Sixth Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Charlotte Raises $2.3 Million

 

More than 1,100 Men and Women Participate in the 39.3-mile Walk; Six Local Breast Cancer Organizations Receive Grants

 

Charlotte, NC, October 24, 2010 — The eighth annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season came to a close this weekend with the final Avon Walk in Charlotte this weekend, which raised $2.3 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The Avon Walk Charlotte, the final of nine Avon Walks this year, attracted more than 1,100 participants from 34 states and Washington, D.C. – and Canada, Bermuda and Trinidad & Tobago – including 120 breast cancer survivors, who joined together to raise lifesaving funds and awareness for breast cancer.

 

During the Closing Ceremony at Frazier Park, one-year breast cancer survivor Ashley Roback, from Knoxville, TN, spoke movingly about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27 while 30 weeks pregnant with her second child. “We’re all here to keep moving forward for the people who aren’t as lucky as I’ve been,” said Roback. “Because even though I would never wish what I’ve been through on anyone, cancer has taught me so much. It hasn’t defined me, it has inspired me. Every step we took this weekend will help people in need right here in Charlotte and around the country, people who have stopped cold because they are facing a diagnosis they think they can’t handle.  But we can help get them moving again.”

 

Marc Hurlbert, executive director of the Avon Foundation for Women Breast Cancer Crusade, announced during the Closing Ceremony a total of nearly $900,000 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 are changing the course of breast cancer - here in the Carolinas, across the country, and around the world,” said Hurlbert. “The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded more than $12.3 million to breast cancer organizations in the Carolinas over the years. And the outpouring of support and generosity through the Avon Walks enables us to make substantial and much-needed new grants that will benefit those facing breast cancer here in North Carolina and nationwide.”

 

Following are the North and South Carolina grants announced at the Closing Ceremony:

 

 - Randolph Hospital in Asheboro, NC, received $100,000 to launch a patient navigation program to better reach the medically underserved in rural Randolph County. Executive Director Stacey Bannister accepted the grant.

 

 - Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC, received $125,000 to support a patient navigation program that improves access to screening, diagnostics and treatment for underserved populations in South Carolina. Assistant Director, Cancer Prevention, Control and Outreach Debbie Bryant accepted the grant.

 

 - North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC, received $125,000 to support its community outreach and patient navigation services program, the Survivors in Service Navigation Network. Navigators work to reduce disparities in breast care among the African-American community by providing services to patients from the surrounding rural counties and adding genetic testing and counseling. Marcy Poletti, Oncology Service Line Program Administrator, accepted the grant.

 

 - Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, received $140,000 to supports the Mecklenburg County Breast Care Management program that provides outreach and patient navigation services to medically underserved women in Charlotte. The staff coordinates screening and care through four facilities: the Carolinas Hospital, the Blumenthal Cancer Center, and the Myers Park and Health Department Clinics. Breast Health Nurse Navigator Grace Sauzier accepted the grant.

 

 - Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, received $150,000 to support its community outreach and patient navigation program to improve access to screening, diagnostics and treatment to underserved populations in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and 11 surrounding counties. Maria Long, manager of the Prevention Education and Early Detection Program, accepted the grant.

 

 - Duke University received $250,000 to support outreach to underserved and low income women in the Raleigh, Greensboro, and Charlotte communities and to provide patient navigation services to women diagnosed with breast cancer. Stephanie Robertson, coordinator of the Navigator Program, accepted the grant.

 

In addition to these awards, the Avon Foundation has awarded nearly $260,000 of funds raised at the Avon Walk Charlotte to support community outreach programs through the Carolinas, including the Forsyth Medical Center Foundation in Winston-Salem, Rural Health Group in Roanoke Rapids, the YWCA of the Greater Triangle Area, Anderson Free Clinic, Beaufort-Jasper-Hampton Health in Ridgeland, and Charleston Breast Center and Volunteers in Medicine in Hilton Head, SC. These new awards represent only a portion of the grants that will ultimately be made from funds raised this weekend. 

 

About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Charlotte

During the Avon Walk Charlotte, 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, October 23, with an early morning Opening Ceremony at Frazier Park. Following the ceremony, walkers began their journey, traveling through Charlotte and concluding at the Avon Walk “Wellness Village” at Park Road Park, a “tent city” complete with two-person tents, hot showers, prepared meals, entertainment, and recreational activities such as the Spa Zone, yoga and Tomboy Tools’ “Tool School 101” demonstrations. On Sunday, October 24, walkers completed another 13.1 miles together, ending back at Frazier Park, 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 Charlotte, 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, 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, all with a focus on the medically underserved. 

 

The Avon Walks series launched in 2003 and through mid-2010 the Avon Walks have raised more than $370 million through the dedication of more than 120,000 participating women and men. The Avon Walk Charlotte is final Avon Walk of the 2010 season, following successful events in Houston, TX; Washington, D.C.; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Rocky Mountains, CO; San Francisco, CA; Santa Barbara, CA; and New York City that have raised more than $50 million so far.

 

Donations are still being accepted for the Avon Walk Charlotte and registration is open for women and men to take part in the nine 2011 Avon Walks.

 

To register, donate or for additional information, please visit www.avonwalk.org  or call 800-541-WALK.  For information on the Avon Foundation visit www.avonfoundation.org.


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The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer thanks National Sponsors: Reebok and Genentech BioOncology; and Official Sponsors: Tomboy Tools, Yoga Journal, and Otterbox.

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.

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