It began with a quiet moment, when one woman asked a simple question of her family: “Why not us?”

Their father, Tom Bell, Sr., was stolen from them in 2008: Melanoma was to blame. His was a short, but hard-fought battle. The family soon learned that melanoma—which literally means “black tumor” – lived up to its ominous name.

After Tom’s passing, one of the siblings got involved with Indianapolis-based Outrun The Sun, Inc. This organization raises awareness and funds to battle melanoma. The Executive Director of Outrun The Sun, Anita Day, shared that it was her goal to have affiliate races in cities across the United States.

“Why not us?” the siblings said. And the first Outrun The Sun affiliate was born.

Not quite knowing what they were getting into, but passionate about fighting melanoma, the siblings dove in: Rochester Melanoma Action Group (RMAG) was formed in 2011. Since then, the group has provided more than $135,000 in seed grants to the University of Rochester, and other national research institutions with additional monies put to use to help drive sun-safe activities right in the Rochester community. In May 2017, the ribbon was cut on an RMAG-funded shade structure for the playground area in Webster Park. Now families can seek shade while still enjoying our beautiful Monroe County Parks.

These programs are made possible by the generous sponsors, donors, volunteers and participants of Outrun The Sun, Race Against Melanoma- Rochester. The 6th annual event is on Saturday, May 20th, 2017—look for news about it throughout the year on our Facebook page.

The original RMAG Board of Directors has expanded beyond the family to include four new members: a local dermatologist, a retired Rochester business leader, a melanoma survivor and another person who lost a loved one to this horrible disease.

The board and race committee welcomes others who want to see progress made in the fight to raise awareness and research dollars for melanoma.

Why not YOU?

RMAG is a registered 501c3 not-for-profit. All donations are tax deductible. Learn more at and To get involved or ask questions, email us at

Protect Your Skin. Protect Yourself. Protect Your Life.

About Us

There are many ways to work with us in our fight against melanoma.  We need race day volunteers, exhibitors, and sponsors.  We look forward to working with you!
It is estimated that more than 137,000 cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Learn about prevention and early detection of this deadly skin cancer.

Learn more about our annual "Outrun The Sun, Race Against Melanoma- Rochester" which will take place on Saturday, May 20th, 2017 at 5:00 pm at Webster Park in Rochester, NY