Four months ago Thursday, the Susan G Komen for the Cure Foundation announced it was cutting ties with Planned Parenthood, setting off a backlash from its members that eventually led to a complete reversal and the resignation of several top officers. That incident may be behind the breast cancer advocacy group, but the damage is still hampering its marquee Race for the Cure events, which are drawing lower-than-expected participation in cities around the country — sometimes dramatically so.
Nowhere is that more true than in Washington, D.C. On June 2, participants will march in D.C.’s Race for the Cure to raise funds for local cancer treatment and screening services. But registration for the high-profile event, which takes place at the National Mall, is only at about 25,000, according to local station WJLA, a staggering 37.5 percent drop-off from the 40,000 who ran, walked or donated their time last year.
Andrea Rader, a spokeswoman for Komen’s national office, confirmed that the numbers — while not yet final — were “about right.” While participation has been varied this year, she acknowledged a number of cities had encountered similar issues.
“Certainly we’re seeing an impact from the controversy earlier this year,” Rader said of fundraising efforts. “I can’t put a number on it, though, saying it’s X percent, because there are other issues with the economy and we’re seeing a mixed bag in different cities.”
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