cakes of Scottsdale.
Photos by James and Elena Thornton of Photos by Elena and Jim.