Today, Komen’s mission is to save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities by helping women who face breast cancer today and investing in ground breaking research for a better tomorrow. We are inspired by our founders in Nebraska and South Dakota who wanted to make a difference. Continuing the tradition of grassroots support and volunteerism, both Affiliates were born with a passion to make an impact.
Kate Sommer, breast cancer survivor, enlisted family, friends and the Omaha Junior League to host the first Race for the Cure in Omaha in 1994 with the first grants distributed locally. In 2002 the Affiliate was incorporated, formed a board (Kate Sommer first board chair) and hired staff. The Central Nebraska Race for the Cure was hosted in Kearney from 2011 through 2015.
South Dakota History
The South Dakota Affiliate of Susan G. Komen was formed in 2005 by Connie Wagner, granted its first dollars back to the state in 2006 and hosted its first Race for the Cure event in Vermillion with Colette Abbott serving as inaugural Race Chair. In 2011, the Affiliate hired its first staff and in 2012 moved operations to Sioux Falls, where the Race for the Cure is hosted today.
Komen Great Plains History
In 2017, the Nebraska and South Dakota Affiliates joined forces with plans to expand into North Dakota. With the new partnership, Komen Great Plains brings a history of combined impact totaling over $9 million in funding in local communities across the states. Further, the Affiliates have now contributed nearly $3 million to Komen’s research portfolio.