After a year filled with controversy, breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure is cancelling seven of its 14 previously scheduled 3-Day races in 2014, according to a recent announcement on the brandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Facebook page.
Since the first 3-Day in 2003, the organization has held the 60-mile charity walks in several different cities throughout the country. The money raised by the event series goes to breast cancer education, research, screening, treatment, and more, according to company data from 2012.
While there will still be events in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle and the Twin Cities in 2014, Komen is putting the kibosh on next yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 3-Day walks in Phoenix, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Previous walks in the nixed locations didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t attract enough participants or raise as much money as those in the remaining cities, says Susan G. Komen spokesperson Andrea Rader.
In fact, total participation in the 3-Day walks has dropped by 37 percent in the past four years, says Rader. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Economic uncertainty over the past four years has presented challenges for all nonprofits and has affected participation levels for the 3-Day as well,Ã¢â‚¬Â Rader said in an email. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Many participants have reported that enthusiasm for the series remains very high, but it is more difficult for people to donate at levels they had in the past.Ã¢â‚¬Â
While the 3-Day fundraising goal is a bit dauntingÃ¢â‚¬”walkers need to raise at least $2,300 to participateÃ¢â‚¬”there could also be other factors at play. Ryan Lamppa, the media director at Running USA, a running industry not-for-profit, says Susan G. Komen events like Race for the Cure and 3-Day seriously suffered when the organization decided to stop providing funds to Planned Parenthood in 2012Ã¢â‚¬”even though the decision was later reversed. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very difficult to win back that lost goodwill and support,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Lamppa.
Although there will be seven fewer 3-Day walks next year, there are still plenty of ways to join the battle against breast cancer now. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Register for a 2013 Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk, Then mark your calendar for Monday, July 29, when registration opens for the seven remaining 2014 3-Day walks.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Find another local Susan G. Komen event (like Race for the Cure).
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Get the online tools you need to host a ticketed event like a concert or a bake sale to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Donate frequent flyer miles, Ebay profits, or an old car to the American Cancer Society.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Shop for the cause by buying an item for which some of the proceeds go to breast cancer research.
photo: Hemera/Thinkstock More from WH:
Take the Touch Yourself Challenge
Inspiring Stories from Breast Cancer Survivors
7 Ways to Keep Your Breasts Healthy