April 23, 2012 in City

Komen race sees drop in participation

Donations are expected to be similar despite lower turnout
By The Spokesman-Review
Kathy Plonka photo

On her mark: Spokane resident Jackie Colton lines up for the start of the Susan G. Komen Eastern Washington Race for the Cure in downtown Spokane on Sunday morning. Colton, who has been battling breast cancer for five months, was among an estimated 7,500 participants in the seventh annual fundraiser to fight breast cancer. See story on A6 and more photos at spokesman.com/photos.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

An estimated 7,500 runners, joggers and walkers participated in Spokane’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Sunday.

Last year, 8,500 people finished the 5-kilometer course. Organizers were anticipating a drop in participation because of the controversy surrounding Komen’s national board’s decision to pull funding for Planned Parenthood’s cancer-screening services earlier this year. That decision was quickly reversed, but race participation has been down across the nation.

“We are still processing paper registrations so we don’t know the final participation number yet,” said Bailee Neyland, communications chair of the Eastern Washington affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. “The weather was so nice and that brought in a lot of last-minute registrations.”

Neyland said as many as 700 breast cancer survivors participated in this year’s race.

Even though the number of participants was down, Neyland said, donations are expected to be about the same as last year.

“We found that this year’s participants did more individual fundraising, so we’ll get more donations from each person than other years,” Neyland said. “This year was just such a great day out.”

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