The RDK Melanoma Foundation joined forces with the Philadelphia Phillies, The Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health and Independence Blue Cross for the 3rd Annual Mike Schmidt RDK Melanoma Awareness Day with a series of events on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, March 19 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

The 3rd Annual Mike Schmidt RDK Melanoma Awareness Day began on Saturday, May 18 when RDK Melanoma Foundation and Mike Schmidt announced the student winners of the Melanoma Monday art contest during Saturday’s Phillies game.  This art contest was a collaboration with local schools and art programs throughout Philadelphia to implement a fun and educational contest for students to share ways to be sun safe.

On Sunday, May 19, Mike Schmidt threw out the first pitch at the Phillies game and was joined after the game by fellow Hall of Fame baseball player, Andre Dawson for a post-game Q & A. Students Against Melanoma (SAM) Club from Lower Moreland High School was also at the game to help spread the message of sun safety and direct people in attendance to sunscreen dispensers that are located throughout the stadium. The sunscreen dispensers are a partnership with the he Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health to provide Phillies fans access to free sunscreen to protect themselves while enjoying the game.

Penncrest High School senior, Sean O’Connor, was recognized at the post-game reception for his commitment to helping others learn about the dangers of the sun and the importance of early detection and be presented with three sunscreen dispensers for his school. Sean’s father was diagnosed with skin cancer last year. After learning there was a history of skin cancer in his family, Sean decided to see a dermatologist. He also noticed after learning more about skin cancer, that rarely did he see any of the members of his school’s athletic teams apply sunscreen during practices or games. Sean decided then that he needed to solve this problem to potentially save lives. After speaking with his High School principal (who was a survivor of melanoma) and receiving permission and support to go forward with implementing this project- he reached out to RDK Melanoma Foundation after seeing sunscreen dispensers at Citizens Bank Park. “I hope that this project may serve as an example to other schools around my school district and beyond,” said Sean O’Connor.

Melanoma Monday Philadelphia Art Contest
2019 Winning Students

 

K-5 grades

 

1st place- Roslyn Philip – MAST Community Charter School 5th grade

1st place
Roslyn Philip
MAST Community Charter School 5th grade

2rd place- Jason Li – MAST Community Charter School 5th grade

2rd place
Jason Li
MAST Community Charter School 5th grade

3nd place – Bailey Boyer – MAST Community Charter School 5th grade

3nd place
Bailey Boyer
MAST Community Charter School 5th grade

Honorable Mention: Isabella and Francesca Alikakos – Hawthorne Cultural Arts Center (3rd grade)

Honorable Mention
Isabella and Francesca Alikakos
Hawthorne Cultural Arts Center (3rd grade)

Honorable Mention
Peyton Scarinci
MAST Community Charter School
5th grade

Honorable Mention
Alexandra Greehina
MAST Community Charter School
5th grade

Honorable Mention: Jaylan Adams – Hawthorne Cultural Arts Center 2nd grade

Honorable Mention
Jaylan Adams
Hawthorne Cultural Arts Center 2nd grade

9-12 grades

 

1st place Elexa Sauls – Lower Moreland High School 12th grade

1st place
Elexa Sauls
Lower Moreland High School 12th grade

The LMHS Students Against Melanoma Club had an incredible day of advocacy yesterday at Citizens Bank Park promoting sun safety and melanoma awareness for the annual Mike Schmidt RDK Melanoma Awareness Day.  There were so many highlights for the SAM Club students during this day thanks to our friends at the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation, the Phillies organization and Mr. Mike Schmidt. 

We began our day with VIP entrance to the stadium, the opportunity to greet patrons at the gates and promote the use of sunscreen on the hot and sunny day, chances to sell raffle tickets for Philadelphia Memorabilia to support the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation and an interview by the CBS3Philly news station which aired Sunday night (and is included below).

View CBS Philly: https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2019/05/19/mike-schmidt-philadelphia-phillies-melanoma-citizens-bank-park/  

Our day continued moving inside the stadium to help start the game by meeting legendary MLB All Stars Mike Schmidt and Andre “The Hawk” Dawson by going on the field for the first pitch, being on the big screen and photo opportunities with our foundation, the Phanatic and All Stars.  We continued to promote sun safety information throughout the ballpark and share our messages with fans about the importance of wearing sunscreen.  

 Melanoma Awareness Day Melanoma Awareness Day

We concluded our day with a VIP reception in the Executive Dining Room of the stadium with special invited guests including Mayor Kenney, where Mike Schmidt, Ben Davis and Andre Dawson lead a Q&A.  We were thanked and honored for our work as the 1st SAM Club in Pennsylvania and Mr. Schmidt recognized me for bringing advocacy to our community. 

I was incredibly appreciative to Mr. Schmidt taking my question during the Q&A portion, “Being a skin cancer survivor, I know that i did not regularly apply sunscreen as a high school and college soccer athlete and athletic trainer.  I know this is a reason why I was prone to developing skin cancer.  As I continue to try to promote sunscreen use with our students and athletes, I am looking for role models beyond our community, and I am interested to see what you are finding in the MLB with players as far as use or non use of sunscreen?”  

His response was that they do not use it beyond spring training and need to.  He found it to be an important point and is going to take it up with the Executive Board of the Foundation and Phillies about the need for someone in the spotlight like Bryce Harper to be a person using it for kids to see why it is important for them to also.  So if you see an ad for sunscreen use with MLB players and kids you know it came from our conversation which would be awesome!

He was thankful many times to our club and my work.  What an honor!  We opened the park and closed the park.  It was a full day! 🙂

Mayor-Kenney-Mike-Schmidt-and-Andre-Dawson
Mayor Kenney

 

Colleen and the LMHS SAM Club Students

Mike Schmidt and Andre Dawson

Thank you so much for all of the support of the Lower Moreland Township School District staff, students, parents and community.  Special thanks to Mrs. Chartock, Mrs. Friedman and Mrs. LaCava for joining in the day.  Extra special thanks to Stacy, Rita, and Debbie from RDK!  Without your help, none of this would have been possible for our students.

Putting our work into action is really what our club is all about and this day was the culmination of a lot of hard work for the last year and I am so thankful for all of your support!   We are only getting started and looking forward to continuing to make change in LM and other districts.

Have a wonderful day and don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!

Best, Colleen and the LMHS SAM Club Students

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