Hurricane Sandy Forced Cancellation of Avon Foundation for Women 12th Annual Awards Gala Commemorating 20 Years of Progress in Fight Against Breast Cancer
Avon Foundation launches virtual Gala program to recognize breast cancer leaders in honor of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade’s 20th Anniversary
New York, NY (Nov. 27, 2012) – On October 30, 2012, the Avon Foundation for Women was scheduled to commemorate 20 years of life-saving work by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade at the 12th Annual Avon Foundation for Women Awards Gala by honoring leaders in the fight against breast cancer. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy forced the first-ever Gala cancellation. The Avon Foundation today announced it is recognizing this year’s four honorees virtually at www.avonfoundation.org/fundraising/awards-gala/.
Avon Foundation for Women Global Ambassador Fergie and Avon Products, Inc., CEO Sheri McCoy were scheduled to co-host this milestone event, with featured guests Paula Abdul, Chelsea Clinton, and Hoda Kotb, and more than 600 attendees.
Thanks to the Avon Foundation’s generous Gala partners and donors who supported Avon's Breast Cancer Crusade in this milestone year despite the Gala’s cancelation, the Avon Foundation raised life-saving funds to support the Crusade, which has donated over $780 million to fund cutting-edge research and programs that improve access to quality care in 58 countries, making Avon the largest corporate supporter of the cause globally.
Avon Products, Inc., CEO Sheri McCoy, said: “In 1992, when Avon's Crusade first began, the five-year survival rate after a breast cancer diagnosis was 70%. Today, it is 85% for those with access to care and 95% for breast cancers caught early. We have made tremendous strides and I am so proud of the impact of Avon and our partners. But, there is still a breast cancer diagnosis in the United States every three minutes. Although the Gala was canceled, we thank all of our honorees and our dedicated supporters and we recommit to our goal of creating a future without breast cancer, while taking pride in how far we’ve come.”
Fergie, who would have returned for her third Avon Foundation for Women Gala and treated Gala guests to a dazzling musical performance, said: “As a special ambassador for the Avon Foundation, I have had the honor of participating in some amazing Avon Foundation programs, like the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and the Gala. 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, and that’s why I share the Avon Foundation’s passion and commitment for ending breast cancer once and for all.”
Avon Foundation for Women Awards Recipients
Every year since 2001, the Avon Foundation for Women has recognized individuals, organizations and companies for leadership in women’s causes. The Avon Foundation is recognizing this year’s four honorees virtually. Following are the 2012 honorees:
Global Breast Cancer Medical Advancement Champions
Judith A. Luce, MD, director of the Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Program at San Francisco General Hospital, received one of two 2012 Global Breast Cancer Medical Advancement Champion awards for her outstanding commitment to ensuring access to and delivery of quality breast health care for some of San Francisco’s poorest residents through the Avon Center’s innovative program. The Avon Center offers a continuum of breast health care, from screening, diagnosis, and treatment, through end of life support. Under Dr. Luce’s leadership of the Avon Center and with more than $22 million in support from the Avon Foundation, San Francisco General Hospital has quadrupled its mammography rate over the last decade.
Dr. Wendie Berg, MD, PhD, FACR, Professor of Radiology at Magee-Women’s Hospital at Magee Women’s Hospital at the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine, also received a Global Breast Cancer Medical Advancement Champion award to recognize her ground-breaking research that demonstrated the benefit of ultrasound and MRI imaging in breast cancer diagnosis. Dr. Berg has uncovered ways to accelerate early detection, particularly in high-risk women, as well as finding cancers that are missed by mammography, which in turn can improve survival rates.
Voice of Courage Champion
Editor-in-Chief of ESSENCE Magazine Constance C.R. White received the 2012 Voice of Courage Champion award for ESSENCE’s efforts to raise awareness of the results of a racial disparity study, conducted by Sinai Urban Health Institute and funded by the Avon Foundation, that reported on black/white breast cancer mortality rates in the 25 largest U.S. cities. The study found nearly five black women die needlessly each day from breast cancer in the United States – a total of 1,722 deaths annually. ESSENCE recognized the importance of this research for its audience of African-American women, and devoted multiple stories that illustrated why this racial disparity exists and how African-American women can combat their high breast cancer death rates by being educated about their risks, advocating for their own health, and using available resources.
Global Advancement of Women Award
The 2012 Global Advancement of Women Award was presented to William J. Clinton Foundation Board Member Chelsea Clinton to recognize the Clinton Foundation’s work to advance women’s health and safety around the globe. The Avon Foundation also will expand its previous Clinton Global Initiative Commitment, Advancing Breast Cancer Diagnoses and Treatment in Haiti, with a new $100,000 grant to Partners in Health (PIH). The Avon Foundation donated $520,000 to PIH after Haiti’s devastating earthquake in 2010 to develop a pioneering cancer care and detection model in Haiti. Since receiving the initial Avon Foundation grant, PIH has opened 12 clinical sites and trained local Haitian doctors and nurses to conduct clinical breast exams and provide chemotherapy, wound care and palliative care; in addition, PIH has integrated breast cancer awareness into community and women's health education efforts. The new Avon Foundation grant will fund additional staff and an extension of the program to help PIH meet the overwhelming demand its program has created.
About 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 2012, Avon global philanthropy has donated $910 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. Learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women at www.avonfoundation.org.
About the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade
The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which commemorates its 20th anniversary in 2012, has placed Avon at the forefront of the fight against breast cancer; today, Avon is the leading corporate supporter of the cause globally. In the 20 years since the Crusade’s launch, Avon breast cancer programs in 58 countries have donated more than $780 million for research and advancing access to care, regardless of a person’s ability to pay. Avon awards funding to beneficiaries ranging from leading cancer centers to community-based grassroots breast health programs to support breast cancer research and access to care. The Crusade has enabled more than 17 million women globally to receive free mammograms and breast cancer screenings, educated more than 100 million women about breast cancer, and funded promising research into the causes of breast cancer and ways to prevent the disease. Avon raises funds for the Crusade through the sale of Avon “Pink Ribbon” products, and through events such as the U.S. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series, which is the Foundation’s largest fund-raising source.