Susan G. Komen® Philadelphia MORE THAN PINK Walk™

Sun May 12, 2019 Directions
FAQs — Event Information


The following provides answers to common questions about why we have replaced the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure® with the MORE THAN PINK Walk, as well as outlines key differences participants can expect to experience this year.

What is the primary reason for evolving from the Race for the Cure to the MORE THAN PINK Walk™?

Simply stated, Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure wasn’t working strongly enough for our mission. While fundraising was significant, annual totals have not been high enough in the past few years to support the growing scope and intensity of work that Susan G. Komen® Philadelphia does across our 15-county service area to meet the evolving needs of the breast cancer community. Moreover, while Race attendance was very high, we estimate that more than half of the people who attended did not register or make any contribution to our event fundraising. It was time for us to move our largest annual fundraiser away from the “fun-and-festival” atmosphere that attracted people who weren’t necessarily motivated by the mission. With the MORE THAN PINK Walk, we move toward an opportunity-driven experience that allows those who are passionate about ending breast cancer to make the greatest impact.

What are some other main reasons that Komen Philadelphia is evolving to the MORE THAN PINK Walk?
  1. The cost of putting on the Race had become a factor. As more and more people attended on Mother’s Day, without registering, donating or raising money, we had to rely more on sponsor dollars to cover the cost of accommodations and security for those huge crowds. This meant fewer sponsor dollars remained to support our mission. The changes you’ll see with the MORE THAN PINK Walk will maximize sponsor dollars available to fuel our work in the community.
  2. We also discovered that a disconnect was forming between the Race and the Komen Philadelphia mission. Fewer and fewer people today realize the full extent of what Komen Philadelphia does. Therefore, they are unaware of the impact that their support can have on the local and global fight to end breast cancer. We have developed the MORE THAN PINK Walk to close this gap and help our community gain a deeper understanding of our work, as well as the growing need for to do even more. By doing so, we are confident we will mobilize more people to participate in the Walk as fundraisers.
  3. Sometimes you just need to freshen things up! We like to use a fashion analogy. Are you wearing the same pair or style of pants today that you wore 29 years ago? Of course, not. Times have changed. People have changed. And we, too, must change to keep our community interested and involved, to grow our supporter base and to give our community an experience that resonates with them in the most meaningful, motivational ways possible.
  4. Lastly, by 2020, you will see all Komen affiliates nationwide presenting MORE THAN PINK Walk events instead of the Race. While Komen National has not yet required all affiliates to switch to the MORE THAN PINK Walk™, Komen Philadelphia saw and was excited by the vision of the Walk. We realized the many opportunities it offered, not only for our fundraising, but also for the millions of people who depend on us every day to support their battles with breast cancer. Like so many other times in our history, Komen Philadelphia is embracing the opportunity to be a pioneer within the Komen organization and in the fight against breast cancer.

Is this really just the same event with a new name?

Not at all. There will be fundamental changes to the Mother’s Day event itself. The most significant changes will be:

  • Replacing the 5K run and walk with a walk around Eakins Oval
  • Making this a contained event: barriers will be in place with entry points requiring registration
  • Placing a greater focus on connecting the Walk community with the Komen Philadelphia mission.

This last change will be the most noticeable and meaningful. It is also a direct result of our community telling us that they want to know more about why their participation is important and how it makes an impact on saving lives.

In addition, the entire MORE THAN PINK Walk™ season (January through May), will place a greater focus on fundraising, and elevate awareness of the reality of “no money, no mission.” Komen Philadelphia has developed new resources and systems so that we can provide greater support to participants who are committed to raising money. You’ll also see in our communications that the Walk will be fully “impact-centric.” We are moving away from the festival-type atmosphere that the Race has become in an effort to bring the community back to our singular purpose of making it possible for more people to survive breast cancer.

Was the Race losing money?

In all 28 years, the Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure has always raised significant funds that allow Komen Philadelphia to maintain our community grants program as well as our own mission events to provide awareness, education and other forms of support. Driven by Race fundraising, since 1991, Komen Philadelphia has:

  • Distributed more than $62.5 million in grants to fund the programs of local hospitals and outreach community health organizations
  • Funded more than 176,500 free mammograms for women in our community
  • Contributed approximately $27 million to breast cancer research

Despite these achievements, we were approaching a point at which the Race would not be raising enough money for Komen Philadelphia to keep up with all of the expanding needs of the breast cancer community, which now include:

  • Millions of survivors
  • Thousands of people living with metastatic breast cancer
  • Men at risk for or who have been diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Young women and young survivors
  • Women in the shadows who—despite nearly 30 years of our outreach efforts—remain too scared or unaware to practice lifesaving early detection
  • Individuals who are underinsured or uninsured, and don’t realize they can still access the best breast health care providers
  • Women who have specific risk factors and barriers to fighting breast cancer, due to ethnicity or lifestyle.

And lastly, researchers also have a growing need for our funding as they continue to discover more about the many layers of breast cancer, learn more about different types of breast cancer and work to develop better treatments for both the well-known and lesser-known forms of the disease.

