Spot On!

Three-time melanoma survivor Tracy Callahan in the Shade Shuttle, a mobile screening unit that promotes the mission of her Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation.

This nonprofit has a fun name, for a serious cause. And now it has a firefighter calendar too.

The Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation will launch its first-ever calendar dubbed “Spot Me,” on Friday, Sept. 29 at Fortnight Brewing in Cary. Hot off the presses, and featuring firefighter portraits by photographer Christer Berg, the calendar also has regular reminders to examine your skin, because knowing your “spots” is the best way to detect melanoma early.

“The more educated I became, the more I wanted to educate others,” said three-time local survivor and founder of the nonprofit, Tracy Callahan, also among the 2017 Cary Magazine Movers & Shakers. “Unlike so many other cancers, scientists have actually figured out the secret to avoiding most types of melanomas: protect yourself from the sun and avoid tanning beds. But as simple as it sounds, I discovered that people have so many misconceptions about melanoma.”

Proceeds of the calendar sales will go toward Polka Dot Mama’s mission to fund research and raise awareness about melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

The calendar launch will take place from 5 to 9 p.m., with beer from Fortnight and food trucks on site. Also that night, Polka Dot Mama welcomes its Shade Shuttle, a mobile education unit offering free skin screenings that night by a licensed dermatologist.

Movie afternoon

The Polka Dot Mama Melanoma Foundation was recently selected by the Cary Newcomers Club as its designated charity for 2017-18, and will benefit from the club’s fundraising efforts.

These include a matinee at The Cary Theater at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, for a screening of “Columbus,” a 2017 indie-romance-comedy in which a Korean-born man finds himself stuck in Columbus, Ohio, where his architect father is in a coma.

The man meets a young woman who wants to stay in Columbus with her mother, a recovering addict, instead of pursuing her own dreams. “Columbus” balances the clean lines of architecture against the messiness of love, with moving results.

Tickets are available at the door for $5 each, with 40 percent of ticket sales going to Polka Dot Mama.

“I am truly honored to be supported by this amazing group of Cary residents,” said Callahan. “Everyone can be a part of the cure.”

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