Teaming Up on Sun Safety

August 2, 2015

hatsThe Glimmerglass Festival and Bassett Cancer Institute have teamed up with Bluemack Creative to combat the risk of developing skin cancer by providing Glimmerglass staff with wide-brimmed hats that will keep them cool while protecting them from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. 

The Glimmerglass Festival enjoys a beautiful location for its summer festival complete with acres of green space and the site-specific opera house. However, summer brings longer days and more intense sunshine. This can place many of us at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses, severe sunburns and skin cancer.

Bassett Cancer Institute radiation oncologist Dr. Naoyuki G. Saito suggested the partnership with Glimmerglass three years ago. “Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer with 3.5 million cases affecting more than 2 million people each year. We especially worry about melanoma, which when it spreads to other parts of the body can be life threatening. I am a big fan of the Glimmerglass Festival and thought this would be a great way to raise awareness and help protect staff.”

Concessions manager Liz Mott, whose staff works primarily outdoors, says, “In addition to the broad-brimmed hats provided by Bluemack, we’ve provided staff with plenty of sunscreen to protect them from sun exposure. There are also shelters they can take advantage of as needed.”

Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, kills more than 9,000 people annually in America alone. With 86 percent of these cancer incidents attributed to UV exposure, sun protection is a vital aspect of workplace safety and long-term quality of life.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommends taking precautions such as using 30+ SPF sunscreen, covering as much skin as possible with high thread-count clothing, and protecting the vulnerable neck and face area with a wide-brimmed hat, like the ones being distributed to the Festival’s employees.

Saito supplemented the partnership’s gift this summer with a presentation Friday, July 10 to the Festival’s staff on the importance of proper sun protection.

The Glimmerglass season runs through August 23 and features four unique productions of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Verdi’s Macbeth, Bernstein’s Candide and Vivaldi’s Cato in Utica. For tickets, please call the Box Office at (607) 547-2255 or order online at

To learn more about services available throughout the Bassett Healthcare Network, visit Follow Bassett on Facebook and Twitter at and

Photo Caption:

Staff at Glimmerglass Festival show off their new hats designed to protect them from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays (photo credit to Dory Schultz)

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