BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- Donations and registrations for the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Minnesota are off this spring, according to race officials. They blame outside events for the drop in numbers.
"We are down," said David Egan, co-executive director of the Minnesota affiliate of the Komen Race for the Cure. "We are experiencing anywhere between a 12 percent and 13 percent deficit."
The drop off in funding sources is compared to the same time in the 2011 Race for the Cure, in which more than 42,000 individuals registered for the 5K walk or run event.
"We assume multiple factors. Our granting guidelines controversy clearly was going to impact us and it has," commented Egan. The National Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure foundation made headlines when it announced it would not be funding grants requested by Planned Parenthood. The move angered many in the Komen organization and its supporters.
Many believed that new Komen national Vice President Karen Handel, a well-known abortion opponent, was responsible for the new guidelines. Handel resigned eventually and Komen has resumed funding Planned Parenthood grants in several states.
Minnesota is not one of them. Ironically, Planned Parenthood of Minnesota has never requested a grant from the local Komen affiliate. Still, the Minnesota event is being hurt by the national publicity of the now-renounced policy.
"The reality is the critical breast health needs in the state of Minnesota remain the same and we are afraid that if people choose not to give to us, that really impacts the women ultimately. So we are doing all we can here in the last couple of weeks to rally these registrations and keep our numbers at last year's pace," said Egan.
Monday was the last day to "join a team" for the race. However, anyone can register as an individual, even up to race day.
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure begins at 7 a.m. on Sunday, May 13 at the Mall of America.
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