This year the number of participants is down to 40,000 from 70,000 following last year’s scandal. Evidently, the insistence by Komen to fund Planned Parenthood is having a tremendous effect on race numbers this year.
Saturday’s annual Komen Race for the Cure is the first one to be held following Komen’s controversial decision to withdraw funding for breast exams from Planned Parenthod.
Even though the decision was quickly reversed, it was clear damage had been done to Komen’s reputation as many former supporters remained angry about the whole ordeal.
So far this year, Komen’s St. Louis chapter claims to have the second largest registration to this point, around 44,000 – trailing only Rome Italy’s 50,000 or so.
But even this highly supportive city has seen a drop in numbers.
It’s something that Helen Chesnut, executive director of the St. Louis affiliate, says they have to move past while remaining focused on their goal of raising money for breast cancer research.
“No matter what is happening in the outside world we stay concentrated on our mission,” Chesnut tells KMOX News. “The only losers in any kind of controversy are usually those who need the help the most, and that’s the reason why we can’t be distracted.”
Two years ago St. Louis participation in the annual event hit a record of more than 71,000.
Three days before Saturday’s 14th annual race, around 44,000 have signed up to take part.