Racers Make Significant Impact on Local and Global Breast Cancer Fight
Opening Ceremonies Feature: Dr. Jill Biden, Serbian Prince and Princess, Amb. Brinker, Celebrities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 6, 2009 – They came to honor a loved one, to celebrate survival and to make an impact in the fight against breast cancer, both here in the Washington, D.C. metro area and across the globe. In the end, nearly 45,000 people participated in the 20th running of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® in Washington, D.C., which was rebranded as the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure® this year to highlight the growing breast cancer crisis worldwide. And in spite of the economy, today’s event raised $4.3 million to fund breast cancer programs for the medically underserved throughout the National Capital Area and abroad.
In addition to the name change, today’s Komen Global Race incorporated a new look, feel and Race day experience, aimed at creating a more personal, educational and interactive event. The morning’s festivities, emceed by CBS’s The Early Show anchor Maggie Rodriguez and WUSA’s Andrea Roane, opened with a parade of more than 3,600 breast cancer survivors, including 21 survivors from 18 countries, who marched into the mall between twin stages to a live performance of “Pink Warrior,” an inspiring new song by singer/songwriter Candy Coburn.
Dr. Jill Biden, a long-time advocate for breast health education and wife of Vice President Joe Biden, thanked participants, telling them that they are "paving the way for a breast cancer-free world through their efforts."
Following Dr. Biden, Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, who founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure more then 27 years ago as a promise to her sister Suzy, who died of breast cancer at age 36, charged up the crowd with her inspirational story and a call for each participant to find a way to make an impact on this deadly disease. “Without a cure, in the next 25 years, an estimated 11 million will die from the disease worldwide. That's more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. We can stem the tide of the growing crises; we can share what we have learned; we can end breast cancer forever, all around the world. And with each of us doing our part, we will.”
The emotional opening program concluded with the “Ceremonial First Steps” taken by Dr. Biden, Ambassador Brinker, HRH Crown Prince Alexander II and HRH Crown Princess Katherine of Serbia, Komen president and CEO Hala Moddelmog, actress and Susan G. Komen Passionately Pink for the Cure ambassador Sarah Chalke, and Komen’s 2009 Survivor of the Year Sara Fought. Adding to the impact of the ceremonial first steps, Komen Circle of Promise Ambassador and singer Lalah Hathaway performed a tribute to the runners and walkers. The opening ceremony climaxed with the placing of a seven-foot pink globe, symbolizing the organization’s worldwide commitment to a cure, on a platform above the starting line.
Finally, in a partnership with MGM studios, the Pink Panther started the Race, unleashing the throng of runners eager to make their impact. After the Race start, the Pink Panther spent the remainder of the morning with Kids for the Cure®, Komen’s special Race day program for children ages 5-12.
Thanks to the Global Race, Komen is able to impact the lives of breast cancer patients in the National Capital Area as well as women across the globe. Up to 75 percent of Race revenue will stay in the D.C. area to address breast cancer disparities for the medically underserved. Thanks to funds raised by the 2008 Komen National Race for the Cure, Komen was able to invest $3.7 million this year to fund community health initiatives that address unmet breast health needs in the Washington, D.C. area, which includes parts of Virginia and Maryland.
The remaining 25 percent will go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Global Promise Fund, which addresses breast cancer incidence and mortality outside the United States with culturally sensitive education and outreach programs.
The National Presenting Sponsor of the Komen Race for the Cure Series is Yoplait®, and the National Series Sponsors are American Airlines, Bank of America, Coldwater Creek, Ford Division, FUZE Beverage, Mott’s, New Balance and RE/MAX®. Quilted Northern Ultra® sponsors the Race Series’ Volunteer Recognition Program and the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity sponsors the Breast Cancer Survivor Recognition Program.