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JB's scoops up summer's favorite treat for good cause

Date: 7/26/2010

July 26, 2010

By Debbie Gardner

Assistant Managing Editor

EAST LONGMEADOW -- JB's Ice Cream will be scooping up summer's favorite treat for a good cause July 31 and Aug. 1 as the shop raises funds for the Melanoma Education Foundation.

Born from the friendship between two survivors of this deadly skin cancer -- JB's owner Jeff Brown who was diagnosed this spring and police officer Michael Carney who has battled the disease for several years -- the two-day event will offer customers the opportunity to get the facts about melanoma detection and prevention, talk with local dermatologists about the disease and get a peek at their own level of sun damage with what Carney calls the "Oh My God" machine.

"We're trying to educate the public, especially [in] East Longmeadow and Springfield, about how you can prevent yourself from getting a deadly disease like melanoma," Carney said.

JB's will be donating 10 percent of that weekend's sales of ice cream treats, fudge and ice cream cakes to the foundation. Customers will also have the opportunity to buy chances on raffle baskets including a golf foursome and restaurant gift certificates.

The Melanoma Education Foundation focuses on teaching middle and high school students about the dangers of sun exposure and tanning beds by providing information, training and lesson materials to health and gym teachers.

Brown has asked that the funds raised during his event, which he and Carney call Scoops for Melanoma, be used to bring this potentially life-saving message to the students at East Longmeadow High School.

Often mistaken for an odd-looking mole or bump, melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. If not diagnosed and treated early, it can metastasize and spread to internal organs and other parts of the body. At this stage it can be fatal.

"For girls between the ages of 16 and 29 it's the number one killer," Brown said.

Carney said the desire to look good for social occasions such as the prom make visiting tanning booths attractive to young women. Statistics show that use of tanning booths, something both Brown and Carney admit to having done in the past, increases an individual's chances of contracting melanoma by 75 percent.

"And the last thing someone thinks about when they're going to the prom is getting diagnosed with cancer," he said. "They think about jumping into a can and looking beautiful, and that's what we're trying to prevent."

For more information about the Melanoma Education foundation, including facts about early detection, visit