Steven Eisenstein was honored recently at the annual benefit for Aurora Day Camp, “Dare to Dream Atlanta.” Eisenstein received the Community Leadership Award from the organization, Georgia’s only free full-time summer day camp for children with cancer and their siblings.
Eisenstein has volunteered with the organization since 2018, when it began in Atlanta. He has served in several volunteer roles throughout the years, donating time and resources to the year-round program for children with cancer. Speaking to a jam-packed room, Eisenstein thanked the organization and spoke about the legacy of giving that he learned from his own parents, Susan and Bernie Eisenstein.
According to Greg Hill, the camp’s executive director, “Since the beginning, Steven Eisenstein has provided incredible support. He was one of the first people to support our program here in Atlanta, and his commitment has not wavered since day one. Every year, his company, Classic Tents and Events, donates and installs the tents, misting systems, recreational equipment and décor that we need — materials that we would not be able to provide otherwise.”
Hill added that Eisenstein has also sponsored dinners and carnivals for the kids, parents, and other caregivers at the camp, as well as participated in many of the special events, lending his “clowning skills” to the fun. Steven credits his father with not only teaching him about the importance of giving back, but also how to be a full-blown clown with juggling and unicycle-riding skills! From a young age, the two of them volunteered as clowns to lift the spirits of children. His parents also established the “Gigi the Clown Scholarship Fund” at Ajecomce, then the JCC day camp in Atlanta, to fund camp for children needing support.
“I always want to give more,” said Eisenstein. “I want to bring joy and happiness to these kids. If I can make a child smile, I have done my work,” he added.
During the evening, three camper families shared their experiences at the camp. All the parents agreed that Aurora Day Camp gave their children a chance to feel normal when their lives had been completely upended by cancer. Kevin Riley, editor-at-large for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, received the Aurora Champion Award and spoke about the “wonderful story” that is Aurora Day Camp.
A live and silent auction was an important feature of the evening, as well as the fundraising portion. Items bid on included a two- to three-week stay at a villa in Ireland, jewelry, and a boat rental with driver for a day on Lake Lanier. Michael Thurmond, chief executive officer of DeKalb County, was in attendance and announced a $60,000 donation from DeKalb County that will enable 10 children to attend camp this summer. The cost for attending camp, including bus service, is $6,000 per camper each season. At the end of the night’s festivities, a grand total of $435,000 had been raised. “Dare to Dream Atlanta” took place at Factory Atlanta and was catered by Affairs to Remember.
Last summer, Aurora served 200 children from throughout metro Atlanta. Campers are allowed to attend the entire summer or for any amount of time they choose. Throughout the year, Aurora serves more than 2,000 children through its summer day camp, reunion programs and in-hospital recreational activities.