MONTCLAIR, NJ - The Township of Montclair will be named the Sun Smartest town in America on May 4.

Based on a set of criteria outlined by Deputy US Surgeon General, RADM Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH in his July 2014 Call to Action on Skin Cancer Prevention, sun smart behavior became a public health issue. 

Montclair's Veronica Stigler-Cowher is the Chair of the foundation's SunSmart City Program. Supported by Mayor Robert Jackson and the Township Council,  Montclair Township will be named the Sun Smartest town in America during the May 4 ceremony where Lushniak will cut the ribbon in his declaration of Montclair as the Sun Smartest Town in America. Lushniak will also provide a keynote address and celebrate this fine distinction with the Montclair community.

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Following a ceremony and press conference, there will be a cocktail reception held at the Montclair Art Museum-Leir Hall from 6:30-9:30 PM. Guests will be entertained by a DJ and live entertainment as well as a SunSmart fashion show, silent auction, live auction and a bronzing bar. Tickets are available here.

The Surgeon General has developed a five point call to action to life:

1.     Increase Opportunities for Sun Protection in Outdoor Settings

2.     Provide Individuals with the Information they need to Make Informed, Healthy Choices about UV Exposure.

3.     Promote Policies that Advance the National Goal of Preventing Skin Cancer.

4.     Reduce Harms from Indoor Tanning.

5.     Strengthen Research, Surveillance, Monitoring and Evaluation of Skin Cancer Prevention.

Using his recommendations, Montclair will be the first multi-component Sun Smart Community in the Nation, and will be the model program for other cities and towns to emulate.

Experts state that skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, and the most preventable cause is exposure to ultraviolet(UV) rays like those emitted from the sun.

This is such an important project because some scientists estimate that a child who wears sunscreen everyday will cut his or her risk of developing skin cancer as an adult by as much as 70% percent,” Says Dr. Doug Grosser, Medical Director of the Dermatology Group, and President and Medical Director of the Live Smart Foundation, the project manager for this town-wide initiative which is designed to raise awareness of the need for sun protection every day of the year.

“We are so excited about the willingness of all the participants and volunteers who have embraced this concept and are working towards a sustainable program that will increase the health and wellness of our neighbors, beginning today and for years to come,” said Teri Festa, Executive Director of the Live Smart Foundation.

A 360 degree approach is being undertaken that will provide educational and awareness messaging and shade opportunities throughout the Montclair ecosystem as follows based on a 12 point approach:

·      Providing shade opportunities in parks, ball fields, schools, shopping districts;

·      Infusing the environment with educational and awareness signage to communicate with residents and visitors while working, learning, recruiting, shopping, and/or relaxing;

·      Policy changes to include worksite education and sun protection guidelines;

·      School curriculum on sun protection and UV exposure for grades K-8;

·      School policy amendments to allow the use of sunscreen and keeping parents advised;

·      Partnering with existing health and wellness organizations to include skin health as a topic;

·      Working with the business community to expand the sales cycle of sun protection accessories and supplies to a 12-month period;

·      Offering sun safety and awareness certification to life guards, coaches, camp counselors, etc.;

·      Providing more convenient access to sunscreen;

·      Planning Board amendments to include Shade guidelines in new construction projects;

·      Partnering with Mountainside Hospital and their recently unveiled Melanoma Center;

·      Monitoring and surveying to measure the  effectiveness through a partnership with Montclair State University’s Public Health Department.


About the Live Sun Smart Foundation:

The Live Smart Foundation (formally the Ray Festa Melanoma Foundation)., a 501c3, began in January 1993. Their mission is to  teach everyone-no matter their race, color, gender, or ethnicity – how to live safely with the sun by making the application of sunscreen and other sun safe practices a normal part of people’s  everyday routine.