Lady and The Track | November 30, 2022

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Kentucky Oaks Ends Relationship With Susan G. Komen

Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Oaks have ended their relationship with the Susan G. Komen foundation in hopes to benefit

Kentucky Oaks Pink Out.

survivors of all types of cancers. Susan G. Komen partnered up with the Kentucky Oaks for the past three years raising over $420,000 for the foundation. Nancy G. Brinker, the founder of Susan G. Komen, was once the “First Lady of The Oaks”.

The relationship between Churchill Downs and Susan G. Komen ended because fans of the Kentucky Oaks felt that money donated and raised for a cause should benefit all types of cancer, not limit itself to help only breast cancer. When the decision was first made to sever ties, it was speculated that the reason was due to the Susan G. Komen foundation’s plan to cut funding for mammograms at Planned Parenthood facilities. This accusation was completely false. Churchill Downs later released a statement saying that the decision to end the relationship with the Susan G. Komen Foundation was made several months before.

Komen spokeswoman Kiki Ryan said, “We were informed in December 2011 that Churchill Downs would not be continuing their partnership with Komen in 2012 in order to find a charity that included all forms of cancer. The funds raised through the Kentucky Oaks partnership helped Susan G. Komen fund life-saving breast cancer research as well as screening and treatment programs for under-served women in local Kentucky communities. It also provided a public platform to celebrate breast cancer survivors and co-survivors. We are very proud of the work we did together and wish them continued success in the future. Churchill conducted a search and settled on Stand Up To Cancer, which raises funds to accelerate getting new therapies to patients.” 

This year, Churchill Downs and The Kentucky Oaks will continue on with the planned “Pink Out”, the survivor’s parade, and “Ladies First” theme to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer. Stand Up To Cancer makes new cancer treatments available to those who need it most. Churchill Downs will donate $1.00 to Stand Up To Cancer for every person in attendance at The Kentucky Oaks.

The Kentucky Oaks 138 takes place on May 4, 2012.