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