July 15th, 2006 04:28 EST
EPA and SHADE Foundation Pitch Sun Safety at Fenway Park - National Poster Contest Announced
Boston Red Sox fans will learn about sun safety at legendary Fenway park on Sunday July 16 as children from across New England are awarded for posters depicting proper ways to protect skin from excessive sun exposure.
In a pre-game ceremony, the Boston Red Sox are hosting the New England awards ceremony for the annual “SunWise with SHADE Poster Contest.” The regional winner will throw out the first pitch of the game, and has earned the opportunity to meet Red Sox Pitcher Curt Schilling. SunWise with SHADE is an annual educational poster contest jointly coordinated by the SHADE Foundation of America and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s SunWise Program.
Two senior EPA officials will be on hand, along with Shonda Schilling, Founder of the SHADE Foundation, to explain the importance of being SunWise. “Sun safety has hit a home run with this contest!” said Bill Wehrum, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Air and Radiation programs. “Through this partnership, we’ve educated more than 40,000 students about the importance of protecting themselves from the sun. With the contest going nationwide next year, we hope to reach even more students, decreasing their risk of developing skin cancer later in life.”
“I applaud Shonda and Curt Schilling for their dedicated work to help people understand how simple it is to protect their skin from too much exposure to the sun,” commented Robert Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. “As all of Red Sox Nation cheers for the Red Sox, these fans across New England are also getting great tips to avoid skin cancer.”
“In the U.S., one in five children will grow up to develop skin cancer,” said Shonda Schilling. “By getting the message out to 20,000+ schools next year, we will reduce the number of unprotected exposures and sunburns, leading to lower incidence rates in the future.”
This year SunWise and SHADE partnered to support the contest in 15 states. Grand Prize winners from each state are entered into a national web based competition currently being held through July 31, 2006. Contestants’ posters will be judged on-line by the public. All on-line voters age 18 and under will be entered into a drawing for one of three MP3 players as an incentive to vote. The overall National Poster Contest winner will receive a free trip to Disney World for four. For 2007, the aim is to implement the program in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
Skin Cancer Facts
- Since 1973, new cases of melanoma have increased by approximately 150 percent.
- Most skin cancers are directly linked to sun exposure, yet fewer than 33 percent of adults, adolescents, and children routinely use sun protection.
- The number of skin cancer cases in the US this year is estimated to be more than 1 million—surpassing the combined total cases of breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer combined.
Sun Safety Action Steps
1. Do Not Burn
2. Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds
3. Generously Apply Sunscreen
4. Wear Protective Clothing, such as full-length clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses
5. Seek Shade
6. Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand
7. Watch for the UV Index.
8. Get Vitamin D Safely
Early detection of melanoma can save your life. Carefully examine ALL of your skin once a month. A new or changing mole in an adult should be evaluated by a dermatologist.
The SunWise program is an environmental and health education sun safety program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help kids learn how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun through the use of classroom-, school-, and community-based programs.
More information on EPA's SunWise Program (epa.gov/ne/sunwise)
About SHADE Foundation
The SHADE Foundation, created by Shonda Schilling, melanoma survivor and wife of Boston Red Sox pitcher, Curt Schilling, is a nonprofit dedicated to the education, prevention, and detection of skin cancer. In addition to working with the EPA, the SHADE Foundation works with numerous private and nonprofit partners such as the American Cancer Society (ACS), Blue Lizard Australian Suncream, NASCAR and the Red Sox Foundation, to promote sun safety across the nation.
More information on the SHADE Foundation (www.shadefoundation.org)
Contact Information: Dave Deegan, (617) 918-1017