Komen Greater Iowa Says the Pandemic is Not Why it is Closing

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa– Last week, Susan G. Komen Greater Iowa announced that come next month it would cease its operations and donate remaining funds to local organizations fighting against cancer. 

Despite many Komen affiliates citing the pandemic as the reason for their closing, Board President of Komen Greater Iowa, Becki Brommel, said the cause of its shut down was not COVID related, but rather caused by changes made on a national level. 

“There are very few nonprofits that were still set up the way that Komen was set up,” Brommel said. “Some of the national organizations that have local chapters it’s more of a chapter, you know not separate entities, so I think this was probably something Komen would have went through anyway.” 

 Last April, Komen headquarters decided to restructure the organization by not having separate state affiliates but rather one entity. This has forced affiliates like Komen Greater Iowa to either consolidate their legal affairs with Komen headquarters in Dallas, Texas or cease its operations. 

More than 60 Komen affiliates across the country are closing, including those in Kansas, Oregon, and Washington.

The local affiliate had a half a million dollars within its bank account. 

Brommel said those a part of Komen Greater Iowa, now made up of just two employees,  believed the organization’s money should stay in the community, where it was raised by staple events like the Pink Walk and other programs.

The nonprofit gave over $500,000 to 13 different organizations across Iowa that advocate for those who’ve lost their lives to cancer and cancer survivors.

One recipient, Above and Beyond Cancer, has been involved in the community for 10 years. Program Director, Mary Van Heukelom said the nonprofit will use the funds they received from Komen Greater Iowa to enhance their services, especially for underserved groups. 

“What we want to do is continue to diversify our outreach and bring as many people into the fold of our organization and benefit from the free support, the scholarship support that we can offer in any stage and chapter of their life,”  Van Heukelom said. 

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