Shade Structure Ribbon-Cutting

Shade Structure Ribbon-Cutting

Posted on October 2, 2017

Self-Help Enterprises held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on September 29 to dedicate its new shade structure. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) awarded a grant for the new structure, which provides shade over the play area at Villa de Guadalupe, Self-Help Enterprises’ apartment rental community in Orosi. Visalia dermatologist Joy Torakawa, MD, FAAD, a member of the Academy, sponsored the grant application and was in attendance to educate about the importance of sun protection.

The Shade Structure Program grant provided $8,000 match funds for the purchase and installation of a permanent shade structure over the play structure at Villa de Guadalupe. Self-Help Enterprises is one of several organizations this year to receive a grant from the AAD’s Shade Structure Program. The remaining cost to complete the shade structure was provided by Self-Help Enterprises as part of the organization’s Healthy Homes Initiative to improve healthy environments for children and residents.

“We are committed to educating our residents about the dangers of sun exposure through our resident services programs. The installation of the shade structure will provide another way to protect children at our housing locations,” said Patrick Isherwood, Rental Housing Assets Manager of Self-Help Enterprises. “We are extremely thankful to the American Academy of Dermatology, and Dr. Torakawa, for their help and generosity.”

With temperatures reaching above 90 degrees for several days in the summer, the shade structure will protect the 95 children residing at Villa de Guadalupe from the risks of sun exposure. The new shade structure over the playground will also increase exercise and recreation activities, especially during the hottest months when the playground equipment may have been too hot for use previously. To teach children and youth about the importance of sun protection, Self-Help Enterprises has developed a sun safety awareness plan and implemented the AAD approved curriculum “Good Skin Knowledge” and “Gigi Sun Safety Toolkit” in the afterschool program.

Children and teens are especially vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun because of their time spent outdoors. Seeking shade is an easy way to reduce the risk of skin cancer. In addition to seeking shade, the Academy recommends everyone protect their skin from the sun by covering up and wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

“As a mom of four active kids, I want to make sure my children are protected from excessive sun exposure. The shade structure protects my kids and I don’t have to cut down our playtime outside,” said Maria Gomez, resident of Villa de Guadalupe.

While skin cancer is highly treatable when caught in its earliest stages, skin cancer can be deadly. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is now the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old, and the second most common form of cancer for adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old.

Since the Academy founded the Shade Structure Grant Program in 2000, more than 320 shade structure grants have been awarded to organizations across the country. These structures provide shade for more than half a million individuals each day.

The Shade Structure Grant Program is part of the Academy’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

Recent Comments