Komen's race for the cure season is fully ramping up, and there is just no denying that race participation and donations are down. Naturally, there are variations by locale, but the trend of shortfalls in the 30% range is firmly taking hold. This is absolutely a not-insignificant drop, as it's already got some affiliates contemplating necessary cutbacks. It's also a bit of a body blow, because SGK has already done their budgets for the year, with funding projections based on previous years' pre-implosion models.
SGK's woes continued apace this week, with two important news items coming to light. The first is that Leslie Aun, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, will be leaving the organization as of May 15. I think she got tired of having to say, "I think there's no getting around the fact that the controversy did have an impact."
On top of all that is the news that Joe and Jill Biden have declined to host their customary pre-race barbecue for the D.C. event. The decision seems rather inevitable, given that association with SGK is now considered toxic by people on both sides of the abortion debate. I hope this move didn't surprise them as much as the Planned Parenthood backlash did.
And they should similarly not be surprised to see that backlash continue...let's dive below the divider-doodle and get to it!
First and foremost, I really can't stress enough how valuable it is to keep up with the news on SGK, just to combat the meme that women will suffer if the Komen Foundation does. This is patently false, as there are plenty of other organizations doing equally important work on breast cancer, both in research and supporting women and their families. The importance of refuting this particular meme cannot be overstated. If you happen upon articles like this one, please take a minute to leave a comment reminding readers that SGK is not the only breast cancer charity around, just the most prominent. Steer them towards other organizations doing the same work, only not flying around first class while they do it: Susan G. Love Foundation, Silent Spring Institute, National Breast Cancer Coalition, or even Planned Parenthood's own breast cancer fund that was established thanks to Brinker et al.
Beyond that, we need to keep identifying local sponsors of Komen events and making sure they hear from the people in their communities. This is another endeavor where pointing out the existence of worthwhile alternatives can make a difference. Everybody still wants to support breast cancer patients and the research that will help them; there's simply no need for Komen to be involved.
It's equally important to keep targeting the national brand sponsors of Komen events, such as New Balance and KitchenAid. This is an endeavor where pointing out the fact that supporting Komen upsets people on both sides of this here divide can really make a difference. Both fans and foes of Planned Parenthood bake cakes and go jogging. And everybody has a mother.
That's right; Mother's Day is shaping up to be a bit of a thang in this whole debacle. And by "thang," I mean quite a focus of Komen's image revamp efforts and, therefore, a lovely opportunity for taking it to various sponsors. One such sponsor is the aforementioned KitchenAid, who is promoting a "Cook for your Mom and the Cure" event for Mother's Day. So, maybe contact Villeroy & Boch, along with Kitchen Aid and the participating chefs, and let them know there are much safer ways to be philanthropic. Definitely visit KitchenAid's Facebook page on the project and leave some feedback there! Twitter, too.
Needless to say, Mom will not be receiving a pink KitchenAid anything this year. Nor will she be receiving her flowers from ProFlowers. True story: I was at their website and had items in the cart and everything when I noticed their "Pink Ribbon Collection." So if you're a procrastinator like I am, you can take this opportunity to spend money on your mother elsewhere. Like I am. Be sure to share with them precisely why you are shopping elsewhere this May. And we can all find ourselves a florist who does not use ProFlowers for all those other occasions throughout the year. This is a six-for-one opportunity, too: there are five other brands under ProFlowers' banner. This includes Shari's Berries, who would probably be thrilled to no longer have to make special pink cookies and decorative chocolate ribbons.
I know this is somewhat short notice, but we still have plenty a chance to make some noise on this! Whaddaya say?