SCRANTON, Pa. — One of the best-known cancer non-profits is downsizing.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation, the sponsor of the Race for the Cure, will close all of its local chapters, including the office in Scranton.
"It's been, for me personally, it's been more than a career. It has just been the best job that anyone could ever ask for," said Dolly Wood.
Dolly Woody has been Susan G. Komen of Greater Pennsylvania's only full-time employee in Scranton since the chapter was started 30 years ago.
She and the non-profit have relied on hundreds of volunteers and thousands of participants in each year's Race for the Cure to raise money to support local breast cancer patients and help find a cure.
Woody says when COVID-19 hit, she never would have fathomed that the 30th-anniversary race would be canceled.
"We did have a virtual race, and Pittsburgh had a virtual race as well. But the numbers paled in comparison to what they would have if we had a 30th-anniversary celebration on courthouse square with all of the people being up close and personal with us. And of course, I miss that tremendously."
Now, Woody is packing up the chapter's office on Adams Avenue in Scranton. It and every other Susan G. Komen affiliate in the country will close permanently. A move the national organization is making to cut costs.
The national organization will still operate at a central location and hopefully fundraise with Race for the Cure events when the pandemic allows. But, the future of the organization's local impact is uncertain.
"I hope that, while we don't have a physical presence, I hope they don't lose sight of the fact that Komen is still working, and that Komen is still trying to find a cure for breast cancer," Woody said.
Susan G. Komen of Greater Pennsylvania had about $500,000 in its reserves from fundraisers prior to the pandemic. That money has been distributed to organizations locally and across the state that helps support cancer patients.
This office will close at the end of the month. The chapter will officially close at the end of the year.