9th Annual Charlotte Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Raises $1.65 Million

More Than 800 Women and Men Join Together to Participate in the 39.3-mile Walk; Six Local Breast Cancer Organizations Receive Grants


Charlotte, N.C., Oct. 27, 2013 – The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season concluded with the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Charlotte this weekend, raising $1.65 million to advance access to care and funding breast cancer prevention and treatment research. The Avon Walk Charlotte attracted more than 800 participants from 41 states (and Washington D.C.), in addition to two countries. Additionally, 146 breast cancer survivors and 128 men joined together to raise life-saving funds and awareness for breast cancer.

During the Closing Ceremony at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Kathy Conners, a 14-year breast cancer survivor from Columbia, S.C., detailed her story of survival: "Breast cancer has been in my family for generations. I just didn’t think I'd be the one to continue the unfortunate family tradition. Only a few months after getting married, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Looking back, it’s ironic that such great things resulted from my diagnosis. Breast cancer introduced me to the Avon Walk, and after walking further than I've ever walked in my life with all of you this weekend, I'm forever grateful to have found this incredible family. After all that has been given to me, I am proud to be a part of this community to continue to give back to others."

Executive Director of the Avon Foundation for Women, Kevin Honeycutt, announced during the Closing Ceremony a total of $792,000 in grants to six local breast cancer organizations and four community organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the city. "The thing that sets the Avon Walk apart is that participants get to see their hard work pay off right away," said Honeycutt. "These donations represent only a portion of the grants made with Walk donations in the Carolinas this year."

Following are the grants the Avon Foundation for Women awarded at the Avon Walk Charlotte Closing Ceremony and will accelerate breast cancer research:

  • Clemson University received a $150,000 research grant to develop an easy-to-use diagnostic test that can both predict breast cancer risk and monitor changes in breast cancer over time.
  • Medical University of South Carolina received a $182,000 grant to support a research project investigating a common herpes virus, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), as a potential cause of breast cancer.
  • Wake Forest University Health Sciences received a $150,000 research grant to examine the role of chlamydia, a common bacterial infection, as a potential cause of breast cancer.

The following grants are part of the Avon Safety Net Hospital Program, which funds projects that help ensure access to quality breast cancer care, screening and treatment, regardless of a person’s insurance status or ability to pay. The following are the Carolina Safety Net grants awarded:

  • Carolina's Medical Center received a $110,000 grant to support their community outreach and patient navigation program called the Mecklenburg County Breast Care Management Program, which provides support to those who need help navigating the process of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, and the follow-up process.
  • Duke University received a $100,000 grant to support a patient navigation program that will increase access to care for underserved women in the North Carolina Triangle and Triad counties, which have one of the highest five-year breast cancer mortality rates in the country.
  • Presbyterian Hospital Foundation received a $100,000 grant to assist the Bridging the Gap program, which aids medically underserved women and men in the greater Charlotte region by granting them access to breast health and breast cancer services.

Additionally, four community organizations in the Carolinas will receive Avon Foundation support in 2013 through the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program. This helps fund organizations that work to ensure women in at-risk populations are educated about and have access to regular breast cancer screenings, including:

  • Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Comprehensive Health Services in Ridgeland, S.C.
  • Forsyth Medical Center Foundation in Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Rural Health Group in Roanoke Rapids, N.C.
  • Volunteers in Medicine in Hilton Head, S.C.

About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Charlotte
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Charlotte, the final of eight 2013 Avon Walks, began on Saturday, October 26 with an inspirational opening ceremony at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Walkers began their journey of up to 26.2 miles on Saturday through the Charlotte-area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by family, friends and supporters along the route. Participants spent the night at the Walk’s “Wellness Village” at Park Road Park, which featured pink two-person tents, hot showers, hot meals, entertainment, volunteer medical services, as well as leisure activities such as yoga and a spa zone with mini back and foot massages.

On Sunday, Oct. 27, after completing the Avon Walk’s final 13.1 miles – for a total of up to 39.3 miles over the course of weekend – participants joined family and friends to celebrate their achievement at a closing ceremony at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. At the ceremony, the Avon Foundation awarded new grants to Carolina breast cancer organizations to ensure the funds raised immediately benefit the community.

Registration is now open for women and men to take part in the 2014 season. For more information on the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer or to donate, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 888-541-WALK. To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women visit www.avonfoundation.org.

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer thanks National Sponsors: Reebok, OtterBox and ORION Trading; Local Sponsors: Metso Power, Carolinas Chefs and Medical Sponsor: Levine Cancer Institute

REMEMBER, EARLY DETECTION HELPS SAVE LIVES. Get a mammogram. Know your breasts and report any changes to your doctor. Talk to your doctor about your risk. And encourage women around you to do the same. Don't forget, men can get breast cancer, too.
For breast cancer information and resources, visit avonfoundation.org.