Organizers of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Des Moines held this weekend say they’re hopeful things are getting back to normal following a controversy over funding for Planned Parenthood. Komen’s decision early this year to stop funding breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood prompted a public outcry.
The group quickly reversed its position. Roger Dahl, executive director of the organization’s Iowa affiliate, expected a drop in race participants. Honestly, we’re down a little bit,” Dahl said. “I would say what we’re seeing is not unusual, in terms of national average, in Komen affiliates.”
Komen chapters around the country have seen a drop in race registration, some by as much as 30-percent. Dahl said fundraising for the Des Moines event was off about 20-percent. “But, I know there’s also a tendency for people to wait to the last minute to register or pony up,” Dahl said.
“I’m not discouraged about where we stand right now.” While he’s still crunching the numbers, Dahl said he’s hopeful this year’s Race for the Cure will equal the 20,000 or so participants in a typical year. A national spokeswoman for the Komen Foundation says she believes supporters are slowly coming back to the event.