Stories of Extraordinary Avon Walkers
As a special ambassador for the Foundation, I have had the honor of participating in some amazing Avon philanthropy programs, but one of the most memorable is the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I’m proud to say I’ve taken part twice! I met so many incredible survivors and their families, and had the honor of giving away those really big checks at the Closing Ceremony!
Like all of us, cancer has touched me personally. Both of my parents are survivors, and we’ve lost my grandmother and uncle to this disease. So I share your passion and commitment for conquering cancer. And with a new diagnosis of breast cancer every three minutes, we ALL need to do everything we can to help eradicate this most common cancer in women globally.
My name is Fergie, from Hacienda Heights, Calif., and I’m IN IT TO END IT in memory of my grandmother, and my Uncle Jack, and to celebrate my survivor parents, and each and every survivor!
I’m a successful realtor, as well as an Avon Representative, or what many of you might call an “Avon Lady.” But the title I enjoy the most is Avon Walker! I have participated in 8 Avon Walks, including the New York Walk just a week and a half ago, and have raised more than $19,000!
I began walking in 2005 with my friend Stacy, who was diagnosed in 2003. Despite her strength, and the love of so many, the disease proved too strong and we lost Stacy in 2007. I pledged to continue the fight in her memory because each step, each breath, each dollar, each mile, provides hope -- and helps bring us closer to a cure.
I’m here representing the thousands of Avon Representatives across the country and around the world who not only sell lipstick and perfume, but who truly put their heart and soul into Avon’s fight against breast cancer. My name is Rosemarie Caramanno from Lincoln Park, New Jersey and I’m IN IT TO END IT for the mothers, daughters, fathers, and sisters who are affected by this disease and for my dear friend in heaven, Stacy Allen Coleman.
I participate in the Avon Walk New York for the joy of doing this as an Avon employee. I look forward to the Walk each year, the early morning rising and bonding with my fellow team members and friends. I walk for a young cousin who lost her breast cancer battle at the age of 32, leaving behind two young kids, and for the millions afflicted by this disease.
Having just completed my 9th Walk, I feel just as strongly about being part of the Avon Walk as I did many years ago when I walked for the first time. I am always touched by the incredible community support along the route. In fact, I will never forget a man on the Upper West Side who thanked us, and Avon, for what we were doing. He could barely speak because of his own illness, but the few words he did manage said it all, and remind me to this day of the broader impact we can have on our world.
Thanks to my wonderful donors I have been able to raise more than $65,000 and will continue to walk for as long as I can.
I’m here on behalf of all the passionate Avon Associates who believe that as the company for women, we need to work together to help women everywhere (and men!) fight this disease. My name is Lorna Laemmie from New York City, and I’m IN IT TO END IT in memory of my cousin Sophia Lewis.
When I did my first Walk in 2004, it was to fulfill a commitment I made to myself when I was diagnosed 5 years earlier, that I would find a way to make a difference. At that first Walk I experienced the most empowering weekend I had ever had, and it began a journey that now numbers 60 Walks. And it’s no longer about me, but about all of those who are helped by the money that those of us who walk can raise.
In every Walk city, for 2 days, thousands of people embark on a special journey to defeat breast cancer. And in each city there is a new story that reinforces my determination to continue. This year that story is one that touches my own family. Last week I learned that my sweet sister-in-law has been diagnosed with breast cancer. And because of my own battle with the disease, but even more, because of the stories of survival I’ve heard from hundreds of wonderful walkers, I was able to help her leave my house feeling upbeat and positive about the challenges ahead of her.
To help more people have a powerful Walk experience, I formed a team 7 years ago called the Solo Strutters to give all those who come to any Avon Walk on their own, an instant “Walk family”. I’m proud to report that over the years, my wonderful Solo Strutters have raised more than $3.2 million dollars!
