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Q&A: How Komen groups grew

How Komen groups grew

It seems like every time you turn around there is another Susan G. Komen event. How many are there?

A lot. Susan G. Komen has become a brand name in the fight against breast cancer, and many events are aligned with the foundation to raise money. Probably the most visible of those events are the 5K Race for the Cure and the three-day Walk for the Cure, which are spread out across the country and throughout the year.

In the Tampa Bay area, the Florida Suncoast Race for the Cure is Saturday, Oct. 2, and the three-day Walk for the Cure is Oct. 29-31. For other events in the area, and information about them, see www.komensuncoast.org.

Susan G. Komen of Peoria, Ill., a former beauty queen noted for her kindness, was 36 when she died of breast cancer in 1980. Two years later, Komen's younger sister, Nancy Brinker, started the Susan G. Komen Foundation in her memory.

Her sister remembered their last conversation about how women needed better education and should have more peaceful waiting rooms and doctors' offices to visit during therapy. "I wanted to do something to let her know how special she would always be in my heart," Brinker said.

Brinker also was diagnosed with breast cancer, in 1984, and says she successfully beat the disease. She continues to stay active, spending much of her time traveling and speaking on behalf of the organization.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation oversees more than 100,000 volunteers in a network of 125 U.S. and international affiliates. The organization's purpose is "to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment."

In the 2009 fiscal year, Susan G. Komen for the Cure's revenue was more than $300 million (including in-kind contributions), and since 1982, nearly $1.5 billion has been invested in breast cancer research and community outreach projects.

The foundation spends 78 percent of its total expenses on its programs. Of that amount, 35 percent goes toward research, 41 percent is used for public health education, 16 percent is spent on health screenings and 8 percent helps fund treatment projects. Fundraising accounts for 12 percent of its expense budget, with administrative costs at a modest 10 percent.

For the latest financial information on the foundation, see http://ww5.komen.org/Content.aspx?id=6094&terms=990.

Also, give.org has reports on this charity and others that solicit nationally.

Benefits at Salvation Army

Several years ago there was an article about some conflict with the Salvation Army not providing benefits for its gay employees. Was that situation ever resolved?

The Salvation Army offers benefits to all full-time employees, according to officials with the Salvation Army, USA Southern Territory. The nation's largest charity has 3,600 officers, 63,000 employees and 3.4 million volunteers.

Q&A: How Komen groups grew 02/04/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 4, 2010 3:30am]

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