Komen: Collateral Damage Assessments Made on the Fly

Komen

March 14, 2012; Source: The New Yorker

The New York City affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure has announced that it has cancelled its annual awards gala. Vern Calhoun, a spokesman for the affiliate, said, “After much discussion, the Board of Directors of the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure decided to postpone our new spring event, the Awards Gala, to a later date because we were not certain about our ability to fundraise in the near term.” Amy Davidson, the author of this article, says that other such Komen events have also been cancelled.

This, of course, comes in the wake of the dust up around Komen’s defunding of Planned Parenthood which was widely seen as a politically motivated act. A massive outcry against the agency’s behavior occurred at the time and Komen rescinded its defunding decision but many wondered if the group had created long lasting damage to its fundraising capacity.

Erin Gloria Ryan, writing for Jezebel, comments, They’re probably right to worry. Since rescinding and then reinstating grants given to Planned Parenthood for breast screenings, Komen’s signature Race for the Cure events have turned in seriously disappointing numbers. In Fort Worth, registrations for the event are down 42 percent as compared to last year. Southwestern Florida’s race only raised two-thirds of the money organizers set out to raise. And in Arizona, donations to the organization are down 60 percent as compared to last year.” A spokeswoman for Komen responds that some campaigns may be down but some are up.

Meanwhile, we are watching more high-level resignations at Komen, including Katrina McGhee, Komen’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, and Dara Richardson-Heron, CEO of Komen’s New York City affiliate. Both cited “personal” reasons.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in coverage of the war against women, Margaret Talbot, also of The New Yorker, reveals that 2011 saw 80 new restrictions on abortion rights enacted by state legislatures, as contrasted to 23 in 2010. –Ruth McCambridge