Melanoma Institute Australia is delighted to be the charity partner for the Toyota Country Music Festival 2018 in Tamworth, with the traditional festival hat giveaway to raise vital funds for research into melanoma prevention and treatment.
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. Australia has one of the highest rates in the world with one person dying from the disease every five hours. It is the most common cancer affecting 15 to 39 year olds and incidence in the over 60s age bracket is also increasing. 14,000 Australians are expected to be diagnosed with melanoma in 2018.
Melanoma Institute Australia is leading the world charge to prevent melanoma and find a cure, and funds raised at this year's Toyota Country Music Festival through their annual hat fundraiser will help fuel ongoing research.
"Toyota has long been a valued supporter of Melanoma Institute Australia and we are delighted that partnership is now extending to include the Toyota Country Music Festival," said Melanoma Institute Australia Chief Executive Officer Carole Renouf.
"The coveted hat campaign at Tamworth will raise much needed funds which will help us continue our research into new and improved treatments for melanoma.
"This important partnership will also help raise awareness about the need for all Australians to be sun-safe and protect themselves from harmful UV exposure which is the greatest risk factor for melanoma," she said.
Toyota Australia Chief Marketing Officer Wayne Gabriel said that the hats fundraiser is a major attraction every year at the Festival. "Following the success of our partnership with the McGrath Foundation over the past three years, which raised over $100,000 at the Toyota Country Music Festival in Tamworth, we are delighted to announce our 2018 charity of choice - Melanoma Institute Australia.
"Sun safety and melanoma prevention is a cause very close to our hearts at Toyota and affects 14,000 Australians each year. The famous hats fundraiser draws huge crowds in Tamworth, and funds raised in 2018 will go towards vital research for new and improved ways to treat melanoma and to one day find a cure."
Country music legend Lee Kernaghan is no stranger to the risks of the sun and the need to raise awareness and funds for melanoma research. As a renowned hat wearer, he is a passionate supporter of Melanoma Institute Australia and is using his profile to help educate fellow Australians about the need to be sun-smart and fund melanoma research.
"We are delighted to have Lee's support in urging country music fans to help tackle melanoma, which impacts families across the country," Ms Renouf said.
Toyota ambassadors, including Lee himself and The McClymonts, will be making surprise appearances to support this cause as well during the Festival to meet fans and show their support in raising awareness of sun safety.
Prevention is the key to saving lives from melanoma. All Australians are urged to wear SPF 50+ sunscreen and re-apply at least every two hours or after swimming or activity; cover up with a broad-brimmed hat, long pants and shirt and sunglasses; and seek shade in the heat of the day.
Hats will be available daily at the Toyota Fanzone at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm in exchange for a two-dollar donation with all proceeds going to Melanoma Institute Australia.