Eighth Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer New York Raises More Than $9.4 Million

More than 3,900 Men and Women Participate in the 39.3-mile Walk; 16 Local Breast Cancer Organizations Receive Grants

New York, NY, October 17, 2010 — The eighth annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued with the Avon Walk New York this weekend, which raised more than $9.4 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The Avon Walk New York, the eighth of nine Avon Walks this year, attracted more than 3,900 participants from 46 states and Washington, D.C. – as well as the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada and Bermuda – including 420 breast cancer survivors, who joined together to raise lifesaving funds and awareness for breast cancer.

Financial expert Suze Orman, a Special Ambassador for the Avon Foundation for Women and the 2010 top fund raiser for all nine 2010 Avon Walks, welcomed the walkers to the Closing Ceremony at Pier 84 on the Hudson River. Following Orman, one-year breast cancer survivor Melissa Canaday, an actress from Manhattan whose daughter, Sarah Hyland, currently stars in the ABC hit show Modern Family; spoke movingly about battling breast cancer: “I initially registered for this Avon Walk for me, but I quickly learned that my survival is a gift; an opportunity to inspire hope by sharing. This weekend I walked 39.3 miles because of all the roles I’ve played in my life, the most important role may be that of a money-raising, early detection-preaching breast cancer survivor.”

President of Avon Products North America Geralyn Breig, who walked with a team of Avon employees that raised $250,000, announced during the Closing Ceremony a total of nearly $10 million in grants to 16 local organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the community. The Avon Foundation awarded the grants from the funds raised at the Avon Walk New York and the eight other Avon Walks across the country; more grants will be awarded throughout the year to additional local and national breast cancer programs.

“These organizations are doing cutting-edge research and offering services to patients regardless of their ability to pay. The new grants we present today will literally help them save lives,” said Breig. “Our beneficiaries are changing the course of breast cancer - here in New York, across the country, and around the world. We are so pleased that to date, the Avon Foundation for Women has awarded more than $55 million to breast cancer organizations in the New York area over the years.”

Following are the New York area grants announced at the Closing Ceremony:

 - Young Survival Coalition received $85,000 to support efforts to educate the medical, research and breast cancer communities about the unique needs of breast cancer patients under the age of 40.  Karen Borkowsky Kennedy, board member, accepted the grant.

 - God’s Love We Deliver received $200,000 to provide nutrition education and meals to breast cancer patients and their families. President and CEO Karen Pearl accepted the grant.

 - The Fund for Public Health New York received $80,000 to support a city-wide study to develop policy and program interventions to improve the quality of breast cancer care and access to services for medically underserved women. Dr. Anafidelia Tavares, Women’s Health Initiative Manager, accepted the grant.

 - Roswell Park Alliance Foundation received $130,000 to study whether a specific antigen produced by triple negative breast cancer can be used to create therapies that reduce recurrence rates and improve outcomes in people with this aggressive type of cancer. Jennifer Hickok, director of corporate partnerships, accepted the grant.

 - Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center received $300,000 to develop a test panel of genes that can identify breast cancer patients at high risk for metastasis to help determine the aggressiveness of treatment needed. Associate Director Raquel Nogueira accepted the grant.

 - The Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Center at New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Medical Center – one of eight Avon Breast Centers across the United States – received $1,020,000. The grant will continue to fund care for thousands of underserved women in a state-of-the art mammography center, and will support breast cancer research, clinical trials and imaging fellowships.  Andria Castellanos, Chief Operating Officer for the Milstein Hospital Building, and Dr. Ramon Pardons, Avon Professor of Pathology and Medicine Leader, accepted the grants.

 - Cancer Care received $1,125,000 to continue its support of the AvonCares program that provides direct financial assistance to more than 40,000 low-income breast cancer patients, reaching women and men in 85% of all U.S. counties and all 50 states. Director of Patient Assistance Jane Levy accepted the grant.  
 
