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Column: Susan G. Komen transitions fundraising from race to walk

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on May 11, 2018

Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta launched the inaugural “Be More than Pink Walk” on May 5 at Lenox Square Mall, raising almost $1 million to fight breast cancer in metro Atlanta.

The walk replaces the 25-year-old Race for the Cure – the major fundraiser for Susan G. Komen and the oldest 5K race in Atlanta. Since 1991, the Race for the Cure has raised more than $49.6 million to support local education, screening, diagnostic programs and global research efforts to find a cure for breast cancer.

Cati Diamond Stone, executive director of Atlanta’s Susan G. Komen, said Atlanta is one of four pilot markets that’s transitioning from the Race to the Walk. “One of the reasons we were chosen is because we had 27 years of successful Races for the Cure,” she said. “The Pink Walk is the reimagined Race for the Cure. We will have more of a focus on the mission… And a walk promotes community more than a run. You can do it as a family.”

Susan G. Komen

A picture of the walk with Susan G. Komen Atlanta head Cati Diamond Stone in the foreground – the blond with a big smile (Special: Susan G. Komen Society)

Stone said the May 5th walk raised the same amount of money as the Race, even though it had fewer participants. About 10 percent of Race for the Cure participants were serious runners who did not sign up for the Pink Walk. But the 5,000 participants of the Pink Walk individually raised more money than the runners.

The Pink Walk was hosted by Lenox Square Mall and presented locally by Kroger. It also honored men and women who have breast cancer as well as survivors. “This year the evolution of the event into the More Than Pink Walk also added the element of education,” Stone said. “The response to the new fundraising event has been overwhelming, and the dollars raised prove that Atlanta is More Than Pink.”

Komen has a goal of reducing the number of cancer deaths by 50 percent in the United States by 2026. And the dollars raised at the Atlanta will go towards that goal and it also will be invested in local programs, with an emphasis on lowering African-American breast health disparities. “The investment is paying off,” Stone said.

Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta also has added four new board members: Milton Little, president of the United Way of Greater Atlanta; Sheila Weidman-Farley, senior vice president at Georgia-Pacific; Harlan Clark, a senior vice president for Bank of America; and Natalia Franco, formerly with California Pizza Kitchen.

ABL honors Ed Bastian

The Atlanta Business League will honor Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, as its CEO of the year at a luncheon on May 15 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.

ABL’s annual CEO Awards luncheon recognizes executives for “outstanding participation in minority vendor development and community activities.”

The CEO luncheon also will recognize Ernest Hodge, CEO and owner of Heritage Automotive Group; Vicki Palmer, president of the Palmer Group LLC and a retired executive of Coca-Cola Enterprises; Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, president and dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine; and Kofi Smith, president and CEO of the Atlanta Airlines Terminal Corp.

Horizons Atlanta

Former Atlanta City Councilman Alex Wan has been named executive director of Horizons Atlanta, which provides high-quality academic enrichment programs to low-income children.

Horizon Atlanta, founded in 2013, currently serves more than 800 students.

The Horizons model is built on a public-private school partnership with a signature six-week summer learning program combined with year-round support.

Nine metro Atlanta organizations are site affiliates: Atlanta International School, Atlanta Technical College, Clark Atlanta University, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, Kennesaw State University, Woodward Academy and Purpose Built Schools.

Before joining Horizons Atlanta, wan served as director of development and alumni relations at Emory University. Before that, he served as director of development at Jerusalem House, Atlanta’s largest HIV housing provider.

“Alex will bring his experience and strong background of skills to an organization poised to move to the next level of success in Atlanta,” said John Brock, retired CEO of CCE who chairs Horizons Atlanta’s board. “An increasing number of underserved children will have their lives enriched, and we look forward to building upon the momentum of our first five years under Alex’s leadership.”

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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