AAMA's Allen Weisberg, Bob Geschine Visit Sunrise Day Camp On LI

Posted On: 9/4/2019

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WORTHY CAUSE: At left, Bob Geschine (left) of H. Betti Industries (Carlstadt, NJ) and Allen Weisberg, Apple Industries (Greenvale, NY) meet campers and counselors at Sunrise Day Camp in Wheatley Heights, NY. At right, Sunrise Association senior vice-president of development Beth Fetner (left) and development executive Bonni Gould welcome Geschine and Weisberg to the Louis and Gertrude Feil Sunrise Pavilion. The American Amusement Machine Charitable Foundation is a supporter of the Sunrise Day Camp program. Weisberg is current vice-president of AAMCF; Geschine is a long-time enthusiastic participant.

WHEATLEY HEIGHTS, NY -- Representatives of the American Amusement Machine Association and its Charitable Foundation visited Sunrise Day Camp -- Long Island, NY in mid-August. It's one of Sunrise Association's eight free summer day camps for children with cancer and their siblings, located throughout the U.S. and Israel. Sunrise Association is one of the primary charities supported by the AAMCF.

Apple Industries chief executive officer Allen Weisberg, vice-president of AAMCF, and H. Betti Industries president Bob Geschine spent August 15th at the camp. They report that there's a whole lot more happening there than sing-alongs and s'mores.

"I was overwhelmed by the incredible attention to detail and organizational excellence present in everything I saw," said Geschine, an enthusiastic and engaged supporter of both the AAMA and the AAMCF. "Eighty-nine cents of every dollar donated to Sunrise Associates goes directly to serving kids and families in need, and it shows."

In June, Apple's Weisberg was awarded the 2019 Sunrise Champion Award by the Sunrise Association at its Sixth Annual Dare to Dream Benefit, which raised almost $1 million.

"I've been involved with Sunrise Association for a number of years and have found them to be one of the most dedicated, committed and compassionate groups I've ever been a part of," Weisberg said. "The work they do makes a remarkable difference in the lives of these children and their families. To visit this campus and see what they're able to accomplish with the money AAMCF donates demonstrates in the strongest possible way we're supporting an extremely worthy cause."

"We're so honored and appreciative to have Allen and Bob visit us today and are proud of our partnership with AAMA," said Sunrise Association Development executive Bonni Gould. "We're both in the business of creating 'miles of smiles' for children. During their visit, we were able to talk to Bob about helping us create the support needed in all of our camp communities and he generously offered his assistance. It's that kind of character and generosity we've come to expect from AAMA."

Sunrise Day Camp -- Long Island was established in 2006 on 35 acres of the 300 acre Henry Kaufmann Campground near Wyandanch, NY. It's Sunrise Association's flagship camp and the largest in both footprint and enrollment. Nearly 800 campers aged three to 18 enrolled free-of-charge for the seven-week 2019 summer program, with 450 attending on a typical day. Campers are supervised by a staff of 150 which includes a number of oncology medicine professionals. Camp days begin at 10 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.

Campers can choose from a wide variety of activities, including swimming, baseball, soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, arts and crafts, music, dance and mini golf.

Unique to the camp is the new 1,050-sq.ft. state-of-the-art Laura Rosenberg Sunrise S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) center. Inside, campers have access to a myriad of age-appropriate fun and educational S.T.E.A.M. activities. Programs are conducted with advanced hardware and software, including high-end desktop computers for videogame design and photo editing; Kono "make your own computer" kits that run a visual programming language teaching campers how to code; a robotics lab with Ozobots, Dash and Vex Robotics robots; code-enabled drones; and four MakerBot 3D printers, as well as a littleBits Pro Library Circuitry area and modular music studios

"The 3D Printers are one of the coolest things we have," said Max Miller, a sophomore at California's Chapman University and a camp counselor who founded the Laura Rosenberg Sunrise S.T.E.A.M. Shack. "It's so amazing to see the kids light up as they design something on a computer and then watch it take form on the 3D Printer so they can hold it and touch it."

The eight Sunrise Day Camps serve more than 2,200 campers enrolled for the 2019 summer camp season. They reach another 3,000 children undergoing treatment through 38 Sunrise on Wheels programs that bring the camp experience to 21 hospitals.

"We're honored to support the Sunrise Association in their effort to help children and their families during what are certainly difficult and trying times," Weisberg said. "For a period of time, they allow these children to be kids, not patients and that's such an important gift to give the families."

Since 1983, the AAMCF has contributed more than $2 million to more than 125 organizations and foundations. It's the charitable arm of the American Amusement Machine Association, and its success is attributable to the support of AAMA members, colleagues, vendors, families and friends. AAMCF is headquartered at 450 E. Higgins Rd., Ste. 201, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007; tel. (847) 290-9171.

STATE OF THE ART: At left, Bob Geschine of H. Betti Industries checks out a bank of MakerBot three-dimensional printers in Sunrise Day Camp S.T.E.A.M. Shack. At right, Apple Industries' Allen Weisberg and Geschine admire models made with the MakerBots as camp counselor Max Miller, a student at Chapman University (Orange, CA) and founder of the Laura Rosenberg Sunrise S.T.E.A.M. Shack, shows off a 3D octopus model. Geschine is holding a miniature car.