Komen for the Cure got the message; time to forgive and move on
It's time to forgive Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The drop in donations and the decrease in participants in this year's local Race for the Cure made the point: Don't mix politics with philanthropy.
Seattle Times Editorial
Donation deadlineDonations to this year's Race for the Cure can be made until July 12 through the Komen website (http://komenpugetsound.org/).
IT'S time to forgive Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The half-million dollar drop in donations and the 40 percent decrease in participants in this year's local Race for the Cure made the point: Don't mix politics with philanthropy.
Now it's time to move on. The largest grass-roots network of breast-cancer survivors and activists does good work — lots of it. In its 30 years, it has raised more than $1.9 billion nationally for cancer research, detection and care.
Komen Puget Sound says that last year it provided 43,000 women with breast-cancer screenings, treatment and education. From mammograms paid for by Komen Puget Sound, 200 women were found to have breast cancer. The survival rate for breast cancer is 98 percent when treated early; with later detection, survival drops to 23 percent.
This year, the group is providing $2.1 million to 12 local organizations for breast-cancer programs aimed mostly at low-income women. Komen says that's a $100,000 increase over 2010, a trend put at risk by the drop in donations at the Seattle race — one of its biggest fundraising events.
Another reason for forgiveness? They apologized.
Officials in Komen's national organization said they were sorry within three days of making the PR misstep in February, when it said it would stop giving money to Planned Parenthood because of a short-lived policy that groups under investigation by a government body would no longer qualify for donations. That affected Planned Parenthood only because of an inquiry by U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, a conservative Republican from Florida, checking to see if Planned Parenthood had improperly spent public money on abortions.
Komen said stopping funds had nothing to do with politics. It appears that the 5,500 or so former participants who didn't show for this year's Seattle race didn't buy that story. Same for participants and donors in many other cities with similar Komen events.
But several Komen national staffers have resigned, apologies have been made and Planned Parenthood is again receiving Komen money (for cancer screening).
Komen's good work should go on.
If for no other reason, support Komen for this year's 200 women who could be diagnosed early with breast cancer.