Children with serious illnesses and their families enjoyed a much-needed night out from the comfort and safety of their cars at Chai Lifeline’s Summer Kickoff Concert in Monsey, NY on July 1. The concert was the first in a series of programs and events for “Camp Simcha Without Borders,” Chai Lifeline’s new initiative to bring the magic of Camp Simcha to communities across the country this summer.
Social media personality Meir Kay emceed the program, which featured performances by Beri Weber, Avraham Fried, Yoni Z, Eli Gerstner and the Yeshiva Boys Choir, and others. Close to 1,000 excited children and families sang and danced along to the music in their cars and enjoyed boxed dinners prepared by Chai Lifeline volunteers.
“Chai Lifeline’s children have been locked down, isolated, and quarantined for months,” said Rabbi Simcha Scholar, CEO of Chai Lifeline. “If they cannot come to Camp Simcha, we are thrilled to be able to bring Simcha to them and their families.”
Interactive games took place in between each musical performance, with costume-clad members of the Simcha Squad, consisting of Camp Simcha counselors and staff, distributing prizes to families in their cars.
“Chai Lifeline has always been there for my son and my family,” said one father, who along with his family, took in the concert from his minivan. “Due to my son’s condition, tonight was the first opportunity we have had to enjoy a fun and safe evening away from home since COVID-19 began.”
Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special are Chai Lifeline’s flagship programs for children with cancer, blood disorders, and all forms of chronic illness. For the first time in its history, Camp Simcha will run day camps in cities across the United States, giving children who are unable to travel the opportunity to enjoy Simcha in their own hometowns. In addition, two modified sessions of Camp Simcha Special will take place on Camp Simcha’s beautiful 125-acre Glen Spey, NY, campus in a reduced capacity to accommodate proper social distancing and medical precautions.
Chai Lifeline is an international children’s health support network providing social, emotional, and financial assistance to children with life-threatening or lifelong illnesses and their families. To learn more, visit www.chailifeline.org.
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