Southwest Kids’ Cancer Foundation Gala Benefits Children’s Oncology Camp and More

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Posted By on March 13, 2018

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.

  • Speaker Paul Mosier has two daughters that have attended Arizona Camp Sunrise and Sidekicks
  • Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation's Campfire & Marshmallows Gala emcee Carey Pena
  • Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation's Campfire & Marshmallows Gala attendees Howard and Lisa Bell
  • Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation's Board president Stephen Ramey with Sharon Koch, Sandra Spellman, Leslie Koch, Camp Director, Melissa Tang Lee and Steve Koch
  • Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation Board Members Margaret Anderson, Craig Scheinerman, Angel Pennel, Stepehn Ramey and Lynette Carrington
  • Matt Hultsch performed campfire songs at the Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation's Campfire & Marshmallows Gala silent auction
  • Guests at the Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation's Campfire and Marshmallows Gala cheer during the live auction as Golden Ticket winner Kate Pico celebrates her win
  • Gala volunteers Melody King and Vanessa King manned the Kendra Scott mystery box table
  • Gala guests Vikki Noel, Vivienne Rubio, Lori Limberg and Kelly Newcomer
  • Gala guests Keri Mosier, Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation Board Board Member Angel Jannasch-Pennell, Kate Pico, and Eleri Mosier
  • Gala attendees at Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation's Campfire & Marshmallows Gala
  • Gala attendee Insun Kim and Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation Board Member Angel Jannasch-Pennell
  • DJ Dizzie Ramsey rocked the Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation's Campfire & Marshmallows Gala
  • Campfire & Marshmallows Gala guests Oscar De Las Salas, Gary Jackson, Glenda Gutierrez and her son
  • Campfire & Marshmallows Gala guests Gelie Akhenblit and Dave Albertson with Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation Board Member Margaret Anderson
  • Campfire & Marshmallows Gala guest Oscar De Las Salas chats with Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation board members Margaret Anderson and Stephen Ramey
  • Campfire & Marshmallows Gala emcee Carey Pena with Gala guest Gelie Akhenblit
  • Campfire & Marshallows Gala guests Kandi Patrick and Coral Estes
  • Arizona Camp Sunrse and Sidekicks campers Benicio and Sebastian Moreno take to the Campfire & Marshmallows Gala stage
  • Arizona Camp Sunrise and Sidekicks volunteers Michelle and Erin Vossellar and Southwest Kids' Cancer Foundation Board President Stephen Ramey
  • Arizona Camp Sunrise and Sidekicks executive director, Barb Nicholas at the Campfire & Marshmallows Gala
Lynette Carrington

About Lynette Carrington

Lynette Carrington is an Arizona native with a robust background in public relations, marketing, business communications and business ownership. She has been an ongoing and frequent contributor to dozens of local, national and international publications and websites since 2004, with more than 15,000 published articles. She loves being a part of Frontdoors Media as a multimedia storyteller. She enjoys shining a spotlight on philanthropy and the engaging people who do wonderful things in the world of nonprofits.
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