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Dallas Komen Race Participation Down 11-Percent

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The preliminary numbers are in for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure held in Dallas on Saturday. In addition to a decrease in donations, organizers say race participation was down some 11-percent.

Earlier this year, Susan G. Komen For the Cure came under fire for cutting its grants to Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care provider. Since the Planned Parenthood controversy Nancy Brinker has left her CEO position, executives have resigned and board members have retired.

Komen Dallas County executive director Jennifer Legere doesn't believe the drop in donations and participation was due to the bad publicity. "We have to remember, and this is true for most non-profit organizations, especially during a campaign year that a lot of individuals are also making personal contributions to political campaigns, in addition to the economy [and] in addition to everything else," she said.

In January Komen decided to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood for breast-screening services because the organization was the focus of a congressional investigation launched at the urging of anti-abortion activists. Criticism began immediately after the decision and three days later Komen reversed course and restored funding.

Despite the roller coaster of events at Komen, Legere stands by her assertion that the financial downturn isn't the result. "I think it's a culmination of different things," she said. "I don't think that you can say it's attributed to one particular issue in general."

LeGere pointed out that even though numbers were down, Dallas still did better than most of the rest of the country.

While this year marks the 30th anniversary for the Komen organization Legere pointed out that the fight against breast cancer was going on long before their existence. She recalled one woman who participated in Saturday's race, "We were celebrating 30 years of having our race, but she was celebrating 49 years of being a survivor."

Komen fundraising continues through mid-November.

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