Komen Race for the Cure numbers down drastically in Triad

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Komen Race for the Cure 2011

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Triad’s affiliate of The Susan G. Komen for the Cure reports registration for its upcoming race and annual fundraising are down nearly 40 percent, thanks in part to the controversy over the nonprofit’s national funding of Planned Parenthood.

Last May more than 10,000 people registered for the annual Winston-Salem race. This year just more 6,000 have registered to date.

The annual race is this weekend in Old Salem. It’s the Triad affiliate’s largest fundraiser, with 75 percent of the funds going to local agencies.

Interim Executive Director Diana Parrish said the controversy is one of many factors affecting local fundraising.

“We’ve hit some bumps in the road with the economy, the number of other races and with the Planned Parenthood issue. The decision was made on the national level, but the impact on the local level has been tremendous,” Parrish said.

With less than one-fourth of local funds raised going to the national headquarters, she hopes people understand that most of the money stays local and helps agencies fund breast cancer screenings, mammography and diagnostics for those uninsured or underinsured.

“I think the Planned Parenthood issue is getting people to think differently, saying ‘I won’t support Komen this year. I am going to do another one,'” Parrish said.

However, Parrish said she wants people to know that the national branding has changed.

“It’s not the most beloved organization, but locally we haven’t changed anything,” Parrish said.

Registration for the race is still open.