Ninth Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer San Francisco Raises $4.2 Million
Nearly 2,000 Women and Men Participate in the 39.3 Mile Walk; Grants Awarded to Nine Local Breast Cancer Organizations
San Francisco, CA, July 10, 2011 – The ninth annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued with the Avon Walk San Francisco this weekend, which raised $4.2 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The Avon Walk San Francisco, the sixth of nine Avon Walks this year, attracted nearly 2,000 participants from 38 states, Washington, D.C., and four countries – including Canada, China, and Singapore – and 227 men and 185 breast cancer survivors, who all joined together to raise life-saving funds and awareness for breast cancer.
During the Closing Ceremony at Fort Mason in San Francisco, Margo Lillie, a 10-year breast cancer survivor from Montara, CA, spoke movingly about her breast cancer journey and her experiences from the weekend: “I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some of the most beautiful spots on earth as a scuba diving instructor. I love introducing people to the new and mysterious world that exists underwater. When I found a lump in my breast that turned out to be a stage three tumor, I plunged into my own scary and unpredictable new world. I knew nothing about cancer, but the guidance and support I received from my husband, my kids, my friends, my diving buddies and the Avon Walk community played an essential role in my survival. The Avon Walk is truly a family affair and I’m going to continue walking, raising money and helping others until I can’t do it anymore.”
Carol Kurzig, president of the Avon Foundation for Women, announced more than $1.9 million in grants to nine local organizations during the Closing Ceremony, 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 Kurzig.
Following are the nine grants the Avon Foundation for Women awarded at the Avon Walk San Francisco Closing Ceremony:
-- The Avon Comprehensive Breast Center at San Francisco General Hospital, one of the Avon Foundation’s eight flagship programs nationwide, received $750,000 to support its mobile mammography program, as well as a high-risk genetic clinic, community outreach programs and three breast cancer research projects. The Avon Comprehensive Breast Center has performed more than 55,000 mammograms and more than 3,500 breast health procedures since opening with Avon Foundation support in 2004. This grant brings Avon Foundation support for the Center to more than $21 million over the past 10 years.
-- Project Open Hand of San Francisco received $200,000 to support the Homebound Critically Ill Program that specifically provides meals, grocery services and education programs for breast cancer patients and their families.
-- The Marin County Department of Health & Human Services of San Rafael, CA, received $150,000 to support a research project that is developing a saliva-based test to assess breast cancer risk.
-- Zero Breast Cancer of San Rafael, CA, received $125,000 to support community research to better understand the genetic and environmental factors that may be involved in breast cancer risk.
The Avon Foundation also awarded five grants to further strengthen the Avon Safety Net program, which consists of more than 100 hospitals across the country that ensure women and men who might otherwise fall through the cracks of the healthcare system have access to high quality breast cancer services. The Safety Net grants include:
-- Alameda County Medical Center, the Avon Walk San Francisco medical sponsor based in Oakland, CA, received a grant of $250,000;
-- California Pacific Medical Center Foundation – St. Luke’s of San Francisco received a grant of $140,000;
-- Women's Cancer Resource Center of Oakland, CA received a grant of $125,000;
-- Cancer Resource Center of Mendocino County, received a grant of $125,000; and
-- Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic of Oakland, CA, received a grant of $125,000.
About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer San Francisco
During the Avon Walk San Francisco, 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, July 9, with an early morning Opening Ceremony at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Following the ceremony, walkers began their journey, traveling through the streets of San Francisco and concluding at the Avon Walk “Wellness Village” at Corte Madera Town Park. The “Wellness Village” featured two-person pink sleeping tents, hot showers, full hot 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, July 10, walkers completed the walk, ending back at Fort Mason, where thousands of family members 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 San Francisco, 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 San Francisco is the sixth event of the 2011 season, and registration is still open for women and men to take part in the remaining 2011 Avon Walks: 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, OtterBox and Orion Trading; Local Sponsors: S&W Coffee, Groupon, Sports Basement, reliv, U-Haul, MetroElectro, Special Events; and Medical Sponsor Alameda County Medical Center.
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)!