Seventh Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Rocky Mountains Raises More Than $1.9 Million
More Than 900 Women and Men Participate in the 39.3 Mile Walk; Grants Awarded to Six Local Breast Cancer Organizations
Breckenridge, CO, June 26, 2011 – The ninth annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued with the Avon Walk Rocky Mountains this weekend, which raised more than $1.9 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The Avon Walk Rocky Mountains, the fifth of nine Avon Walks this year, attracted more than 900 participants from 39 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom, including 153 men and 111 breast cancer survivors who all joined together to raise life-saving funds and awareness for breast cancer.
During the Closing Ceremony on Main Street in Breckenridge, Regina Bandy, a two-and-a-half-year breast cancer survivor from Herndon, VA, spoke movingly about her battle with breast cancer and her diagnosis, which came only a day after her now-husband proposed marriage. “My story with breast cancer is a love story. As I sat in the waiting room of my doctor’s office next to the man who’d proposed marriage to me only 24 hours prior, I felt so much hope in the world and in my life. And then I heard those words: ‘You have cancer.’ I knew there was a long road ahead, including surgery, chemo and even more fertility issues than we had already faced. But Michael was with me every step of the way, including by my side this weekend as we took on the Avon Walk Rocky Mountains. Though the Walk was difficult at times, I knew it was just another challenge that Michael and I would conquer together.”
Dr. Marc Hurlbert, executive director of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade announced during the Closing Ceremony a total of more than $1 million in grants to six 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. “Our beneficiaries offer life-saving services to patients regardless of their ability to pay. And they’re doing cutting-edge research to find better treatments, prevention strategies, and ultimately a cure. These new grants will literally help them save lives,” said Hurlbert.
Following are the grants the Avon Foundation for Women awarded at the Avon Walk Rocky Mountains closing ceremony:
-- University of Colorado received $550,000 to support patient access to care programs, the Comadre Program and Project Survivorship Outreach to Latinas. In addition, the grant will support six research projects that aim to understand why breast cancer sometimes recurs and also to develop new treatments for the disease.
-- Denver Health & Hospital Corp. received $250,000 to support its patient navigator program and the purchase of a dedicated breast ultrasound unit.
-- The Children’s Treehouse Foundation of Denver received $90,000 to provide education and assistance to families with children when a parent is facing breast cancer.
The Foundation also awarded grants to three organizations as part of the Avon Foundation’s national grants program, the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP), a network of 125 organizations that provide outreach and breast health education to the public. The beneficiaries will use the grants to educate Colorado’s communities about breast cancer and the importance of early detection and will link nearly 3,500 people to screening and educate thousands more through health fairs and grassroots efforts throughout Colorado. The grants include:
-- Health Promotion of La Clinica Tepayac of Denver received a grant of $40,000;
-- Pueblo Community Health Center of Pueblo, CO received a grant of $35,000;
-- The Women's Resource Center of Fort Collins, CO received a grant of $35,000.
About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Rocky Mountains
During the Avon Walk Rocky Mountains, which is a noncompetitive event, 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. The event kicked off Saturday, June 25, with an early morning Opening Ceremony at Keystone Resort in Keystone, CO. Following the ceremony, walkers began their journey, traveling through the gorgeous Rocky Mountains and concluding at the Avon Walk “Wellness Village” at Summit County Middle School in Frisco, CO. The “Wellness Village” featured pink 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, June 26, walkers completed another 13.1 miles together, ending along Main Street in the town of Breckenridge, CO, where thousands of family and friends greeted them and shared in a celebratory and moving Closing Ceremony, including the awarding of new grants.
To participate in the Avon Walk Rocky Mountains, each walker raised a minimum of $1,800 in donations. The Avon Foundation for Women [a 501(c)(3) public charity] 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 $400 million through the dedication of more than 145,000 participating women and men from across the country, including thousands of Avon Associates and Representatives. The Avon Walk Rocky Mountains is the fifth event of the 2011 season, and registration is still open for women and men to take part in the remaining 2011 Avon Walks: San Francisco (July 9-10), Santa Barbara (September 17-18), New York City (October 15-16), and Charlotte, NC (October 22-23).
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer thanks National Sponsor: Reebok; Official Sponsors: Genentech BioOncology, Lend Us Your Ear powered by TheVoiceLibrary.net, OtterBox and Orion Trading; Opening Ceremony Breakfast Sponsor: Sysco; Local Official Sponsor: Groupon; Local Supporting Sponsor: UHAUL
Remember, early detection helps save lives. Talk to your doctor about your risk, risk-reduction strategies and about 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 (facebook.com/avonwalks) and Twitter (twitter.com/avonwalks)!