Camp Sunshine Volunteer Joseph Cerato Receives New England Patriots Community MVP Award | Arts & Culture

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Camp Sunshine Volunteer Joseph Cerato Receives New England Patriots Community MVP Award
Camp Sunshine Volunteer Joseph Cerato Receives New England Patriots Community MVP Award

New England Patriots Charitable Foundation supports efforts of outstanding volunteers and their non-profit organizations

CASCO - Camp Sunshine, a one-of-a-kind national retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, proudly announced today that 16-year-old Joey Cerato of Hudson, N.H., was named a Community MVP by the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and the Kraft Family. The award comes with a $10,000 donation to his charity of choice, Camp Sunshine.

The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and the Kraft Family support New England non-profit organizations by awarding outstanding volunteers who make a large impact in their communities. To date, Joey Cerato has raised more than $100,000 – and priceless awareness for Camp Sunshine – through Joey’s Plunge®.

Since 2004, Cerato‘s involvement with Camp Sunshine (www.campsunshine.org) and family’s struggles with cancer motivated him to raise funds for those facing life-threatening illnesses. In 2006, at the age of 11, he set the goal of raising $1,500 to sponsor a family for a session at Camp Sunshine and obtained pledges from family and friends for diving into the Atlantic Ocean on January 1, 2006. Cerato exceed his goal by raising $6,000. The following year, Cerato and 35 others plunged into the Atlantic again, raising $21,000 for Camp Sunshine.

Inspired by Cerato’s success, Camp Sunshine added five more plunges of its own, and by 2007, more than $200,000 had been raised.

This year, Camp Sunshine Polar Dips reached a new height by collectively surpassing the $1 million mark – thanks in large part to the efforts of Joey Cerato. Cerato’s impact on the community cannot be missed.

To honor his efforts and success, Camp Sunshine wanted to express its gratitude by nominating Cerato as a Community MVP for the New England Patriots Foundation’s distinguished annual awards. Under the requirements, a non-profit organization is allowed to nominate one “remarkable volunteer” that makes an impact in the New England region. Out of the hundreds of applicants, Cerato and 15 others were honored at Gillette Stadium on June 9, 2011, where they all received awards for their associated charities. The first place prize was granted $25,000, five runner-ups, including Cerato, were each granted $10,000, and the remaining finalists were each granted $2,500. To further understand the work of these outstanding volunteers, members of the New England Patriots Foundation will visit the respective non-profit organizations of the first prize and runner-up winners.

“Camp Sunshine congratulates Joey for his remarkable accomplishments and is grateful for his and his family’s unyielding commitment to Camp Sunshine’s program,” said Camp Sunshine Executive Director Matthew Hoidal, Esq.

About the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation

The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, created by the Kraft Family in 1994, supports charitable and philanthropic agencies in the New England region. The foundation is supported by direct grants and donations, as well as appearances by players at events. The foundations main goal is support those charities that aid in cultural diversity, education, family and health. For more information, visit http://www.patriots.com/community.

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 35,000 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.

 

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