Teen Launches Campaign To Install Free Sunscreen Dispensers At Local Pools

Lynley Brennan hopes the project will help prevent skin cancer in her community.

A Missouri high school student is helping her community enjoy the sun safely this summer by raising the funds needed to install dispensers that will distribute sunscreen for free at local public swimming pools. Lynley Brennan, 16, collected about $1,600 for five dispensers at that have been placed at aquatic centers near her hometown Clayton, Mo., outside St. Louis. 

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It started with a school report. Brennan researched the effects and dangers of tanning beds for her English class and told Upworthy the project helped her realize how common, but also preventable skin cancer is. In the U.S., over the past 30 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. One of the most commonly recommended means of prevention is to apply sunscreen.

After reading that in Boston, the city had launched an initiative to install sunscreen dispensers at its local pools, Brennan pitched the idea to her local parks and recreation department, but with the promise that she would find the funds for the dispensers herself. 

"I thought if I got the funding it'd be easy," she told KSLA News. "I sent 43 letters to local dermatologists, local pool patrons and local people who I thought would really enjoy this idea."

Dozens of people contributed to the campaign and the dispensers were installed this month.  

"I grew up at this pool, so seeing that I made a difference is really surprising," Brennan said. She hopes in the future, she'll be able to expand the campaign to other pools in the area. 

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