 - The Avon Foundation Breast Health Outreach Program, the Avon Foundation’s hallmark national breast cancer education and screening program, received $6 million. This grant will support more than 125 community-based groups across the country that will navigate more than 125,000 people into mammography screening and clinical breast exams in 2011, and reach a half million people in outreach awareness efforts and educational encounters. Deputy Director Mary Grace Pagaduan accepted the grant.  

Eight grants that further strengthen the Avon Safety Net program in the New York region were also awarded. Avon’s Safety Net currently funds more than 100 hospitals across the country to ensure that all women have access to quality breast cancer services and care, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. The grants included:

 - You Can Thrive Foundation received $70,000 to support access to holistic, complementary and alternative care for low income breast cancer patients. President Luanne Halpern accepted the award.

 - Breast Treatment Task Force received $80,000 for patient navigation services. Dr. Julia Smith, director of breast cancer screening and prevention, accepted the award.

 - Brookdale Hospital Medical Center received $90,000 for a patient navigation program targeting African American and Caribbean American women in Brooklyn. Dr. Sharon Koehler, physician in charge of breast health services, accepted the award.

 - Northern Westchester Hospital received $110,000 to provide diagnostic and care navigation for Latina populations. Toni Aurigemma, program and clinical coordinator, accepted the grant.

 - Long Island Medical Foundation received $122,000 to support patient navigation in Nassau County. Christine Mancuso, director of the cancer screening program, accepted the award.

 - Newark Beth Israel Hospital received $125,000 to extend patient navigation in Newark. Lucille Chmiel, certified breast patient navigator, accepted the grant.

 - Metropolitan Hospital Center received $150,000 to provide coordinated breast health education, navigation and care in Harlem. Coordinating Manager Alma Rockaway accepted the grant.

 - Avon Safety Net Program at Bellevue Hospital, a program of the NYU Cancer Center and Bellevue Collaborative, received $275,000. Dr. Shubha Dhage, co-director of the Bellevue Breast Clinic, accepted the grant.


About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer New York

During the Avon Walk New York, which is a noncompetitive event, women and men had a choice of walking a marathon (26.2 miles) or a marathon and a half (39.3 miles) over the weekend. The event kicked off Saturday, October 16, with an early morning Opening Ceremony at Pier 84 on the Hudson River. Following the ceremony, walkers began their journey, traveling through New York and concluding at the Avon Walk “Wellness Village” on Randall’s Island, a “tent city” complete with two-person tents, hot showers, prepared meals, entertainment, and recreational activities such as the Spa Zone, yoga and Tomboy Tools’ “Tool School 101” demonstrations. On Sunday, October 17, walkers completed another 13.1 miles together, ending back at Pier 84, where thousands of family and friends greeted them and shared in a celebratory and moving Closing Ceremony, including the awarding of new grants.
 
To participate in the Avon Walk New York, each walker raised a minimum of $1,800 in donations. The Avon Foundation for Women [a 501(c)(3) public charity] raises and manages the funds, which it awards to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations to support five areas of the breast cancer cause, including awareness and education, screening and diagnosis, access to treatment, support services, and scientific research, all with a focus on the medically underserved. 

The Avon Walks series launched in 2003 and through mid-2010 the Avon Walks have raised more than $380 million through the dedication of more than 120,000 participating women and men. The Avon Walk New York is the eighth of nine 2010 Avon Walks, following successful events in Houston, TX; Washington, D.C.; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Rocky Mountains, CO; San Francisco, CA; and Santa Barbara, CA; that have raised more than $60 million so far.

Donations are still being accepted for the Avon Walk New York and registration is still open for women and men to take part in the remaining Avon Walk of 2010 in Charlotte, NC, on October 23-24.

To register, donate or for additional information, please visit www.avonwalk.org  or call 800-541-WALK.  For information on the Avon Foundation visit www.avonfoundation.org.
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The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer thanks National Sponsors: Reebok and Genentech BioOncology; and Official Sponsors: Tomboy Tools, Yoga Journal, Otterbox and Post Selects.


Remember: early detection can help save lives.  Schedule your mammogram or clinical breast exam today.  For more breast cancer information and resources, visit www.cancer.org (keyword breast cancer) or www.avonfoundation.org, where you can access free printable breast cancer informational literature.


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