The Community Problem Solvers group "SOS" wants to help prevent locals from getting skin cancer.
After installing a sunscreen dispenser at Bings Landing, Frank Celestino lathered his face with sunscreen SPF 30 from the dispenser.
It’s his first time in 61 years wearing sunscreen, said Celestino, a Flagler County General Services Department employee. He thanked the Bunnell Elementary School students in the Community Problem Solvers group “SOS,” which stands for Save Our Skin, who gathered at Bings on the morning of Friday, March 29.
SOS is made up of six sixth-graders at BES: Ryan Giovary, DeErra Jones, Aliyah Acevedo, Austin Ziegler, Ella Bredstrep and Darian Miroshnik.
The students raised about $1,000 from school fundraisers and at a First Friday event to purchase sunscreen pouches for the 10 sunscreen dispensers that Sunstation USA donated to their project.
The first dispenser was installed at Bing’s Landing, on the wall of the restrooms by the dock. The second was designated for Wadsworth Park in Flagler Beach. The students previously presented their idea to Flagler County commissioners to get approval.
“Every year the students are encouraged to come up with their own project that is important to them, and there were one or two members who had personal experience with family members who had been affected by having surgeries to remove various skin cancers,” Bunnell Future Problem Solvers coach Jerri Berry said.
Aliyah said that this project was important to her because her grandfather died after having skin and colon cancer.
“People can get skin cancer from over exposure to the sun, but with having sunscreen, they can use it and cause less people to get skin cancer,” Aliyah said.
DeErra said she hopes other states will catch on with park sunscreen dispensers so that the most common cancer in the U.S., skin cancer, won’t affect so many people.
Flagler County Commissioner Donald O’Brien applauded the students’ efforts.
“I’m just really proud of you guys for taking the initiative to do this, and I’m really glad the county can be a part of this by having the dispensers at our different locations,” O’Brien said. “There’s not a person in our country that can’t relate to the fact that skin cancer is something that’s real for everybody, and so, this does its part to help that.”
The future sunscreen dispenser locations are still being determined, but some areas being considered are Jungle Hut, the Flagler Beach Pier, MalaCompra Park and Varn Park.