CT Race For Cure Hurt By Planned Parenthoood Flap

Susan G. Komen for the CureSocial IssuesPlanned ParenthoodFamily PlanningBreast CancerBushnell ParkCancer

When the Susan G. Komen Foundationdecided to defund Planned Parenthood earlier this year, the Connecticut affiliate was the only one in the country with the courage to immediately — and publicly — stand up to that stupidity.

The Connecticut affiliate pointed out that Komen's mission to fight breast cancer had an invaluable ally in Planned Parenthood. It refused to withdraw money from an organization that helps so many women.

The national organization reversed its short-sighted decision after a public uproar. But, to repeat: The Connecticut affiliate made the right call from the beginning.

Despite that, the poor decision-making of the national organization is unfairly hurting the state affiliate. Registrations are down 30 percent for its major fundraiser, the Race for the Cure, which will take place in Hartford's Bushnell Park June 2.

This is an injustice based on misunderstanding. As the state affiliate's website proclaims, "We live here. We race here. We save lives here."

The local Komen affiliate is an independent, stand-alone organization, with a nine-member board of directors, all of whom live in Connecticut. Every dollar from the Race for the Cure, except for paying the four-member staff and local expenses, goes to support breast cancer services for women right here. Not one penny goes to support the national organization.

The money pays for local mammography programs, Planned Parenthood cancer-screening services and translation programs for patients whose first language is not English, among other services.

"Last year, we received $2 million in requests for funding. We were able to fulfill only about 50 percent of the requests," said Anne Morris, executive director of the Connecticut Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

You don't have to be an athlete to participate. There's a 5-kilometer race (3 miles) a 4-kilometer walk and a 1.5-kilometer walk. Bring the kids for face painting and other events. Register online at http://www.komenct.org, or June 1 all day in Bushnell Park or on the day of the race.

Let's support this courageous organization and the thousands of Connecticut women it helps detect and fight this frightening and disfiguring disease.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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