Race that raises money for breast cancer moves to Ridgmar Mall

The annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will move from Sundance Square to Ridgmar Mall next year as the group broadens its reach outside of Tarrant County.

The local Susan G. Komen affiliate is expanding its service area to include Parker, Johnson and Hood counties and has changed its name to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Fort Worth Affiliate.

Komen officials said the new location for the 5K race, conducted in April to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness, will be more easily accessible for the expanded service area.

Ann Greenhill, executive director of the Fort Worth Komen organization, said the mall location in west Fort Worth will also allow the group to set up earlier for the race, which attracted more than 14,000 people last year. Komen's area office is at Ridgmar, which will add to the convenience.

"We can't set up [in Sundance] until the middle of the night because the parking lots are being used," she said. She noted that the Dallas Komen race has been successfully staged at a mall, Dallas' NorthPark Center.

By spreading its reach beyond Tarrant County, Komen will be able to help more people through cancer education, screening, treatment and prevention, Greenhill said. North Texas has a breast cancer rate of 120 per 100,000 people, higher than the state rate of 114.3.

When the first Komen Race for the Cure was held in Fort Worth in 1992, there were 1,800 participants. Tracy Gilmour, marketing director for Sundance Square, said in a statement that while Sundance is sad to see the race leave its original home after 18 years, it's excited about Komen's expansion.

Last month, another big event, the Cowtown Marathon, said it will move its base from Sundance Square to the Will Rogers Memorial Center next year. Organizers said the move will help accommodate the event's growth. The Cowtown, which had more than 21,000 runners in February, moved to Sundance from the Stockyards in 2004.

Since its founding, Komen Greater Fort Worth has raised more than $14 million for breast cancer treatment, prevention and research. The affiliate uses 75 percent of all money raised for projects in the North Texas communities it serves.

Jan Jarvis, 817-390-7664