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Florida Society of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery
11891 Magnolia Falls Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32258

(904) 880-0023

(904) 880-0034

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2011 Sun Defense Essay Contest Winner > Thank you letter

I would like to thank everyone from the FSDDS for the once in a lifetime opportunity they gave me. The whole weekend was amazing. The easiest way for me to tell you everything that I am thankful for is to walk you through my trip. The way I found out that I won the contest was by a phone call from my Principal and then getting on the FSDDS web site and seeing my name and my essay. My name right there for everyone to see. I felt like a little celebrity.

Before I even started on the trip I received a huge box filled with sun block, a hat, and sun protection materials and magazines. There was so much that I shared with kids from my school. The surprise gift got me all excited about the trip. The best part of winning was that I won a sun shade from FSDDS for my school. The company sent the school samples of colors for the poles and shade. I got to pick out the colors and where I wanted the sun shade to go on campus. After talking with the principal Mrs. Archer, we decided that the sunshade would be a great place to do lunch bunches outside and we are going to name it the 'Alli-Sun Shade'. This will be the coolest place to hang out at Glenallen.

Next, I was so excited that they allowed both of my teachers to go with me. The big weekend finally came and my family and I drove to Boca Raton. We arrived at the resort, the most beautiful place I have ever seen, I checked in and was shown to my suite. I felt very special and this only got better when I saw the giant gift basket the FSDDS had left me. Our first morning, we went to the conference hall where I got more gifts: tote bags, safari tickets and spending money for me and my teachers. My family was able to walk around the conference and see all the vendors and physicians. It was interesting to see all the technology that the doctors use. I was introduced as "the essay winner" to everyone I met. This made me feel very proud of myself. The next two days, my family and teachers spent having "safe" fun in the sun at the resort beach and pool.

Finally, the awards night came and I was able to meet the doctors and talk to them about my essay. The awards dinner was a lot of fun. The theme for the night was Mardi Gras. The banquet hall looked like something out of a fairy tale. There were beads, giant masks, purple, green and gold balloons everywhere. The whole room sparkled. I was called up to the stage to read my essay and receive my plaque. There was this awesome band playing after dinner. My family, my teachers and I danced and had fun. It was sad to see my trip come to an end. This award has given me the vacation of a lifetime and memories that I will cherish forever.

Thank you very, very much,
Allison Rainey

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