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Volunteer Spotlight: Second Annual College Sunny Awards

May 1, 2017

Project Sunshine is proud to honor our dedicated college volunteers and recognize their service with the 2016–2017 College Chapter Sunny Awards. Each week during National Volunteer Month Project Sunshine awarded one college chapter or volunteer with an award for outstanding service. Nominations were solicited ahead of time, and with more than 50 college chapters nationwide, volunteering almost daily in over 50 cities and 90 hospitals natiowide, there were many nominations to choose from. The awards include two chapter awards, College Chapter of the Year and Most Creative Program, and two individual volunteer awards, Chapter Leader of the Year and College Volunteer of the Year.

Most Creative Program – Vanderbilt University
The volunteers at Vanderbilt University really outdid themselves this year. They organized a Harry Potter–themed Fall Arts and Crafts Carnival at their local hospital where young patients were able to create their own potions in mini–bottles, design their own hats and costumes and get lots of personalized attention. The hospital staff was thrilled to bring such creative programming to their patients and hopes that it will become an annual event. Congratulations to the entire Vanderbilt University Chapter for such an exciting, unique event!

Chapter Leader of the Year – Curran Reilly, Georgetown University
Curran Reilly is being honored as the 2016–2017 Chapter Leader of the Year. Curran was chosen for her passion for Project Sunshine, and her ability to not only lead her Georgetown University Chapter in their twice weekly hospital visits, but her ability to manage her duties with the National Office. Her consistent and timely communication with the Project Sunshine staff and her ability to regularly exceed expectations stood out among a pool of very talented Chapter Leaders. Project Sunshine is proud to have Curran serving as a representative of the organization.

Volunteer of the Year – Phillip Apilan, Wagner College
Philip Apilan is the recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award. His Chapter Leader says that, "he is the most active and enthusiastic volunteer of the Wagner College Chapter." Philip is the type of volunteer that everyone wishes they had in their chapter – he always asks if there's extra work to do, he offers to drive others to the hospital even on days when he isn’t volunteering, and he always has a positive attitude. While Philip is involved in many student organizations, it's clear that Project Sunshine, and the ability to make children forget that they are in the hospital, is his true passion. Congratulations, Philip, for winning the Volunteer of the Year Award!

College Chapter of the Year – Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University truly exemplifies Project Sunshine's three pillars of engagement: service, leadership, and awareness. They generously devote their time to pediatric patients and their families, while simultaneously building a strong spirit of community among the volunteers and across their university campus. This chapter goes above and beyond when it comes to fundraising for their programs – each year they host a gala on campus that proves to be more elaborate than the last. We are proud to recognize this incredible group as our College Chapter of the Year!

More Volunteer Stories of Interest

Sports Illustrated model, Damaris Lewis, volunteered for her second year as a Project Sunshine Dance Camp instructor to empower young women through dance.
Emilio Delgado, who has played Luis on Sesame Street for 40 years, brought sunshine to pediatric patients at Mount Sinai´s KidZone as part of Project Sunshine´s Book Club

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