The non-profit organization announced on Monday that while the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure will still take place in Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Michigan, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle and Minneapolis-St. Paul in 2014, the program will end in Arizona, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The 2013 3-Day races will not be affected.
"The difficult decision to exit these markets was not made lightly, as we know this bold and empowering event has touched the lives of thousands of participants like you," Komen wrote on its Facebook page. "While the 3-Day has brought great awareness to the breast cancer cause, participation levels over the last four years have made it difficult to sustain an event of this magnitude in 14 cities."
The Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure walk is one of the flagship fundraisers for the Dallas, Texas, breast cancer awareness organization. Participants walk 60-miles in three days, and were required to raise at least $2,300 each to participate in the 2013 events.
Komen's support has been declining after it came out in early 2012 that the organization had stopped awarding grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening. Komen said the decision was not politically motivated, and that it was made because Planned Parenthood was under investigation by Congress.
However, many believed the ties were cut due to Planned Parenthood's support for abortion rights, even though Komen's donations were not earmarked for those procedures.
Facing a backlash, Komen retracted its original statement and said it would continue to support Planned Parenthood.
"Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair," Komen said in a prepared statement from then-CEO Nancy G. Brinker.
Brinker, who founded the charity, also announced that she would resign in September 2012. She still remains on the board since a suitable replacement hasn't been found, the Washington Post reported. Her $684,717 2012 salary has also been a point of contention among critics.