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Shade structure for a playground made possible by AAD's Shade Structure Grant Program.

Each year, the AAD’s Shade Structure Grant Program receives hundreds of applications from very qualified schools and community non-profits seeking shade over their outdoor areas, but there are a limited number of grants available. Now, you can help extend the reach of this important program while increasing your visibility in your local community.

The Adopt-a-Shade Program provides an opportunity for an individual or group/practice to fund a shade structure by choosing from these worthy applicants. By participating, you’ll be providing a sun safe area for children to play, and helping to raise skin cancer awareness.

“I believed more and more that our school was an excellent candidate for the shade structure grant. But we were not picked as grant recipients...at least not until this year. This grant has been a true gift to our school and we are so excited to be able to offer protection from the sun to the students in our outdoor setting. Thank you to Indiana Academy of Dermatology for helping make this happen.”

─ Deborah Roach, School PTO Beautification

As an Adopt-a-Shade donor, your generosity will be recognized with a sign posted at the finished structure that includes your name or logo. You’ll also be recognized in AAD publications. For more information on how you or your practice can adopt a shade structure and be recognized in your community, please contact Kristen Funk at (847) 240-1825 or email kfunk@aad.org.

Adopt-a-Shade donors share why they wanted to bring shade to their communities

Alexander Gross, MD, FAAD and the Georgia Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery
Dr. Alexander Gross with the Georgia Dermatology Center attends a small dedication ceremony with teachers and administrators at Kelly Mill Elementary School.
Alexander Gross, MD, FAAD and the Georgia Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery - Cumming, Georgia

Dr. Alexander Gross and the Georgia Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery wanted to stress the importance of sun safety at a young age while helping a local elementary school.

"Having a place where kids can be in the shade when they’re in school when they’re outside is very, very important, as are the other things like wearing sunscreen and staying covered up." - Dr. Alexander Gross

"By partnering with Kelly Mill Elementary, we have been able to implement an educational curriculum targeting sun safety, so that the children now understand the importance of sun protection and to be educated on the dangers of ultraviolet light. I am thankful to have been part of the project and appreciate all of those that contributed for the betterment of the health of the next generation." – Dr. Nathan Cleaver

Joy B. Chastain, MD, FAAD – Athens, Georgia

AAD member Dr. Joy Chastain at the playground for the Athens, Georgia YMCA for the shade structure dedication ceremony.
Athens, Georgia YMCA playground shade structure dedication ceremony.
AAD member Dr. Joy Chastain was happy to bring shade to her community.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to team up with the AAD’s Adopt-A-Shade Program for all of the kids who play on the playground at the Athens YMCA. This has been a wonderful way to help my local community. If we can increase the awareness and use of this program, just imagine how many skin cancers we can prevent in the future.”

Missouri Dermatological Society – St. Joseph, Missouri

Shade structure at St. Joseph YMCA, in St. Joseph, Missouri.
St. Joseph YMCA shade structure dedication ceremony in St. Joseph, Missouri.
The Missouri Dermatological Society wanted to do their part to support well-deserving philanthropic missions. Said AAD and Missouri Dermatological Society member Dr. Milan Anadkat:

“Supporting the shade structure at the St. Joseph YMCA allowed us to solve a dire need, putting charitable donations gifted to our society in years past to good use. The State Society Board of Directors has pledged to continue to support similar endeavors in the future, with the goal of annual donations to support shade structures in the state for a minimum of the next three years.”

Added Sue White, CEO, YMCA of St. Joseph, Missouri, “With thousands of children and families visiting our YMCA each year, we are grateful to have the opportunity to create more awareness about sun protection, as it relates to the Y’s areas of focus: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. It further enhances the educational foundation of The Purpose Garden, developed in the memory of Erin Hook and demonstrates how a community receives support for greater good.”

Texas Dermatological Society – Roma, Texas

Children standing with dermatologist Connor Chan, MD, FAAD, in front of a shade structure
Veterans Memorial Elementary shade structure dedication ceremony in Roma, Texas.
Texas Dermatological Society wanted to bring more shade to their state. Said AAD member and Texas Dermatological Society president Dr. Connor Chan:

“Protecting against the sun’s harmful rays is extremely important at a young age to prevent deadly skin cancers. The Texas Dermatological Society was happy to contribute to protecting young children with a shade structure as well as instilling that a photoprotection plan is paramount in the prevention of skin cancer. Partnering with the AAD was easy and seamless. We look forward to future collaborations.”

