April 2, 2009

Thousands of Participants from Houston and Across the U.S Ready for the Second Annual Weekend-Long Houston Event to Raise Lifesaving Funds and Awareness 

New Avon Walk Partnership with Patrick Dempsey's "Dempsey Racing" is Launched

Houston, TX, April 2009
 --The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer returns for the second year to Houston on April 4-5, bringing together thousands of women and men, including breast cancer survivors, dedicated to raising significant funds and awareness for the breast cancer cause. The Avon Walk series, which launched nationwide in 2003, offers participants a choice of walking a marathon (26.2 miles) or a marathon and a half (39.3 miles) over a weekend, and requires walkers to commit to raise at least $1,800. Funds raised are distributed to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations. In these turbulent economic times, when funding for health services is being cut, and more and more individuals do not have adequate insurance, events like the Avon Walk are all the more critical to provide funds that will save lives.

To register for or donate to an Avon Walk, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 800-541-WALK.

The Avon Walk Houston is the first of nine 2009 Avon Walks. Each attracts women and men from the local area and across the country. The Avon Walk Houston begins Saturday, April 4th with an inspirational Opening Ceremony at Stude Park Community Center, including an announcement of funds raised, after which walkers have the choice of walking 13.1 or 26.2 miles - a half or full marathon - throughout the greater Houston area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered by family and supporters along the route. Participants, including walkers and crew, spend the night at the "Wellness Village" at Butler Stadium which features two-person sleeping tents, hot showers, prepared meals, entertainment, volunteer medical services and comprehensive support services, along with leisure activities such as relaxing yoga to stretch out the muscles, a spa zone with mini-back-and-foot-massages, and "tool school 101" demonstrations from sponsor Tomboy Tools.

On Sunday, April 5th, walkers complete their final 13.1 miles, celebrating their achievement at the Closing Ceremony with thousands of family and friends. New grants from the Avon Foundation for Women will be awarded to breast cancer organizations in the greater Houston area to ensure funds immediately benefit the community.

"I'm walking this weekend with my daughter because my wife, Ina, was diagnosed with breast cancer in June of 2007, when she had no insurance. Our community clinic led us to The Rose, an Avon Foundation beneficiary here in Houston," said Eric Patton of Spring, TX an Avon Walker and speaker at this year's Opening Ceremony. "They took great care of us.because of the money we've all raised to support organizations like The Rose, my wife's life was saved."

New for our 2009 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series, and starting in Houston, is the Dempsey Racing Champions' Circle, a partnership with Patrick Dempsey and his professional sports car racing team Dempsey Racing. The Dempsey Racing Champions' Circle offers the top fundraiser in each of the nine 2009 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events the opportunity to meet Patrick Dempsey and Team Dempsey as special guests at the 2010 Grand-Am Rolex 24 at Daytona FL. To launch the new relationship, the Team Dempsey black and white No. 40 Mazda RX-8, driven by Dempsey and his team at the February 2009 Grand-Am Rolex 24, carried pink trim and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer logo, and the team's race suits were emblazoned with the Avon Walk logo.

About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

Since the launch of the Avon Walk in 2003 through 2008, over $268 million was raised through the dedication of nearly 100,000 participating women and men. These funds advance awareness and education; screening and diagnosis; access to treatment; support services; and scientific research, all with a focus on the medically underserved. In 2008 alone, nearly 24,000 participants from all 50 states and abroad, including 1,700 breast cancer survivors, raised more than $63 million, making 2008 the most successful Avon Walk series in its history, with over 70 grants ranging from $100,000 to $6 million awarded at the closing ceremonies of the nine 2008 Avon Walks.

The complete 2009 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer schedule includes: Houston, TX (April 4-5); Washington, DC (May 2-3); Boston, MA (May 16-17); Chicago, IL (June 6-June 7); Rocky Mountains, CO (June 27-28); San Francisco, CA (July 11-12); Los Angeles, CA (September 12-13); New York, NY (October 10-11); and Charlotte, NC (October 24-25).

For more information, or to register or donate, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 888-541-WALK.

About the Avon Foundation for Women

The Avon Foundation for Women was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women, and brings this mission to life through focus on two key issues: breast cancer and domestic violence. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade launched in 1992, and Avon breast cancer programs in some 50 countries have raised more than $585 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer, with a focus on the medically underserved. Funding is awarded to beneficiaries ranging from leading cancer centers to community-based breast health programs to support five critical areas: awareness and education; screening and diagnosis; access to treatment; support services; and scientific research. Fundraising is through a variety of "pink ribbon" products, events, races and walks; the largest is the U.S. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series.

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The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer thanks National Sponsor: Reebok; and Official Sponsors: Genentech BioOncology and Tomboy Tools.

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