Xcel and the University of Hawaii Cancer Center have launched a statewide skin cancer prevention campaign, with the debut of a new public service announcement video and over $9,000 donation from Xcel to the Xcel Skin Cancer Prevention Fund.

Coinciding with May, National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, the campaign is one initiative of the ongoing partnership between Xcel and the UH Cancer Center to promote skin cancer prevention through UV protection; and includes a series of summer activities to promote awareness among Hawaii’s youth, who are among those at greatest risk of developing skin cancer in the entire United States.

“This public service announcement is the latest product of our joint efforts with the UH Cancer Center,” said Marshall Marumoto, Xcel Vice President, speaking at the campaign launch. “Our shared passion and enthusiasm that first brought us together has grown into a strong relationship towards a great cause; and Xcel’s donation today is proudly made in support of the work that we’ll continue this summer and beyond.”

Xcel’s semi-annual donation is made through a portion of proceeds from nationwide sales of UV Performance Gear, a full product line of UltraViolet Protection Factor (UPF) rated sun-protective clothing for adults and youth.

Donations are channeled into the Xcel Skin Cancer Prevention Fund, jointly established to underwrite the partnership’s youth-focused educational and awareness activities, and has supported the PSA production created by popular surf cinematographer Mike Prickett.

The PSA and donation presentation were made at the campaign launch event last Friday at the Hawaii State Capital Rotunda, as Xcel and the UH Cancer Center were joined by community leaders and campaign partners including the Hawaii Skin Cancer Coalition; the Hawaii Comprehensive Cancer Coalition; Friends of the UH Cancer Center; and the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH).

State Senator Rosalind Baker; Hawaii DOH Director Lorretta Fuddy; and Dr. Kevin Dawson, President of the Hawaii Dermatological Society (HDS), made remarks in support of Skin Cancer Awareness Month and the importance of targeting today’s youth. Dr. Dawson and a team of certified dermatologists from HDS also provided free skin cancer screenings on site.

The Xcel and UH Cancer Center campaign was also recognized as part of the Hawaii State Cancer Plan 2010 – 2015, an action plan to reduce the burden of cancer in Hawaii by focusing on cancer control and prevention efforts statewide.

Over 5,000 skin cancer cases are reported each year in Hawaii; and 50 to 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to the sun – and risk of developing skin cancer – occurs before the age of 18.

With the goal of spreading positive messages among youth about the importance and ease of skin cancer prevention, the PSA will air throughout the summer on local television and radio media, and features children encouraging others to “Join the Fight” against skin cancer.

“It was key to have kids as the ones to deliver the message to cover up and protect themselves,” said Mike Prickett, producer of the 15-, 30-, and 60-second PSA spots. “We want to show young kids that UV protection is simple and easy, and that it doesn’t get in the way of surfing, or being at the beach and in the sun.”

Xcel and the UH Cancer Center will also join forces for skin cancer prevention at the 33rd Annual Hui O He`e Nalu Paddleboard and Stand Up Paddle Race on the North Shore on July 4th, with more free skin cancer screenings planned on site.

To view the Xcel and UH Cancer Center PSA, please visit our Brand Initiatives page.

To learn more about the University of Hawaii Cancer Center, please visit www.crch.org.

Photo (from left to right): Friends of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center Board Members George Sumner; Jim Wriston (President of the Board); Earl Stoner; University of Hawaii Cancer Center Director Dr. Michele Carbone; and Xcel Vice President Marshall Marumoto at the campaign launch event May 13, 2011. Courtesy of Mike Prickett.