So while the Race raised enough money for us to do our work, and do it well, Komen Philadelphia simply cannot continue on the slow and steady path. We must increase fundraising so we can aggressively pursue strategies to meet all the needs that come with the evolution of breast cancer.

What will be the most noticeable differences between the Race and the Walk?
  • There will be no 5K walk or run.
  • The Walk site will be contained. If you are not registered, you will not gain entry to the walk route or other event experiences on Mother’s Day.
  • Due to this, we expect that our Mother’s Day crowds will be smaller. However, the experience you will have as a participant will be richer and more meaningful, as you share the day with people like you who are “all in” when it comes to ending breast cancer.
  • T-shirts will no longer be included as part of registration, but t-shirts will be given in recognition to all registrants who raise at least $100. (NOTE: anyone registering as a breast cancer survivor or metastatic breast cancer Forever Fighter will be recognized with a survivor t-shirt regardless of your fundraising achievement.)
  • All registered participants will receive a complimentary 2019 MORE THAN PINK Walk Komen wrap to help you celebrate during the opening ceremonies.
  • Participants will be strongly encouraged to fundraise. Fundraisers will receive more nurturing and support from our staff and the Walk committee to help them set and achieve their goals.
  • Motivation for participation focus most on the Komen’s mission pillars—research, community, care and action—and how the community can support these pillars in order to make it possible for more people to survive breast cancer.
  • The Sponsors Expo as you know it will not be a part of the Walk experience. Instead, top-level sponsors will be aligned with our mission pillars and play a role in educating the community on what we do and how you can help.
  • There will be no Kids for the Cure Dash to Make a Difference in 2019.
  • There will be no in-person registration events, or pickup events for $100 fundraisers receiving a T-shirt, prior to the weekend of the Walk.

What traditions will you keep?

Many traditions will remain, but they will be enhanced by features that provide greater inspiration to remain involved in our mission. These features will clearly demonstrate the impact that Walk participants have in the cause. These features include:

  • Parade of Hope: This parade will celebrate survivors and individuals living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Survivors and MBC Forever Fighters registered as such will receive a survivors t-shirt.
  • Hope Village: This empowering new experience for survivors and Forever Fighters will encompass our traditional ShopRite Survivors Breakfast.
  • Community walk: Participants will now have the opportunity to complete a partial route, a full walk circuit or more than one circuit based on their physical ability and/or personal preference.
  • Fundraiser recognitions: Top fundraisers will be recognized via a VIP experience and area at the Walk and other various ways. In addition, fundraisers will be thanked throughout the Walk season for reaching certain levels of achievement.

Why are you eliminating the 5K run and making this exclusively a walk event?

Walks offer a sense of community and peer support that cannot be achieved during a run. Walks allow time for conversation, reflection, building relationships and even starting new friendships. All of these things will foster even greater unity in the breast cancer movement. Lastly, by creating a new walk route that is shorter than the 5K and offers more flexibility, we make our event more inviting and physically possible for more people. Whether a person can only walk a short distance, complete our walk circuit one time or is able to walk the circuit multiple times, everyone can participate and experience being part of one community united in the fight against breast cancer.

What is the purpose of the four pillars?

The four pillars make up the foundation of our efforts to bring the community into a fuller understanding of the breadth and depth of the work being done by Komen Philadelphia, as well as by Komen affiliates nationwide. By categorizing our mission into these four areas of focus—research, community, care and action—we make it easier for the community to instantly understand that we are an organization that does more than just fund research and free mammograms. By placing emphasis on the four pillars, we also enable our supporters to align themselves with a part of our mission that they are most passion about. Each pillar comprises many layers that we will continue to encourage our community to learn about, explore and support.

The pillars are:

  • Research: Komen funds research to better detect, prevent, treat and cure all forms of breast cancer.
  • Community: We rally communities to come together in support of those in need. We address gaps in access and quality of care to improve the odds for all people.
  • Care: We work to eliminate barriers to care and provide access to vital services such as screening, diagnosis, treatment and medication.
  • Action: We channel breast cancer support into real momentum to fight this disease. Passion turned to action is how, together, we can end breast cancer.

What is the significance of MORE THAN PINK?

More Than Pink means MORE ACTION! More Than Pink recognizes that we have entered a new era in the fight against breast cancer, and embodies everything that is now needed to take this fight the distance. In 1991, when we held the first Komen Philadelphia Race for the cure, our mission focused primarily on increasing awareness and the conversation about breast cancer, the game has changed considerably in 2019.

Today we understand a lot more about breast cancer. We have reached millions of women and motivated them to make breast health a priority in their lives, but we still need to do the same for communities that remain in the shadows. We live in a country with more than 3 million survivors. But we also live in a country in which 41,000 people every year continue to die of this disease. While awareness and hope—symbolized throughout our history by the color pink—are still a key components of our cause, it alone is not enough. Armed with our knowledge, increased awareness, and growing commitment—the time has come to finish this fight. The time has come for everyone behind our cause to be “more than pink.” More Than Pink rallies individuals and communities to unite as one Komen Philadelphia family to take more immediate, more aggressive and more consistent actions needed to stop a killer like breast cancer.