The future of Komen Colorado's Race for the Cure

Race for the Cure funding issues.

DENVER - Komen Colorado's Race for the Cure is in financial free fall.

The 25th annual race was 80 percent smaller, and raised 80 percent less than the race at its peak.

It used to be the largest breast cancer fundraising race in America. What once was an annual sea of pink is not yet a trickle, but it is striking. Komen Colorado's 64,000 race participants has fallen to 12,000. $2.3 million in fundraising has dried up to reach a goal of $450,000. 

Still, Komen Colorado's new CEO and state Senator Dianne Primavera believes in the future of the race.

"In addition to the fundraising it does for our organization, people do it for a variety of reasons," Primavera said in an interview with Next with Kyle Clark. "To celebrate their life, to pay tribute to those who haven't been so luck with their fight."

The fight is personal for Primavera. She's done the race for decades and has been cancer free for 27 years now. She isn't unaware of the hard financial reality Komen Colorado faces.

"It needs to live on as a fundraiser. As you know we're trying to get away from being so reliant on events," Primavera said. 

Komen Colorado wants to move away from grants to doing direct support for women fighting breast cancer. They need help shaking the partisan image that poisoned Komen's reputation five years ago in a fight over Planned Parenthood funding. 

"It's a shame that takes away from the good work Komen really does," Primavera said.

Nineteen Komen chapters across the country have already closed and merged in the last five years. Primavera still remains hopeful.

"We’re doing everything we can. We’re financially solvent right now," she said. "I think if we do some strategic planning, we’ve got a great board, I couldn’t have a better staff we have fabulous volunteers. I just can’t imagine that Komen won’t exist."

Primavera says Komen Colorado is over the $1 million mark in annual revenue. The national organization starts to push merger or dissolution when the chapter is below that.

Next tried to confirm that figure, but Komen Colorado did not provide a specific revenue number. Financial filings from the national Komen organization also showed no sign of a Colorado-specific revenue number.

And for full disclosure, 9News is a longtime sponsor of the race. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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