Komen fundraising dives in Triad after national flap

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In preparation for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, volunteers Holly Vestal, left, and Natasha Gore put together gift bags. (Credit: Bruce Chapman/journal)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Fundraising has plummeted for the local affiliate of the breast cancer nonprofit Susan G. Komen for the Cure, partly because of the row stirred up last winter by the national Komen organization over its decisions to withdraw — and then restore — funding to Planned Parenthood.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure N.C. Triad Affiliate has seen its registration numbers drop 39 percent, from 7,606 at this time last year to 4,654, less than two weeks ahead of its signature annual fundraiser known as the Race for the Cure. Participants raise money by running or walking 5 kilometers, or about 3 miles. This year’s event is May 5, starting from Salem College.

Fundraising has dropped 43 percent, from $219,736 to $126,418, officials said.

Natasha Gore, president of the Triad affiliate, acknowledged the challenges that the local group faces, stressing that most of the money raised here stays in the region. She also expressed frustration that some would-be donors do not differentiate between the local affiliate and the national organization.

“A lot of the time, people think we are one and the same,” Gore said. “If they’re boycotting us because of something happening with the national organization, it does not really fit with what’s going on.”

The Triad affiliate keeps 75 percent of the money in the region — the counties of Alamance, Davie, Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford, Randolph, Rockingham, Surry, Stokes, Wilkes and Yadkin.

This article was written by Bertrand M. Gutierrez and originally published by The Winston-Salem Journal. Click here to read more.