The Bangor Region YMCA to Dedicate New Shade Structure

November 6, 2020

The Bangor Region YMCA will hold a small ribbon-cutting ceremony at Camp G. Peirce Webber (250 Emerson Mill Road, Hampden) to dedicate its new sun shade structure at 11:00am on Monday, November 9th.

The structure, which was funded by an American Academy of Dermatology Shade Structure Grant, will provide shade over Camp G. Peirce Webber, protecting 250 children each day during future summers from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and helping to reduce their risk of skin cancer. Dermatologist, Dr. Carolyn Ellis, a member of the AAD, sponsored The Bangor Region YMCA’s grant application.

The shade shelter will be installed in an open clearing at the camp, which is exposed to full sun during camp hours. This area is used daily throughout the summer, particularly for archery activities. Children learning and practicing archery each day include 3rd through 6th graders attending Camp G. Peirce Webber, as well as 7th through 10th graders in the YMCA’s Adventure Camp who also use the open clearing.

According to the AAD, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and it only takes one blistering sunburn during childhood or adolescence to nearly double a person’s chance of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, later in life. Seeking shade is an easy way to reduce the risk of skin cancer, along with covering up and wearing a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Dr. Ellis commented: “I have been particularly impressed by the Bangor Region YMCA’s actions to educate and promote sun safety for our community. Since the fall of 2016, the Bangor Region YMCA has presented sun safety education to 23 schools in Penobscot, Piscataquis, Hancock, Waldo, and Washington Counties, reaching 1,404 students. The Y has also presented sun safety information to 160 camp counselors/lifeguards from the YMCA’s residential summer camp, Camp Jordan, and Camp Webber during the 2018 and 2019 summer camp seasons. The YMCA has provided sun safety education to 75 Cianbro Construction employees and to teachers at Hampden Academy. I have personally participated in the Bangor YMCA’s efforts by presenting Impact Melanoma’s Skinny on Skin training to Maine cosmetologists and massage therapists.

The Bangor Region YMCA is committed to continuing sun-safety education and outreach every year. I look forward to continuing my involvement, visiting the Y to give additional lectures on skin and the effects of the sun. A shade structure (will) supplement the education that children and parents have received about the benefits of skin protection”.

Bangor Region YMCA CEO Diane Dickerson stated, “As someone who has had skin cancer due to extreme sun exposure as a child living in Las Vegas, I understand how important it is to protect our children. We want to educate our children and make sure they practice sun safety all of the time. We are so grateful to Dr. Ellis and the American Academy of Dermatology for this generous gift in helping us keep our children safe.”

The Shade Structure Grant Program is part of the AAD’s SPOT Skin Cancer™ campaign to reduce the incidence of skin cancer by educating the public about effective skin cancer prevention tips. To learn more about the Shade Structure Grant Program or for ways to prevent and detect skin cancer, visit