In a surprise move at Tuesday’s Lake Elsinore City Council Meeting, city leaders made the decision to host the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in October. The split decision, with Mayor Steve Manos, Mayor Pro Tem and Councilman Daryl Hickman voting for the motion, included full funding in the amount of $7,500 in in-kind services in spite of arguments made by Councilwoman Natasha Johnson and Councilman Bob Magee.
Susan G. Komen Inland Empire Executive Director Katie Parker stood before council on Aug. 25 and asked them to consider allowing the event to be held in Lake Elsinore the third Saturday in October. The move comes following Temecula City Council’s decision to put restrictions on the event – traditionally held at Promenade Temecula – due to other Komen affiliates’ financial support of Planned Parenthood.
Temecula leaders threatened to pull their backing if the restrictions were not met.
Parker said that Komen was unable to meet the conditions – that all proceeds raised at the event stay with the local affiliate instead of 25 percent going to Komen National offices in Dallas, Texas. In addition, an assurance that no money would be given to Planned Parenthood, as well as assurances that services for breast cancer awareness, detection and related services would be given to Temecula residents in an equal amount to the value of the city’s support of $29,693 and a two-week response time to those conditions.
“The conditions that were placed on the affiliate was that 100 percent of the race proceeds remained in the Inland Empire,” she said. “We could not comply with this.”
Parker said Komen was unable to meet the condition of matching the in-kind donations being given directly to Temecula, either, leaving Komen without a location for the 2015 Race for the Cure.
Parker said that neither the Inland Empire affiliate or Komen’s National offices fund Planned Parenthood though other affiliates do offer community grants that Planned Parenthood could apply for.
“Komen Headquarters has not and does not fund Planned Parenthood,” she said. “One hundred percent of money raised goes to research only.”
Following a lengthy presentation by Komen, the city and a public comments period, Manos revealed that his wife is currently battling stage 3 cancer which made the situation a personal one for him. He said he had heard quite a bit from a lot of people with varying opinions both for and against the race.
“In this country you are innocent until proven guilty,” Manos said. “This is not Salem, we do not burn witches. I do not trust anything that I see on TV fully and I do not trust anything that I see on the Internet, it’s just too easy to go ahead and manipulate the information.”
Manos said that it had to be recognized that Susan G. Komen foundation was not Planned Parenthood and that Komen had it’s own mission that had nothing to do with abortion.
“That mission is incredibly noble, it is the fight against breast cancer,” he said. “It is not enough to say that if you connect dots four, five and six and turn your head sideways that there is a connection and therefore they are evil. That’s not right, that’s not the way we live in this country and I am fired up about that. That’s just not right.”
Manos said that the anger needed to be directed to the right place.
“It’s organizations like this that support those who can’t support themselves,” he said after telling those in chambers that his wife was recently diagnosed with stage 3 cancer. “So I take this very personally, its been a very difficult time for our family and it’s organizations like this that are out there saving lives.”
Despite objections and a motion by Johnson to allow the race without funding, Council voted in a split 3-2 decision to allow the race with full funding.
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will be held on Oct. 18 in Lake Elsinore at Diamond Stadium and the Levee.
This is a developing story and more information will be posted as it becomes available.