Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Believing in a Cause; 51,000 Participate in Event; at Least $2.4 Million Is Raised

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Believing in a Cause; 51,000 Participate in Event; at Least $2.4 Million Is Raised

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS - In the Middle Ages, the sound of church bells summoned people to experience the supernatural.

On Saturday morning, the ringing of Christ Church Cathedral's bells downtown signaled the start of a race to fund research that will supersede nature.

About 51,000 people took off from the pink starting line on Olive Street, below the cathedral's pealing bells, for the Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure. The charity funds breast cancer research and care.

Yvonne Cross, 72, of Berkeley, was at her 11th Race for the Cure, supporting her daughter, a two-time breast cancer survivor.

"When you see the amount of people that are all going through the same thing, it really helps," she said.

Her friend Bernice Davis, 59, also of Berkeley, said she had been cancer-free for 18 months. "It's about coming together as one," Davis said.

While there was a definite sense of unity in the multitudes, fewer people came together for the race this year. The number of registered participants, which organizers say could still rise, was down from 64,000 last year and nearly 72,000 - the record - in 2010.

In recent years, the St. Louis event has been the largest Komen race in the nation, and organizers said they believed it still was, but with half the year still to go, they were not sure St. Louis would retain that title. According to fundraising totals on Komen's website, this year's St. Louis race generated $2.4 million, though organizers say that number will grow. Last year the race brought in $3 million, and in 2010, $3.4 million.

In February, Komen announced that it was excluding Planned Parenthood from future grants for breast cancer screenings and education programs.

A nationwide furor fueled by social media such as Twitter and Facebook led Democrats and liberals to say the move was part of a broad campaign against Planned Parenthood for its position on abortion. Komen's vice president of public policy resigned, and the charity ultimately decided to continue the Planned Parenthood grants.

The local Planned Parenthood provides breast exams to 7,000 women each year but has never received funding from the St. Louis Komen affiliate. Some race organizers believed that distance would protect the St. …

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