Registration for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C. is down nearly 40 percent this year, in the what is the latest in a series of downward trends for the organization after it attempted to defund Planned Parenthood in February.
The Washington Post reported yesterday that, with only three days left before the race begins, about 25,000 people had registered, down from 40,000 last year. Race organizers have said that the decline in registration is partly because of the poor economy, though Komen spokeswoman Andrea Rader acknowledged to The Post that the Planned Parenthood controversy also played a part.
Rader also declined to say how much money has been raised by Komen this year. She said that fundraising typically continues for 30 days after an event. The organization bought in $5 million last year.
The Race for the Cure in D.C. remains one of the largest in the country. It reached a peak of 60,000 registrants in the mid 2000s but participation fell in recent years. Competition from the many other charity events in the city took its toll on the race.
This is not the only Komen-sponsored event that has been potentially been affected by the Planned Parenthood flap. The NonProfit Times reported earlier that the organization was dropped as a sponsor by Churchill Downs, parent company of the Kentucky Derby. It chose instead to use Los Angeles, Calif.-based Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), though it claimed the decision was made because patrons wanted to find broader ways to raise money for cancer research, not just breast cancer.
Since Komen reversed course on its controversial decision, it has awarded $600,000 in grants to 16 of Planned Parenthood's affiliates. In 2011, $680,000 in grants were awarded to 19 of 79 affiliates.
You can read the full story in The Washington Post.