King’s Island just north of Cincinnati, Ohio. My parents would wake my brother and me up well before sunrise and we’d hop in the car for the 3 ½ to 4 hour drive to Mason, Ohio…usually stopping for breakfast at the original Bob Evans farm near Gallipolis, Ohio. Spotting the 333 feet Eiffel Tower from Interstate 71 set our hearts racing and we knew we’d soon be stopping in the Penelope Pitstop section of the massive parking lot and riding the shuttle to the main gate. Carousels, rides, shows…this place had it all. As little kids, we’d hold our parents’ hands and drag them to each attraction. As teenagers, we’d venture out on our own and seek every thrill ride, and perhaps a cute girl we’d never meet again. But the highlight of the day back then was challenging the longest wooden roller coaster in the world…”The Beast!” Whipping through the woods at 65 MPH caused us to scream in delight and terror all at once. It was the best.
It’s been years…no, decades since I’ve been to Kings Island, but the memories I have are still some of the best ever. So it was with great interest and pride that I saw where the amusement park had launched a program called “Kings Island Kicks Cancer.” From July 25 through August 24, park guests can purchase a soccer ball for $5 to kick into the park’s massive fountain.
Each ball is an entry to win a 201 Honda Fit, plus net proceeds benefit three cancer charities: TheDragonfly Foundation, Pink Ribbon Girls, and Melanoma Know More!
Today, August 9, 2014, Kings Island and Melanoma Know More teamed up to organize a world record-setting event. 2,148 people applied sunscreen at one place at the same time!
This beat the previous world record of 1,822 set in May by Ann’s Hope Foundation, another great organization raising funds for melanoma research and education.
Ever since melanoma entered my life after my brother’s diagnosis and eventual death, I have heard melanoma referred to as “The Beast.” Every time I’ve heard those words, I was reminded of the good times at Kings Island, tackling a different Beast. Today, these two parts of my life merged in a beautiful way…one beast fighting another.
Events like this are a fun way to educate people about melanoma, to encourage sun safety, and to answer the Surgeon General’s Call to Action against skin cancer. Thank you Kings Island…and thank you friends at Melanoma Know More.