Race for the Cure Ready at New Home


Participants in Saturday’s Komen Memphis-MidSouth Race for the Cure will see some significant changes this year.

The Komen Memphis-MidSouth Race for the Cure, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, at 9 a.m., will see some significant changes this year.

(Memphis-Midsouth Affiliate of Susan G. Komen)

One of them will be a change of scenery. After 20 years at The Shops of Saddle Creek in Germantown, the race is moving to Carriage Crossing in Collierville.

“Carriage Crossing is giving us the opportunity to expand our expo area,” said Elaine Hare, executive director of the Memphis-MidSouth Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “Sponsorships make up a huge percentage of our race income. Being able to offer our sponsors more space will help us expand our reach to the community.”

The race’s start time also is changing from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

“The later start time will enable us to have our pre-race Survivor Breakfast and Survivor Photo in daylight,” Hare said. “In the past, we’ve only had a few minutes of full sunshine.”

Minor changes in logistics aside, the mission of Race for the Cure remains the same. Hare said no matter how many times the race’s story has been told over the years, she can’t emphasize its importance enough.

“Although we’re an affiliate of a national organization, we’re locally owned and operated,” Hare said. “We can tell you where every penny we raise goes – 75 percent of the funds we raise stay here, in local grants, and 25 percent go to breast cancer research.”

The affiliate’s annual goal is to distribute $800,000 in grants. Last year they barely made it, Hare said. Fundraising efforts raised $680,000 of that money, and the local organization made up for the rest by forgoing salary raises and adjusting the education budget. Participation in last year’s race was down, Hare said, most likely due to the economy and a misunderstanding about the affiliate’s relationship with Planned Parenthood.

Last year, news that the Susan G. Komen Foundation provided grants to Planned Parenthood sparked national controversy, which trickled down to affect regional affiliates. Again, Hare emphasizes that Komen Memphis-MidSouth is an affiliated but separate corporate entity from the national organization. The Memphis affiliate makes all its funding decisions on a local level.

“The Mid-South-area Planned Parenthood organization has never requested funding from Komen Memphis-MidSouth and has never received funds from our organization,” Hare said in a public statement last year.

The Memphis-MidSouth Affiliate service area encompasses 14 counties in Tennessee and seven counties in Mississippi. Since the affiliate’s beginnings in 1993, it has provided more than $8 million in grant funding to regional programs. Last year, these grants funded screenings for 5,750 women, education for 8,200 women, support services for 1,528 women, and treatment for 30 women.

Hare said it’s important that people understand that the money they donate isn’t going to get shuffled under the broad and sometimes obscure umbrella of breast cancer research. The list of last year’s grant recipients illustrates this point.

Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women received $177,032 for its Mammography for Underserved Women Program.

Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto received $29,967 for its Filling the Gap – Mammography for Underserved Women Program.

Christ Community Health Center received $71,000 for its Care Stream program, providing mammograms and diagnostic screening tests for uninsured women.

Church Health Center received $85,290.35 for its Comprehensive Breast Care Program.

Memphis Cancer Foundation received $14,775 for its STAAR Witness (Surviving, Thriving, African Americans Rallying Support) Program.

Methodist Hospital received $108,634 for its Navigating Underserved Women to Better Breast Health program.

Memphis Regional Medical Center received $102,437.15 for its Take Care/Be Aware breast cancer screening and outreach program.

Mroz Baier Breast Care Clinic received $130,000 for its Julie B. Baier Foundation’s Diagnostic Treatment Program.

Tennessee Department of Health received $32,950 for its The BeST for Tennessee Women Project (Breast Screening and Treatment).

Urban Health Education and Support Services (UHESS) received $15,000 for its A Carin’ Touch program, providing support services to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and survivors who are primarily African-American or from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

West Tennessee Area Health Education Center received $32,914 for its W.E. C.A.R.E. (Women Educating, Collaborating, and Rallying for Eradication) program, providing screenings to African-American, Hispanic, uninsured, and economically disadvantaged women in Fayette and Shelby counties.