Fourth Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Houston Raises More Than $1.8 Million
Almost 1,000 Women and Men Participate in the 39.3-mile Walk; Eight Local Breast Cancer Organizations Receive Grants
Houston, TX - April 17, 2011 – The ninth annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season kicked off with the fourth annual Avon Walk in Houston this weekend, which raised more than $1.8 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The Avon Walk Houston attracted nearly 1,000 participants from 31 states and Canada, including 91 breast cancer survivors, who joined together to raise life-saving funds and awareness for breast cancer.
During the Closing Ceremony at Stude Park, walker and three-year breast cancer survivor Christine Marquise from Dallas, TX, spoke movingly about overcoming breast cancer.
“I’m awed by the journey we all just completed and the community that we’ve created in only two days together. I’m proud to have crossed the finish line with my dad, Mike North, a veteran Avon Walker, who has literally been with me every step of the way. I’m also thankful that my mom could be here to celebrate with us, as she is a two-time, 13-year breast cancer survivor. And I’m honored to serve as living proof that with faith, great medical care, love and support, you can take on breast cancer—and win. Every step we took this weekend will help people here in Houston have a chance to turn their frightening diagnoses of breast cancer into happy, healthy futures filled with hope,” said Marquise.
Carol Kurzig, president of the Avon Foundation for Women, announced during the Closing Ceremony a total of $1.1 million in grants to eight local organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the community. More grants are slated to be awarded throughout the year to breast cancer programs nationwide. “The dollars you raised are going to do a lot of good right here in Texas, right now,” said Kurzig. “Our beneficiaries are leaders in the fight against breast cancer and they’re from your communities. They represent organizations that offer life-saving services to patients regardless of their ability to pay, and they are conducting cutting-edge research to find better treatments, prevention strategies, and ultimately to put an end to breast cancer.”
Following are the Texas grants announced at the Closing Ceremony:
•The Sisters Network of Houston, TX, received $50,000 to support travel scholarships for breast cancer advocates to attend the 12th Annual National African-American Breast Cancer Conference.
•Christus Health-St. Mary Hospital of Port Arthur, TX, received $85,000 to fund a new patient navigator position to help women navigate the financial and medical challenges of a breast cancer diagnosis.
•University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston received $90,000 for community education, outreach and patient navigation.
•The Rose of Houston, TX, received $150,000 for patient navigation services and to screen thousands of women each year.
•Breast Health Collaborative of Texas, a unique, state- and city-wide effort, received $150,000 to identify gaps and better coordinate care for low-income and uninsured women in Houston.
•Seton Healthcare of Austin, TX, received $150,000 to purchase new digital mammography equipment for their mobile van, serving women throughout Central Texas.
•Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation of San Antonio, TX received $125,000 to help hundreds of survivors and advocates attend the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium this December and develop a CD of key new research results that is distributed throughout the country.
•Baylor College of Medicine of Houston, TX, the Avon Walk Houston Medical Sponsor, received $300,000 to develop a new blood test that detects when breast cancer is spreading from the breast and threatens to spread to the brain.
About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Houston
During the Avon Walk Houston, 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. It kicked off Saturday, April 16, with an early morning Opening Ceremony at Stude Park. Following the Ceremony, walkers began their journey, traveling through the greater Houston area and concluding at the Avon Walk “Wellness Village” at Rice University. The “Wellness Village” featured 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 and a spa zone with mini-back-and-foot-massages. On Sunday, April 17, walkers completed another 13.1 miles together, ending back at Stude Park where they were greeted by thousands of family and friends, who shared in a celebratory and moving Closing Ceremony, including the awarding of new grants.
To participate in the Avon Walk Houston, 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 raised, 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.
Since its launch in 2003, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series has raised more than $380 million through the dedication of more than 142,000 participating women and men from across the country, including thousands of Avon Associates and Representatives. The Avon Walk Houston is the first event of the 2011 season, and registration is still open for women and men to take part in the remaining 2011 Avon Walks: 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).
Donations are still being accepted for the Avon Walk Houston. To register, donate or for additional information, please visit www.avonwalk.org or call 800-541-WALK.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer thanks National Sponsor: Reebok; Official Sponsors: Genentech BioOncology, Lend Us Your Ear powered by TheVoiceLibrary.net and OtterBox; Local Sponsors: The Egg and I, S&W Coffee, The Westin Galleria and Westin Oaks, Applebee’s, Groupon, Prestigious Event Rentals, and REI; Medical Sponsor: Baylor Clinic.
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.
Follow the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on Facebook (facebook.com/avonwalks) and Twitter (twitter.com/avonwalks)!