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Red Sox, Regional Contest Winner Pitch Sun Safety at Fenway New England Poster Contest Winners Recognized at Fenway Park on Sunday, May 18; Voting for National Winner Ongoing through May 31

Release Date: 05/16/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – May 16, 2008) – The New England state winners of the Limit the Sun, Not the Fun 2008 SHADE Poster Contest will be recognized during SunWise Day at Fenway Park on Sunday, May 18. Online voting for a national winner will run through May 31.

New England winners of the poster contest include 7th grader Nikhil from Connecticut, 5th grader Elizabeth from Maine, 3rd grader Olivia from New Hampshire, 8th grader Kelsey from Rhode Island, 8th grader Bethany from Vermont and overall New England winner, 8th grader Jessica from Massachusetts. As the New England winner, Jessica will have the opportunity to throw out the first pitch before the Boston Red Sox game this Sunday.

SHADE’s National poster contest, in partnership with WeatherBug Schools and EPA’s SunWise program, teaches children about sun safety through the creation of a poster. Students in grades kindergarten through eight were asked to create an 8 by 11 poster illustrating at least five of the SunWise action steps for sun safety.

“I applaud Shonda Schilling and the Red Sox for doing so much to educate fans and the general public about how to protect their skin from too much exposure to the sun,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office. “It’s easy – and important – to avoid too much exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays while having a fun day in the sun, cheering on your favorite team.”

Posters from New England were voted on by a panel of judges including SHADE President and Red Sox wife, Shonda Schilling, and Red Sox wives Kelli Pedroia and Ashley Papelbon. Posters were judged on creativity, originality, and quality of artwork.

According to Shonda Schilling, “the quality of the posters this year was excellent” and choosing just one winner from each state was very difficult because there were so many high quality posters. Since its inception in 2003, the contest has received over 60,000 posters from children grades kindergarten through eight in 43 states.

EPA is co-sponsoring this year’s contest through its SunWise Program, an education program that uses classroom and community-based tools to teach children and their caregivers how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun.

More information:

A short video clip is currently available on EPA’s web site, featuring EPA’s Robert Varney and SHADE’s Shonda Schilling, discussing sun safety. (epa.gov/region1)

The SHADE Foundation of America is dedicated to the eradication of melanoma through the education of children and the community in the prevention and detection of skin cancer and the promotion of sun safety. (shadefoundation.org)

The WeatherBug Schools Program provides school teachers nationwide with a program allowing them to use current and historical weather conditions in interactive, online lessons and activities that use data from their own weather station or from any of the 8,000 weather stations and 1,500 cameras on the WeatherBug Schools Network. (weatherbugschools.com)

EPA Sunwise Program - Online voting for a national winner will run through May 31. To vote for your favorite poster and learn about Sunwise: (epa.gov/sunwise/)

Skin Cancer Facts:
- Approximately half of all cancers in the U.S. are skin cancers. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime.
- This year alone, more than one million new cases of skin cancer will be found in the United States.
- In 2008, an estimated 8,400+ people will die of melanoma.
- The number of people diagnosed with melanoma, which is responsible for approximately 75% of all skin cancer deaths, is rising at an alarming rate. It is projected that for persons born in 2008, one in 58 will be diagnosed with melanoma—that’s about 20 times higher than it was for persons born in 1930.
- Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is the number-one preventable risk factor for skin cancer. Taking simple steps now to prevent overexposure lowers one’s risk.
- In a majority of studies, researchers have found a positive relationship between childhood sunburns and the subsequent risk of melanoma.

Sun Safety Action Steps
1. Do Not Burn
2. Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds
3. Generously Apply Sunscreen
4. Wear Protective Clothing: full-length clothing, a wide-brimmed hat & 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.

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