The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was started in 1998 and has since become a staple in Boise’s community involvement. Participants from all over the state gather to raise awareness for the cause. Donations raised from the event are used to fund grants across Idaho, which provide assistance to breast cancer patients and increase early detection. The 16th annual Boise Race for the Cure will take place on May 10.
Boise State alumna Molly Peterson has participated in the race four times.
“I think that it’s good for the community to come together and help support people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer,” Peterson said. “It helps people to have hope that there will be a cure.”
Peterson carried her passion for cancer awareness throughout her collegiate career and now works at St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute where she works directly with cancer patients.
The Boise Race for the Cure is a chance for the community to come together to show support for breast cancer awareness. Race manager Molly Nota is responsible for putting together the event. Nota promotes the race and deals with vendors to ensure the event will attract participants.
In 2013, the Race for the Cure brought in $300,000 from individual donations and registration fees. Seventy five percent of the donations stay locally, while 25 percent add to a national research fund.
“It makes up 80 percent of our revenue, so it’s really important to our community that we have a successful event,” Nota said.
Currently there are 120 affiliates across the country sending in donations to the national fund.
“In the 30 years that Susan G. Komen has been around, we’ve raised $804 million in breast cancer research,” Nota said.
The local donations are used in community grant funds. The money goes toward funding community clinics that provide breast cancer services. In recent years there have been an increasing amount of mobile mammography units that are funded from community grants. These units are stationed in counties where those services are not easily accessible.
The 16th annual Race for the Cure is expected to have the largest turn-out yet. A new feature for this year is the Kendall Ford competitive timed 5k race. The addition of a timed race is in attempt to broaden the appeal of the event. Members of the community are encouraged to sign up in teams and raise donations that will go to the Susan G. Komen foundation.
Mix 106 radio DJ Kate McGwire has been the team captain of the Mix 106 Bosom Buddies since 2010. Although McGwire has not personally dealt with breast cancer in her own family, she views her listeners as a slightly larger family. Their strength and support solidify her belief in this cause.
“Seeing people out there on race day, with the little badges and banners that say ‘I’m walking for my mom’, that gets you. That tugs at your heartstrings,” McGwire said.
Idaho has consistently been ranked near the bottom among the states in regards to breast cancer screening. It is estimated that in 2014 there will be 40,000 breast cancer deaths. The Boise Race for the Cure is the event for the citizens of Boise to gather and show their support for breast cancer awareness.
“Whether it’s six degrees of separation or not, breast cancer touches all of us. The more we know, the better we are. So get involved,” McGwire said.
The goal for this year’s event is $150,000 in donations and 13,000 participants.