Old household items and clothing will be turned into an unforgettable camp experience for kids with cancer and their siblings as Arizona Camp Sunrise hosts a Weigh to Fundraise drive at Summit School of Ahwatukee on Saturday, May 31.

Items can be dropped off at the school, 4515 E. Muirwood Drive, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 31.

Arizona Camp Sunrise and Sidekicks, which provides a fun, free and medically safe summer camp for kids diagnosed with cancer and their siblings, will receive a monetary donation based on the total weight of the items collected.

Donations of clothing, housewares, accessories, small appliances, toys and other items are welcome. The group cannot accept TVs, mattresses, hazardous waste, oil paints, ammunition, fire arms, computer monitors and hide-a-bed sofas.

Arizona Camp Sunrise (ACS) was formerly funded through the Arizona Cancer Society. Just over a year ago ACS announced it would no longer be funding programs for kids nationally. A group of volunteers from Camp Sunrise decided to preserve camp and the programs surrounding it and formed Southwest Kids Cancer Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, to continue their mission.

“We feel like it’s a quality of life issue,” said Barb Nicholas, camp director. “These kids that are battling cancer, or their siblings that are in the throws of it as well, they should have the opportunity to do all things that other kids get to do. Camp is a part of their quality of life to be able to go to camp and not have to worry about the medical issues that they face, because we are a fully medically-accredited camp. We feel that it’s important for them to have that opportunity to come together, to support each other, and to grow and have fun just like any other child.”

In addition to the week-long camp, the organization hosts several retreats for campers throughout the year and day camp at the Summit School of Ahwatukee during the summer. All programs are free to kids diagnosed with cancer and their siblings and are operated by unpaid volunteers.

For more information on the camps or programs, visit www.azcampsunrise.org.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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