A lasting impact from Planned Parenthood and Komen controversy?

By Marshanna Hester

May 12, 2012 Updated May 14, 2012 at 9:50 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- Organizers say roughly 12,000 of you turned out for Saturday's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

So far, they say the event has raised $984,000. That's just short of their $1 million goal.

Meantime, it's been three months since the Susan G. Komen Foundation's controversial decision to end funding to Planned Parenthood, and amid much criticism, reversed its stance days later. Now the organization is working to move past the conflict.

What impact did that have on this year's race?

Thousands pound the pavement each year in Peoria, presenting a united front to fight breast cancer.

This time around, there were roughly 1,400 less people. How much the funding fiasco with Planned Parenthood had to do with that, officials with the Peoria Memorial Affiliate aren't saying.

Linda Maricle, Executive Director of the Peoria Memorial Affiliate said, "We're not even going to go there, let people make their own decisions. We are extremely blessed and thankful for our response of the people in Peoria."

If anything, Maricle said the controversy has been positive, giving Komen the chance to make more people aware of its mission.

Some questioned that mission when the foundation decided to cut $600,000 from Planned Parenthood. It provides free breast cancer screenings to low income patients.

Board member Greg Miller said, "Its an unfortunate set of circumstances but it's something we can overcome and definitely have."

Critics cited political reasons for the initial move, but the Komen Foundation's founder says it was due to a revision of grant guidelines.

Meanwhile, the staff in Peoria has kept its focus on the bottom line of raising dollars. Susan G. Komen's nephew Eric Brinker said that's especially important, now that the state is considering millions in cuts to a program that funds mammograms.

"We just have to keep focusing and pushing forward and understand maybe there were some people or are some people that are upset with us and we have to work hard to regain their trust," Brinker said. "But at the end of the day, if you want to be mad at Komen that's fine, but don't be mad at the women we support."

Women in 36 counties in Central Illinois benefit from 75 percent of funds raised through events like Race for the Cure.

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