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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 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 Aspire magazine.


For more information on how you or your practice can adopt a shade structure and be recognized in your community, call Sandra Perez at (847) 240-1037 or email

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

Derick Dermatology – 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.”

View photos from the dedication ceremony.

Dermatology Associates – 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.”

View photos from the dedication ceremony.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

“There are numerous areas and facilities in Arkansas that would benefit from the AAD’s Shade Structure Program. We felt very strongly that the foundation’s funds needed to be spent in Arkansas, a beautiful but poor state that is often overlooked. This program seemed like the best way to utilize dollars from the foundation and honor one of the foundation’s missions: skin cancer prevention.”

─ Scott Dinehart, MD, Arkansas Foundation for Skin Cancer