Monday, February 13, 2012

Getting Out Of Komen's Shadow

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has been in the news a lot lately.  Their decision to discontinue grants to Planned Parenthood caused a national outrage, which eventually lead to a reversal of that decision.  Now that the fight is over, some smaller breast cancer nonprofits are trying to differentiate themselves from Komen.

While Komen was grabbing the headlines in recent weeks, Wendy McCoole wrote to her supporters and members.  She wanted to remind them that the work they were doing was just as important as Komen's, even if they didn't get nearly the amount of attention.  Now that the Planned Parenthood controversy is dying down, The Seacoast Online reported today that McCoole is working even harder to distance her nonprofit from Komen. 

McCoole, who founded Beast Cancer Stories and My Breast Cancer Support (both based in New Hampshire), is gearing up for the fourth annual CelebratePink 5K Road Race and Walk in September.  The race is one of the biggest fundraising sources for the two organizations, but it occurs just four months after Komen's own event: the first annual New Hampshire Race for the Cure.

McCoole said she has already been asked a lot if the two races are different, so she is spreading the word to make sure people know the two races are separate.  This starts by educating the public about all the money that goes to her organization from the race.  The CelebratePink Race represents 25 percent of the nonprofit's $100,000 annual budget for breast cancer support services at six hospitals in the Seacoast region of Maine and New Hampshire.  While she says that Komen has always been supportive of her work, she acknowledged to The Seacoast Online that it's sometimes frustrating being in the shadows of such a large organization.

So far there is a lot of optimism that the race will experience an increase from the 700 participants last year.  You can read more about this story in The Seacoast Online.

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