History

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization outside of the federal government, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $988 million in research and provided more than $2.2 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs. Komen has worked in more than 60 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life.

Central & Eastern Virginia Affiliate Story

In May 2019, Komen Central Virginia and Komen Tidewater joined forces to become a new, more comprehensive entity – Komen Central & Eastern Virginia – to allow us to operate more efficiently and expand our ability to support the breast health needs of our newly combined service area, which encompasses over 80 cities and counties. The combined organization is headquartered in Richmond with a satellite office in Norfolk.

Among other events and opportunities for the communities to join the fight to save lives from breast cancer, Komen Central & Eastern Virginia plans to continue our annual MORE THAN PINK Walk™ (formerly the Race for the Cure®) – events in Richmond and Virginia Beach. Proceeds from the 2019 Walks along with all other fundraising activities will be used to fund community programs for our 2020-2021 grant cycle. To date, a combined more than $11.7 million in education, diagnosis, treatment, and support programs by funding local organizations that serve uninsured or underinsured residents. Komen Central & Eastern Virginia has also invested more than $4.4 million in the Susan G. Komen Grants Program to fund groud-breaking research at the national level.

To ensure the perspectives of people from across the new service area are represented moving forward, supporters from each affiliate will be included on the united Affiliate’s governing board.

As a grant-making organization, the Affiliate awards the funds raised through our MORE THAN PINK Walk™ (formerly the Race for the Cure®), special events, and the generosity of individual and corporate donors, right back into the community through our well-established grants program.

Want to get involved with the Komen Central & Easern Virginia Affiliate but not sure how? Email us at volunteer@komenceva.org to find out about our year-round opportunities!

Central Virginia Affiliate Story

The Central Virginia Race for the Cure® was started in 1998 by Jennifer Norvell Saunders, in memory of her mother, Joanne. Joanne lost her battle with breast cancer after a second reoccurrence of her disease. To honor her mother’s life, Jennifer, her family, and friends planned the first Central Virginia Race for the Cure® with the hope that fifty people would join them. To Jennifer’s surprise over 1,200 gathered at the starting line that Mother’s Day weekend.

The Komen Central Virginia Affiliate was established in 1999 to support Komen’s vision of a world without breast cancer and to promote the promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all and energizing science to find the cures. In 2010, the Affiliate changed its name to Komen Central Virginia to better reflect its expansive region, which today encompasses approximately 60 cities and counties.

Prior to the merger, the Komen Central Virginia Affiliate invested more than $6.2 million in education, diagnosis, treatment, and support programs by funding local organizations that serve uninsured or underinsured residents. Komen Central Virginia also invested more than $2.2 million in the Susan G. Komen Grants Program to fund groud-breaking research at the national level.

Central Tidewater Affiliate Story

The Komen Tidewater Affiliate celebrated twenty years of service in 2019. In 1998, a core group of three volunteers had the vision for an affiliate in the southeastern Virginia area and received affiliate designation from Susan G. Komen in 1999. The first Komen Tidewater Race for the Cure® was held in October 2000. With approximately 3,400 participants, it was the fifth largest inaugural Race in Komen history. In the first year, the affiliate awarded $99,502 in grants and sent $40,500 to the Komen Award and Research Program.

Over the years, Komen Tidewater added more fundraising events in addition to Race for the Cure®, like Pink-o De Mayo, Hoops for the Cure (a partnership with the Lady Monarchs Women’s Basketball team from Old Dominion University), Pink in the Rink (partnered by the Norfolk Admirals Hockey Team), Bat for the Cure, (partnered with the Norfolk Tides baseball team) and many more!

Funds raised on behalf of the Affiliate through May 2019 have provided over $5.5 million in the form of community grants, to nonprofit organizations, hospitals, health departments and universities. Additionally, Komen Tidewater has contributed over $2.2 million to breast cancer research. Besides raising money for community grants and research, Komen Tidewater performed valuable outreach and education to the community through a number of programs. Worship in Pink is a Komen program aimed at raising breast health awareness in the Black/African-American community. The Komen Tidewater Survivor Advisory Council provided knowledgeable advocates to assist in raising awareness of the importance of early detection throughout the Komen Tidewater service area.