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April marks ‘Project Sunshine Month’

Charity helps kids in hospitals

March 27, 2014 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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April showers may bring May flowers, as the old nursery rhyme goes, but did you know that April is also Project Sunshine Month?

Project Sunshine, a New York-based charity that assists children in hospitals, has big plans for April, according to representatives, who are planning a series of celebrations throughout the month, including a dinner to salute its volunteers. The organizers have declared April to be “Project Sunshine Month.”

Project Sunshine volunteers serve children at several Brooklyn hospitals, including Brookdale University Hospital & MedicalCenter, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center, Coney Island Hospital, Lutheran Medical Center, Maimonides Medical Center and Woodhull Medical, Mental HealthCenter.

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The organization has an army of more than 15,000 volunteers who bring recreational and arts-related activities to children at their hospital bedsides. The group also provides tutoring and mentoring programs as well as HIV-AIDS and nutritional counseling to more than 100,000 children facing medical challenges 175 major cities across the U.S. and in Canada, China, Israel and Kenya.

Project Sunshine will recognize its volunteers during Project Sunshine Week, April 22- 29. The week will culminate with Project Sunshine’s 11th Annual Benefit Celebration to be held on April 29 at the Waldorf Astoria. The celebration, called “Sunshine at Night,” will honor individuals who have worked to improve the lives of children. Maurice DuBois of WCBS-TV will be the Master of Ceremonies. The night will also include celebrity appearances by Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, sports celebrities, and a special musical performance by Ryan Shaw, who is currently starring as Stevie Wonder in “Motown the Musical.”

“Project Sunshine Month celebrates the thousands of trained volunteers, sponsors and community members who dedicate their time and talent to children facing medical challenges,” said Project Sunshine Executive Director Beatrice Kernan. “Throughout the month of April, we recognize and honor the tireless efforts of these compassionate individuals who strive to bring sunshine into the lives of these children and their families.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are expected to present proclamations to honor the organization during the month.

The goal of “Project Sunshine Month” is to raise awareness of the organization and what it does, according to representatives.

To help promote the group and the work it does, Project Sunshine banners will be displayed along Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan, in front of the Waldorf Astoria, during the week of April 22-29 and the Empire State Building will be lit yellow in honor of the organization. The color yellow is used as a theme of Project Sunshine to symbolize the sun.

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