Registration for Saturday’s Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C., the breast-cancer charity’s biggest annual event, is down by close to 40 percent from last year, The Washington Post reports.
As of Wednesday about 25,000 people had signed for the race, in which close to 40,000 participated in 2011, raising $5-million. The drop follows a trend of declining participation in Komen events as the charity struggles to recover from the controversy over its decision, since reversed, to cut off grants to Planned Parenthood.
Organizers in Washington have cited the weak economy as a factor, but Komen spokeswoman Andrea Rader said the Planned Parenthood flap has also taken a toll.
“Clearly we are seeing that some people may still be staying away because of this issue we had earlier this year,” Ms. Rader said. “But we really hope people won’t look at 30 years of good work and let that be harmed by a few weeks of controversy. We’ve apologized for this, and we still need to take care of women in D.C. who need us.”
Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article on how Planned Parenthood has used social media to respond to controversies such as the Komen affair and to build its support.