About Us


The mission of the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation is to save lives through education about the prevention and early detection of skin cancer, especially melanoma.


The Foundation’s vision is “to educate children throughout the country and give them the skills necessary to make healthy sun safety choices throughout their lives.” As the Foundation grows we will continue to advocate for school districts throughout the country to require sun safety education as part of their curriculum.

Overview of the Foundation

The Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation was started in 1995 after Richard Kann died at age 44 of a late detected melanoma. Family and friends formed an organization to help the local and national community prevent and detect skin cancer early.

The Melanoma Foundation is one of the first organizations in the country that has been on the cutting edge of skin cancer preventive education and the only organization in Florida. After extensive review of health education literature, the Foundation selected the successful SunSmart curricula from Australia on which to base its many programs and adapt to local educational standards and environment. The Foundation utilizes SunSmart America™ for grades K-12.

Since its inception, the Foundation's staff and volunteers have provided thousands of presentations in public and private schools reaching over 75,000 students and more than 6,000 teachers and administrators. The Melanoma Foundation has educated approximately 100,000 children, families and community members about the dangers of the sun, and the techniques to prevent skin cancer and to detect this disease early. Melanoma and other skin cancers are almost 100% preventable and curable if detected and treated early. The Foundation’s goal is to educate the public so that no other family suffers a loss of a loved one from skin cancer.

Grant Funding

The Melanoma Foundation has been provided grant monies by the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Broward Community Foundation, Lost Tree Village Foundation, Toppel Foundation, Quantum Foundation, Florida Department of Health, Graham Eckes Foundation, JFK Medical Center Auxiliary, Palm Beach Country Club Foundation, Palm Beach Cancer Institute Foundation, Health Foundation of South Florida, The Walter & Adi Blum Foundation, Palm Healthcare Foundation’s B.J. & Paula Harris Fund, among others.

In 2002, The Melanoma Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Miami's Sylvester Cancer Center, was awarded $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to quantify the efficacy of our SunSmart America™ Elementary School Curriculum. The results of that study have been published in several medical and educational journals throughout the country.


The Melanoma Foundation is an eleven time winner of the American Academy of Dermatology Gold Triangle Award.