If you head out to Winona Lake Limitless Park and forget the sunscreen, don’t worry. Goshen Center for Cancer Care and the Winona Lake Parks and Recreation Department have your back.
Goshen Center for Cancer Care donated $2,500 to the Winona Lake Parks and Recreation Department for three sunscreen dispensers and enough sunscreen for the public for a summer. The three sunscreen dispensers will eventually be placed at the beach, Splash Pad and entrance to the playground.
The idea came from a resident during the department’s five-year master plan public meeting in April. She suggested the sunscreen dispensers and the Parks Department immediately went to work on making that happen. Meghan Smith, Parks Board member, said Goshen Health “100% funded them. They were very quick to take the opportunity to sponsor them.”
The sunscreen is SPF 30.
Holly Hummitch, Parks director, said the dispensers will be out throughout the summer.
“They’re mobile right now. The guys are coming up with a system to make them permanent, but that we can still take them down at the end of the summer,” she said.
Smith said the dispensers were kind of a pilot program and she didn’t think that any other park system in the area had anything like it.
Libby Stout, Goshen Center for Cancer Care, said at the Goshen Center, “we value the health of our communities and preventing skin cancer is really important to us right now, especially as we are in summer and people are outside and at lovely beaches like this. So this is something we definitely want to be behind.”
She said Winona Lake’s was the first sunscreen station that Goshen Center for Cancer Care has sponsored in the region.
“Any unnecessary sun exposure to the skin is dangerous, so it’s always good to have protection on your skin, whether that’s in the form of sunscreen or sunscreen, or protective clothing – wide-brim hat, that sort of thing – is really important,” Stout said.
SPF 30 is the minimum recommendation for sunscreen.
Hollie Carlson, Goshen Center for Cancer Care, explained that sunblock puts a physical barrier on the top of your skin, like zinc or titanium oxide or a piece of clothing. Sunscreen is absorbed into your screen, which is why it needs reapplied every 80 minutes.
Even on cloudy days, the UV rays can get through those clouds and that’s what burns the skin so sunscreen is important every day, she said.
Katie Panning, Goshen Center for Cancer Care, said, “We’re happy to promote sun safety in the Winona Lake area. We’re actually doing a whole marketing campaign, starting off about skin screening and the importance of getting yourself screened. If you notice anything that is abnormal or concerning, the Goshen Center for Cancer Care providers do skin screenings and you can schedule one usually in a matter of days.”
The Winona Lake Parks and Recreation Department also will soon be launching a major fundraising campaign to finish the redevelopment park. If approximately $1.5 million can be raised, there will be more sun shade, which was one of the “major requests” people have had, Smith said. More trees may be planted, and possibly another play structure. Hummitch said there’s three sub-phases left for the playground to add; an extension of the beach access; and in addition to another shelter.
“And then getting paved walkway all the way to the Splash Pad, so connectivity between all the elements. Making it more limitless,” Smith said. “Eventually, the real big goal, is Holly would love handicapped access to the water, the lake. So, hopefully, that can be part of it.”