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For Immediate Release
March 02, 2015

Michael Smith, Camp Sunshine
(207) 655-3800
Web Site:

Fundraising Participants Bracing for Frigid Plunge into Oneida Lake at Central New York Polar Dip on Saturday

Freezin’ for a Reason event to help send more N.Y. families to Camp Sunshine, a one-of-a-kind retreat in Maine for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families

DURHAMVILLE, N.Y. (March 2, 2015) – Participants in Saturday’s Central New York Polar Dip will plunge into frigid Oneida Lake to raise money to send more New York families to Camp Sunshine.

The March 7 fundraising event will test the mettle of the polar plungers at Verona Beach State Park, located off Route 13 in Durhamville. Registration begins at 11 a.m. with the plunge set for 1 p.m.

Camp Sunshine is a one-of-a-kind national retreat in Casco, Maine for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The Central New York Polar Dip partners with TeamRaiser, a popular online fundraising platform, to make it easier to participate. To donate online, form or join a team, visit For more information, call (207) 655-3800.

Fundraising underway for Long Island Polar Dip to benefit Camp Sunshine, set for March 1 in Huntington, N.Y.

Organizers have set a goal to raise $25,000 – enough to send more than 10 New York families to Camp Sunshine ( Each participant who raises at least $100 in pledges for Camp Sunshine will receive an “I DID IT!” t-shirt.

“The reality of this event is that the discomfort our plungers feel for just a moment will never compare to what our families go through during the course of their child’s illness,” said Michael Smith, Camp Sunshine’s Director of Special Events. “We call it Freezin’ for a Reason.”

Nestled alongside the shores of beautiful Sebago Lake in Casco, Maine, Camp Sunshine ( offers children with life-threatening illnesses and their families a place to relax together for a week and to take a break from the extraordinary demands placed on them on a daily basis.

The year-round program is free of charge and each session is staffed with the assistance of 80 volunteers.  It is the only program in the nation whose mission is to address the impact of a life-threatening illness on every member of the immediate family.

Since the opening of the Camp’s year-round campus in 2001, more ill children and their families have come from New York than any other state in the nation. In 2013, 152 families from New York, many from Long Island, attended the Camp.  Even with multiple sessions being added annually at Camp Sunshine, there are still many more children from New York being newly diagnosed each year, Smith said.

Camp Sunshine’s program continues to be recommended by the following New York treatment centers: Mount Sinai Medical Center, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Schneider's Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York University Medical Center, Brooklyn Hospital Center, Westchester Medical Center,  Stony Brook Medical Center, and numerous others.

About Camp Sunshine
Camp Sunshine is a year-round retreat, which provides respite, support, joy, and hope to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through various stages of a child’s illness. The program is free of charge to all families, and includes 24-hour on-site medical and psychosocial support. Bereavement groups are also offered for families who have lost a child to an illness. To support Camp Sunshine, call (207) 655-3800 or visit

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