I’m now a 13-year breast cancer survivor and I’m proud to represent the thousands of beautiful breast cancer survivors who have brought their courage, hope and inspiration to the Avon Walks. My name is Judy Cherry from Stockton, New Jersey and I’m IN IT TO END IT for me, for my fellow survivors, and for all of those battling this disease right now, especially my sister-in-law Carol Smith.
Every day there are hundreds of breast cancer patients right here in New York City who are struggling with their surgeries and treatments, and who are also struggling to put a nutritious meal on their family’s table. As the Manager of Special Events and Volunteer Projects for God’s Love We Deliver, I’m proud to say that our cancer nutrition program, which is funded in part by Avon Walk dollars, prepares and delivers nutritious meals free of charge to people in need. And I’m also proud to know that as a 14-time Avon Walker who has raised more than $180,000, I am helping the Avon Foundation grant funds to incredible organizations, like God’s Love, and so many others.
I represent the wonderful clients of God’s Love We Deliver and more than 300 incredible Avon Walk beneficiaries who are able to do their life-saving work because of the money we all work so hard to raise. My name is Karen Bdera from East Elmhurst, New York and I’m IN IT TO END IT for my friend Cindy and my Aunt Betty who lost their hair, and sometimes their hope, but who have come through their breast cancer battles and are ready to take on the world!
I’m just 13 years old. So you may be thinking, what can a kid to do help fight breast cancer? Well, I want to tell you that kids can do some pretty AMAZING things! I am a 2-time member of the Avon Walk Youth Crew because breast cancer affects family and friends too, not just the actual patient. I have personally raised more than $40,000 because after a five year battle, breast cancer took my mom’s life in 2007. My dad has been on the Avon Walk Gear & Tent Crew for many years, and now we crew the Avon Walk together to honor my mom’s memory.
I represent the nearly 600 kids who have participated in the Avon Walk Youth Crew since 2007, and who together have raised more than $760,000! And just 10 days ago, our New York Youth Crew broke the single Walk fund raising record with more than $70,000 in donations! My name is Charli Holstein, from South Orange, New Jersey, and I’m IN IT TO END IT for my survivor Grandma Trudy Kugelman, in memory of my mom, Robin Kugelman Holstein, and to show everyone that kids can help fight breast cancer too!
I started doing long-distance breast cancer walks simply for the physical challenge. I was 60 years old and I wanted the exercise. One walk led to another and now 83 Avon Walks later, I am connected to this cause more than I ever imagined. I have met countless survivors who inspire me every time, and I walk for so many that we’ve lost. I have raised more than $1.4 million dollars, and when I walk, I wear a cape that has the names of all the people my donors ask me to walk for. After 69 walks people often ask me if I’ve had enough, and I tell them that I keep walking, because I can’t walk away.
I represent the many Avon Walkers who go above and beyond with their fundraising, who search high and low for every last donation, and who just won’t give up. Because we know that the progress we help fund in breast cancer research will also help find answers for other cancers, maybe even the one that took my husband too soon.
My name is Barbara Jo Kirshbaum from Upland, California and I’m IN IT TO END IT in memory of my husband, and long –time Avon Wak fund raiser, Dr.Bob Kirshbaum.
I am the CEO of Avon Products. Nine days ago I completed my very first Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. My mom is a 7-year breast cancer survivor, and I walked proudly in her honor. I also walked to honor all of the Avon Representatives and Associates who have been touched by this disease.
I had heard all about the walk, seen lots of photos, heard many inspiring stories, but being there myself, walking those miles, was like nothing I've ever experienced before. People from all over the country, strangers really, came together for one weekend to form a community of unstoppable people determined to end breast cancer.
And, at the Closing Ceremony, we presented nine checks totaling more than 7.8 million dollars for breast cancer research and care programs. Knowing that those funds will help more and more people survive, was undoubtedly the best moment of all.
My name is Sheri McCoy from Skilman, New Jersey and I'm IN IT TO END IT for my survivor mom, Jeannine Slauson.