PEORIA — The Race for the Cure will not be held in Peoria in 2019. The popular annual walk is morphing into the More Than Pink Walk, which will be held in place of Race for the Cure on May 11.

“We are one of 26 affiliates that will be hosting More Than Pink Walks this year,” said Katie Parker, marketing director for the Susan G. Komen Memorial Affiliate. “There are still Race for the Cures out there, but we wanted to focus on the More Than Pink Walk because of all the great things it offers.”

Two years ago staff at the affiliate, which is named after the Peoria native, began researching ways to revitalize their fundraising efforts.

“Thirty years ago when, we look at the Peoria Race for the Cure event, there were eight other run/walk events in our community — now there are more than 200,” Parker said. “Naturally that number is part of the reason for the decline in fundraising — we have competition. So through this program, the More than Pink Walk, with more events throughout the year, we hope to inspire and motivate people to put together a team and do some fundraising.”

More Than Pink Walks have been piloted in other locations around the country with great success, said Parker. One big change is the elimination of the timed run. The new event will only be a walk, which is where most people participated. And another very visible change in the new event will the introduction of more color into the sea of pink usually seen on race day.

“We’re still pink, but now we’re infusing other colors into the event,” said Parker. Four colors are being introduced to represent a pillar of the Komen mission — research (purple), care (green), community (blue) and action (orange). On walk day tents in each of those colors will house interactive events to educate the public about the mission pillars. The new colors will also be worn by walk participants, said Parker.

“When someone registers for the event, they get a t-shirt and a gift on walk day. This year the gift will be an infinity scarf that can be worn many ways. On one side it will be pink, and on the other side it will be one of those four colors. People can grab whatever suits them,” said Parker.

This year walk participants will get a grey T-shirt rather than white one, a change that’s been popular in pilots across the country, said Parker. And another color change will affect breast cancer survivors. Most survivors will get the medium pink T-shirts like they have in the past, but women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer will have the option of wearing a darker shade of pink.

“We will also have a berry-colored shirt for those who wish to be recognized,” said Parker.

Also changing are early bird registration fees.

“Through February 1 registration is $20 versus the $30 it has been in the past,” said Parker. “We want to share this new opportunity with as many people as we can, and we also want to get people to get their team started earlier and start fundraising as earlier.”

While there are many changes planned for the annual event in 2019, the ultimate goal for the local affiliate has not changed, said Parker.

“Our vision is still a world without breast cancer. In order to do that, we have to do more. We have to raise more funds so we can give more support to community grants, and more support to national research.”

Leslie Renken can be reached at 686-3250 or Follow her on, and subscribe to her on