A.J.’s New Jersey Polar Dip to Benefit Camp Sunshine Set for Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Avenue Beach Club in Long Branch, N.J.
Freezin’ for a Reason event to help send more New Jersey children with life-threatening illnesses and their families to Camp Sunshine, a one-of-a-kind retreat in MaineLONG BRANCH, N.J. (January 31, 2012) – The sixth annual A.J.’s New Jersey Polar Dip to benefit Camp Sunshine will take place Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Avenue Beach Club in Long Branch, N.J.
A.J.’s New Jersey Polar Dip puts the fun in “Freezin’ for a Reason” as participants, many wearing costumes, will plunge into the chilly Atlantic Ocean to raise money to send more New Jersey families to Camp Sunshine, a one-of-a-kind national retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
Organizers have set a goal to exceed the $50,000 raised by A.J.’s New Jersey Polar Dip in 2011.
“This year, with the community’s support, we hope to raise more than $60,000, enough to fund an entire session at Camp Sunshine for 40 families,” said Michael Smith, Director of Special Events at Camp Sunshine (www.campsunshine.org). “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. It’s for the families and children that we plunge…we call it Freezin’ for a Reason.”
New this year, plungers are encouraged to create a plunge team of four or more people, consisting of co-workers and classmates and from civic groups or places of worship.
Individual participants must raise a minimum of $100 in pledges. Plungers who raise $100 or more will receive a commemorative event t-shirt. As an added incentive, event partners at the Bungalow Hotel (www.bungalowhotel.net) in Long Branch are offering discounted rooms. Fundraisers who raise a minimum of $1,000 will receive a room for $99 per night, $2,500 or more will receive a room for free and the second night at $99, and by raising $5,000 or more, both nights are free, Smith said.
All proceeds will benefit Camp Sunshine. To pledge online and for more information on the event, visit www.freezinforareason.com. The Avenue Beach Club is located at 23 Ocean Avenue in Long Branch, a popular resort community along the upper Jersey Shore. Registration begins at 1 p.m. with the plunge set for 2 p.m.
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 staffed almost entirely by 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 Camp Sunshine opened in 1984, it has provided a haven for more than 35,000 family members from 48 states and 22 countries. More than 800 of those families have come from New Jersey. Last year, more than 100 families applied to attend Camp Sunshine. Sadly, even with multiple sessions being added annually at Camp Sunshine, there are still many more children from New Jersey being newly diagnosed each year, Smith said.
To support Camp Sunshine, please call (207) 655-3800 or visit www.campsunshine.org.
Camp Sunshine’s program continues to be recommended by the following New Jersey treatment centers: Hackensack University Medical Center, Monmouth Medical Center, Morristown Memorial Hospital, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School/The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital/The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and St. Barnabas Hospital.
Camp Sunshine recently received a coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the nation’s leading independent charity evaluator. The rating placed Camp Sunshine 39th in the country out of thousands of charities that were exhaustively analyzed for financial oversight, management and transparency.
Who is A.J.?
A.J. Cincotta-Eichenfield was literally born into Camp Sunshine. The son of Psychosocial Director Nancy Cincotta and Medical Director Andrew Eichenfield, he is as much a part of Camp Sunshine as the walls. A.J. has seen thousands of families with ill children come through the doors of Camp Sunshine and has made many friends along the way. One day in late February, A.J. decided to do something to help support even more families, creating a polar dip. He began asking family and friends to pledge to his plunge, and support for the most famous face at Camp Sunshine snowballed. A.J.’s New Jersey Polar Dip has already raised $150,000 in its short history.
About Camp Sunshine
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 upon them on a daily basis. The year-round program is free of charge and staffed almost entirely by 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 — the ill child, the parents and the siblings. Since its inception in 1984, Camp Sunshine has provided a haven for more than 32,000 individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. In addition to providing 24-hour on-site medical and psychosocial support, the camp offers a variety of daily activities, including swimming, boating, archery and soccer, and special events such as bonfires and cookouts. To support Camp Sunshine, please call (207) 655-3800 or visit www.campsunshine.org.
Here is more information about Camp Sunshine
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