The American Calgarian

Tales of a Midwesterner transplanted in Western Canada

A Tavern Tale

This is a post about a bar.  Not just any bar, but a bar owned by a woman with a clear sense of purpose, outstanding character and a giving heart.  This bar has regular fundraisers for different causes.  They have had successful toy drives for children staying in homeless shelters, helped people (me) raise money for blood cancer research and have raised many thousands of dollars for breast cancer treatment and research.

One year they had a highly successful fundraiser for breast cancer research, raising a little over $7000 in three hours.  The owner had traditionally given the money to the Susan Komen for the Cure, though the events were not official Komen for the Cure events.  After this particular event, the owner excitedly called the Komen organization.  To her surprise, she was told repeatedly that they should not have had such an event without prior approval, though they would accept the money.  It took 2-3 months for them to pick up the check and did not bother to send a thank you note.

Komen for the Cure has had trouble playing nice the sandbox with other women’s charities, I have learned through reading articles today about their decision to pull funding from Planned Parenthood.  While Komen is a private organization and certainly can do what they want with their money, in my opinion, this is bad form.  Planned Parenthood has practices that some in their organization may not agree with, but the end result is making a difference in women’s health.  Isn’t that the purpose of both organizations?

When the news first came out, I was really pissed about this whole thing.  Then, I went for my scheduled group run and mellowed out a bit.  Now, I just have a plan.  My mother is a breast cancer survivor and I have been trying to talk her into doing a Komen event.  No more.  We will do whatever event she wishes, (or none, it’s up to her).  I will not buy merchandise with the pink ribbon, (after all, reports show only 17% of the money actually went to cancer research).  I will concentrate efforts on those organizations in my community that play nice with others and make a real difference in the lives of those around me.  I hope you will as well.

And the bar?  Still doing fundraising for local charities. Still one my favorite places to hang out.  Thanks, B.B. and all those that frequent WP for all your good work.

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7 thoughts on “A Tavern Tale

  1. I haven’t had a chance to read much about this Komen situation yet, but my initial reaction is disappointment. You are correct, they are a private organization and can do what they want with their money; and thankfully, we also have the right to do what we want with ours. Actions speak louder than words, and donating our dollars to charities that align with our beliefs speaks volumes.

  2. blogginglily on said:

    I wonder why they elected to part ways with Planned Parenthood? I guess I understand what you’re saying about the overall general end goal being the same (if that end goal is “women’s health improvement”), but if Komen doesn’t agree with PP’s policy or approach. . . I guess they should put their money somewhere else that they feel is more in line with their own values. I’m speaking in complete generalities, because I don’t know why a breast cancer charity like Komen would spend money on PP in the first place. . . (money for mammograms? exams? I’m not following the breast cancer link). . .

  3. Thanks for the comment, Jim. The argument here, as I understand it, is that women that benefit from services provided at PP (mammograms) generally have limited options, while those that benefit more directly from Komen either work there or have other options, because they are more likely to have health insurance or greater means in general. Therefore, when you cut funding to an organziation such as Planned Parenthood, you are cutting funding for care of the underprivileged. I hope that helps.
    I am putting this to bed now, because frankly, it makes me sad. I just want people to get the health care they need. Especially when it comes to cancer screenings and treatment. I don’t like that politics seem to be brought into the fold. I could go on a feminist rant here, but won’t. Maybe later.

    • blogginglily on said:

      I get why it bums you out. What I don’t get is why Komen did it. Obviously they didn’t say, “this only really benefits people who are poor. . . stop funding it”. I’m just curious what their reasoning is.

      Politics is ALWAYS in the fold. Like mildew in my bath towels. Would it kill her to do the damn laundry once in a while??

  4. blogginglily on said:

    Alright, I linked to http://www.npr.org/2012/02/01/146243896/q-a-the-rift-between-komen-planned-parenthood and read their article on it. It really does SEEM to be a genuinely political move by Komen.

    On the face of it they’re blaming a policy shift that prohibits the organization from supporting a charity that is under investigation (as PP is).

    But really. . . it mostly seems like they’re kowtowing to demands from the religious right, or, if not demands, then lack of funds from those areas as a result of their involvement with PP.

    PP on the other hand, already recovered 250K of the 680K that Komen contributed as a result of a donation, and with a $1B spending budget yearly, weren’t dramatically affected. Still, it has to suck for an organization to count on $680K and have the sheet pulled out from under them. Thanks for making me aware of it.

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