Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Returns to Santa Barbara On September 17-18 


Thousands of Participants from Southern California and Across the U.S. are “In It to End It” in the 9th Annual Weekend-long Event to Raise Life-saving Funds and Breast Cancer Awareness


Santa Barbara, August 8, 2011 — The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer returns for the ninth year to Santa Barbara on September 17-18. The Avon Walk brings together thousands of women and men, including breast cancer survivors, dedicated to raising significant funds and awareness for the breast cancer cause. Last year’s Avon Walk Santa Barbara raised more than $6.4 million and attracted more than 2,800 participants from 40 states and Canada, including 322 breast cancer survivors. Fergie, six-time Grammy Award winner and a global ambassador for the Avon Foundation for Women, was a special guest at the 2010 Avon Walk Santa Barbara and walked alongside walkers on the last leg of their weekend-long journey.


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 raise at least $1,800 for the breast cancer cause. The Avon Foundation for Women distributes funds raised to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations, including the Avon Breast Cancer Center at the UCLA-Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and Olive View Medical Center, Saint John’s Hospital & Health Center, the UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology and the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded more than $32 million to organizations and institutions in Southern California. 


The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Santa Barbara, the seventh of nine walks in the 2011 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series, begins Saturday, September 17 with an inspirational Opening Ceremony at the Chase Palm Park Soccer Field, including an announcement of funds raised. After the ceremony, walkers begin the first portion of their walk of either a marathon or a marathon and a half through Santa Barbara, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered by family and supporters along the route.


All participants have their own unique and personal stories to tell. Among those in the Avon Walk Santa Barbara, are Susan Chavira of Chino, CA, a breast cancer survivor and an Avon Walk participant since 2003; Jill Shear of Calabasas, CA, a two-year breast cancer survivor; and Marla McGee of Fountain Valley, CA, a breast cancer survivor and first-time participant. All walkers unite throughout the weekend to become one, sharing their triumphs and tribulations, while working towards the common goal of putting an end to breast cancer.


After a full day of walking on Saturday, participants, including walkers and crew, spend the night at the “Wellness Village” at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club – the same polo club where Prince William played in a charity polo challenge during his U.S. visit in July. The Wellness Village features two-person pink 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 and a spa zone with mini back and foot massages.


On Sunday, September 18, walkers complete their final 13.1 miles, celebrating their achievement at the Closing Ceremony at Carpinteria State Beach in Carpinteria, CA, with thousands of family and friends. During the ceremony, the Avon Foundation for Women will award new grants to breast cancer organizations in Southern California to ensure funds immediately benefit the community.


For interview requests, more information, or to register or donate, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 888-541-WALK.  For continuous updates, follow us on Twitter at “avonwalks,” or visit our Facebook page.


About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series is a project of the Avon Foundation for Women, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Since its launch in 2003, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series has raised nearly $400 million through the dedication of more than 145,000 participating women and men from across the country, including hundreds of Avon Associates and Representatives. The Avon Foundation awards the funds raised to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations to support breast cancer awareness and education, screening and diagnosis, access to treatment, support services, and scientific research. The Walks take place in nine cities, covering 39 miles in two days, and raise significant awareness and funds to fight breast cancer. The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Series is the largest fund-raising event for the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Since the Crusade launched in 1992, Avon breast cancer programs in more than 50 countries have donated more than $700 million to research and advancing access to care, regardless of a person’s ability to pay.

The complete 2011 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer schedule includes: Houston (April 16-17), Washington, DC (April 30-May 1), Boston (May 14-15), Chicago (June 4-5), Rocky Mountains, CO (June 25 – 26), San Francisco (July 9 – 10), Santa Barbara (September 17-18), New York City (October 15-16), and Charlotte, NC (October 22-23).


About the Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Avon also responds generously to provide support for relief and recovery efforts in times of major natural disasters and emergencies.  


The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer thanks National Sponsor: Reebok; Official Sponsors: Genentech BioOncology, OtterBox and Orion Trading; Local Sponsors: S&W Coffee, Groupon, Sports Authority; and Medical Sponsor: John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John’s Health Center 


Remember, early detection helps save lives.  Talk to your doctor about your risk, risk-reduction strategies and what age to start mammography. For more breast cancer information and resources, visit cancer.org or avonfoundation.org.  And don't forget, men can get breast cancer too.


Follow the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on Facebook (www.facebook.com/avonwalks) and Twitter (twitter.com/avonwalks).

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