Ban the Tan

As prom season begins, tanning-danger-awareness organizations are promoting a tan-free prom season. OutRun the RAYS, a non-profit organization, has turned tanning-danger awareness into a chance for high schoolers to win cash and prizes.

OutRun the RAYS is sponsoring a program called Ban the Tan for juniors and seniors in area high schools to promote awareness for the dangers of indoor tanning. Participating high schools include Beckman Catholic, Cascade, Hempstead, Senior, Wahlert Catholic, Central Dewitt, Clinton, Camanche, and Western Dubuque.

As prom season begins, OutRun the RAYS wants to remind people that tanning can cause melanoma and other skin cancers. The OutRun the RAYS website is covered with tanning awareness facts like “In 2009, the World Health Organization moved tanning beds into its highest cancer risk category: carcinogenic to humans,” “Using a tanning bed once increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent,” and “Just one blistering sunburn can double your chances of developing mela

Using a tanning bed once increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent.”

— OutRun the RAYS

noma later in life.”

The website also provides a link for high schooler students to pledge to “avoid tanning in the sun or in tanning beds so that I can protect myself from melanoma and other types of skin cancer.” Every junior and senior to take the pledge by March 31 automatically enters a prize drawing.

The grand prize winner will get an Apple watch, and there will be a $100 Amazon card drawing at each area high school.

Students can also earn extra cash to fund their school’s prom and post-prom. If 100 percent of juniors and seniors in any area high school take the pledge, OutRun the RAYS will donate $500 towards that school’s prom and post-prom. Participation of 75 percent of the students will earn the school $250, and 50 percent will earn $100.

To take the pledge, students should visit and click on the button that says “take the pledge.”