Komen Cancels Annual Gala to Avoid Inevitable EmbarrassmentS

Susan G. Komen for the Cure continues to Race for Its Public Image two months after its very public discontinuation of funding Planned Parenthood, its very public lying about why they did it, and its very public, very awkward backpedaling followed by the bitter resignation of a former anti-Planned Parenthood politician from the charity's executive suite. Now, the New York branch of the charity has cancelled its annual awards gala, replacing it by a non-transferrable invitation-only event for grant recipients.

The New Yorker's Amy Davidson reports that yesterday, Blythe Masters, the chair of the Board of Directors of the New York City affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure sent an email explaining that the gala, scheduled for May 17, was postponed indefinitely. As consolation for the crestfallen would-be gala attendees, a grantees' breakfast for people and organizations receiving money through Komen for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. The new event's by invitation only, and invitations aren't transferrable, presumably to keep things at the breakfast from getting shouty.

According to a spokesperson for the Komen affiliate, the event was cancelled because "because we were not certain about our ability to fundraise in the near term."

They're probably right to worry. Since rescinding and then reinstating grants given to Planned Parenthood for breast screenings, Komen's signature Race for the Cure events have turned in seriously disappointing numbers. In Fort Worth, registrations for the event are down 42% as compared to last year. Southwestern Florida's race only raised 2/3 of the money organizers set out to raise. And in Arizona, donations to the organization are down 60% as compared to last year.

And this is why you hire publicists.

Susan G. Komen: Where's the party? [New Yorker]