Derick Dermatology – Ringwood, Illinois

Amt Derick at shade structure
Ringwood School Primary Center shade structure dedication ceremony in Ringwood, Illinois.
AAD member Dr. Amy Derick was happy for her practice, Derick Dermatology, to bring shade to a local school in need.

“It is very hard, as a mother of 3 kids, to make sure they always have sunscreen on before they were out the door in the morning. And, the biggest risk factor of the day is 10 to 2 when your children are at recess. So if they’re playing on the school’s playground equipment, you will have peace of mind knowing that there is a little bit of shade for them to hang out in.”

Dermatology Associates – Portland, Maine

Child at Dr. Gormley's shade structure
Will’s Playground shade structure dedication ceremony in Portland, Maine.
AAD member Dr. Rachel Gormley knew how important it was for the practice she is a part of, Dermatology Associates, to support shade structures in their area.

“I’ve been bringing my own children to the Eastern Prom playground for years. I remember coming when my littlest baby was still less than 6 months and too young for sunscreen. There was so little shade that we would huddle under a small group of shrubs, trying to keep cool and sheltered while keeping an eye on my older toddler as he played. It’s important to think about sun protection when children are very young. We know that a lot of the sun damage that contributes to skin cancer risk happens in childhood, (so) it’s important to get the conversation started with kids and families about skin cancer prevention.”

Francille M. MacFarland, MD, FAAD – Rockledge, Florida

Dr. MacFarland at her shade structure dedication
Photo credit: Kathy Deane
“When I lived in Puerto Rico, I was playing out in the sun all the time, and I, too, suffer from skin cancer. So, as I grew up I became a dermatologist, and it is one of my missions to protect the young children from the rays of the sun so that they would not have to go through the problems of skin cancer.”

Indiana Academy of Dermatology – Whitestown, Indiana

adopt a shade recipients
Boone Meadow Elementary shade structure dedication ceremony in Whitestown, Indiana.
When the Indiana Academy of Dermatology had extra funds available, they asked the AAD if there were any projects in Indiana they might support. The IAD then made a generous donation to the AAD to bring a permanent shade structure to a local elementary school.

“We read through all the applications of schools in Indiana who applied for a shade structure but didn’t receive one, and really liked the one from here [Whitestown, Indiana],” said IAD vice president and AAD member John Stephens, MD. “We were really happy to support it. And it’s great to see the finished shade structure out there now!”

Francis C. Lee, MD – Decatur, Illinois

shade structure recipients
South Shores Elementary School shade structure dedication ceremony in Decatur, Illinois.
Before retiring from practice, Francis Lee, MD wanted to do something to give back to the community where he had practiced for nearly 50 years. He selected a school near his practice that was in tremendous need of shade on their playground. The school plans to use the structure not only for recess, but also for outdoor learning.

“Providing this shade structure is incredibly rewarding. It’s great to see the community work together to protect our youth and teach healthy sun care habits at an early age.”

M. Laurin Council, MD, FAAD – St. Louis, Missouri

adopt a shade
St. Margaret of Scotland School shade structure dedication ceremony in St. Louis, Missouri.
AAD member M. Laurin Council, MD saw a tremendous need for shade at her children’s school. So she helped the school’s teachers develop a sun safety curriculum and sponsored their application for an AAD Shade Structure Grant. When the school was not selected to receive a grant, Dr. Council made a generous donation to the AAD to make the shade structure possible.

“When I was younger, I didn’t know how important it was to wear sunscreen and I didn’t do that every day. I appreciate all the efforts of the school for making it a priority to have sun safety education. It’s nice now to know that our children are more educated and more informed. I’m just very grateful that my children are in a different place than I was more years ago than I would like to admit!”

Prashant Singri, MD, FAAD - Schaumburg, Illinois

adopt a shade structure
When AAD member Prashant Singri, MD, noticed the playground at his children’s school lacked shade, he stepped in to promote sun safety for the children and the community by donating a shade structure. Dr. Singri was especially proud of the educational opportunity the shade structure affords.

“I try to give back to the community when I can, so I funded an AAD Shade Structure. With the AAD Shade Structure Grant Program, you’re not just giving a structure. You’re helping to create an educational program.”

Arkansas Foundation for Skin Cancer and Scott & Sheri Dinehart - Little Rock, Arkansas

AAD members Scott Dinehart, MD, and Ray Parker, MD, started the Arkansas Foundation for Skin Cancer in 2004. Once the foundation succeeded in its aim to raise funds and awareness, the board decided to dismantle the organization. Their unused funds were donated to the AAD’s Shade Structure Program, as a lasting legacy to raising awareness of skin cancer.