Recap: Project Sunshine’s Naughty & Nice Young Leadership Party

(photo credit:

(photo credit:

Last week, Project Sunshine held their 3rd Annual Naughty & Nice Fundraising Party at the Bowery Hotel. Aimed at a younger demographic of NYC’s upcoming philanthropists, everything from the Naughty & Nice Cocktail to the Silent Auction prizes held a youthful appeal. Auction items such as a “Date Night in NYC” to a “Winter Getaway” caught my eye.

Attendees included Co Chair Members CeCe Barfield, William Sinclair, Elizabeth Steel, and Anna Varshisky. Committee members and young philanthropists enjoyed appetizers and cocktails as they celebrated the charity and its efforts. Dressed in cocktail attire, the festive event was more of a holiday celebration of the charity and those trying to make a difference, rather than focusing on the night itself. With a special Welcome from Damaris Lewis, and remarks from Founder Joseph Weilgus and team, guests listened to the impact of the event as well as how to additionally help out.

Proceeds went to benefitting Project Sunshine’s programs for children affected by medical challenges and their families. The event was a big success and raised over $50K with money still coming in. The silent auction alone  raised over 11k and the raffle raised over 2k! These efforts are especially significant around the holidays, as it can be a trying time for young patients.

PROJECT SUNSHINE'S Third Annual Young Leadership Holiday Party

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Project Sunshine is a nonprofit organization that provides free educational, recreational, and social programs to children facing medical challenges and their families. I first became aware of the charity’s efforts, when a friend asked me to help create Sunny Grams for hospitalized patients. We spent hours putting stickers on construction paper, wishing patients happy thoughts, and hoping one of our cards will bring a smile to someone’s face. With such an easy concept of making a child smile, I knew this program was special.

With a dedicated team of over 10,000 volunteers to bring programming – recreational (arts), educational (tutoring and mentoring) and social service (HIV and nutritional counseling), Project sunshine helps over 60,000 children facing medical challenges and their families in 150 major cities across the United States and in five international satellite sites: Canada, China, Israel, Kenya and Puerto Rico.

Project Sunshine’s volunteers help to create program materials and deliver programs. Working onsite, these volunteers relieve the anxiety of the young patients and, in a context of fun and play, foster in them the courage and coping skills necessary to confront procedures that lie ahead. Volunteers assemble Arts & Crafts Kits, create Sunny Grams (my personal favorite), and produce Surgi Dolls.

(photo credit:

(photo credit:

Helping where they need it most, Project Sunshine volunteers give the children something to smile about. Through the programs, they work on restoring a crucial sense of normalcy to the pediatric healthcare environment.

To learn more about Project Sunshine, please click here.

The event was generously sponsored by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Peroni, and MacRostie Winery, with additional support provided by MRI Lightpainting, DJ duo The Chainsmokers, and Jimmy’s Cookies.

The Bowery Hotel
335 Bowery
New York City, NY

**New York Social Status would like to thank Project Sunshine for letting us attend such a wonderful night.

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