Sixth Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Colorado Raises More than $2.6 Million
More than 1,250 Participants in the 39.3-mile Walk Fight Against Breast Cancer; Nine Local Breast Cancer Organizations Receive Grants
Breckenridge, CO, June 27, 2010 — The eighth annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued with the Avon Walk Rocky Mountains this weekend, which raised more than $2.6 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 1,250 participants from 43 states and the United Kingdom, including 135 breast cancer survivors, who joined together to raise lifesaving funds and awareness for breast cancer.
During the Closing Ceremony in Breckenridge, CO, three-year breast cancer survivor Marcia Bohannon, from Conifer, CO, spoke movingly about her involvement in the Avon Walk Rocky Mountains: “The Avon Walk is so important to me because it funds local organizations that help people battling breast cancer who desperately need help. As confusing, terrifying and awful as my diagnosis was, I had insurance and access to first-rate medical care. I can only imagine what it’s like to face this battle without that support. Every step we took this weekend will help people in need right here in Summit County and Colorado.”
Carol Kurzig, president of the Avon Foundation for Women, announced during the Closing Ceremony a total of more than $1.15 million in grants to nine local organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the community. More grants are slated to be awarded throughout the year to additional local and national breast cancer programs.
“Our beneficiaries are changing the course of breast cancer - here in Colorado, across the country, and around the world. Let’s thank everyone for their hard work,” said Kurzig. “We have supported breast cancer organizations in Colorado for almost ten 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 in the Colorado and nationwide.”
The new Colorado grants include:
- La Clinica Tepayac (Denver); Pueblo Community Health Center (Pueblo), and The Women’s Resource Center (Fort Collins), community-based organizations, each received $35,000 to provide outreach to the public, breast health education and link women into screening services and follow-up care in partnership with local medical providers. Accepting the awards were La Clinica Tepayac Director of Health Promotion Tracy Pineda; Pueblo Community Health Center Chief Foundation Officer Janet Fieldman; and The Women's Resource Center Assistant Director Peggy Wagner.
- Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs received a $55,000 grant to support the purchase of lymphedema screening equipment for the breast center. Foundation Director Cary Blanchette accepted the grant.
- The Children’s Treehouse Foundation received $75,000 to provide education and assistance to families with children when a parent is facing breast cancer. Executive Director Peter van Dernoot accepted the grant.
- Project Angel Heart received a $100,000 grant to fund the preparation and delivery of more than 35,000 meals for more than 170 women being treated for breast cancer and their families. The grant will also fund the development of a new facility so Project Angel Heart can continue to provide nutrition to breast cancer patients and others in need for years to come. Executive Director Erin Pulling and Director of Development Mindy Davidson accepted the award.
- Catholic Health Initiatives Colorado Foundation received $115,000 to support a mammography technologist staff position and to purchase nuclear medicine equipment for St. Anthony Summit Medical Center. Board President Bill Souba accepted the grant.
- Denver Health & Hospital Corporation received $125,000 to support upgrades to the Women’s Mobile Health Clinic Van, enabling it to house digital mammography equipment and screen 4,200 women a year. Administrative Director of Radiology Susan Proudfoot accepted the grant.
- University of Colorado received $570,000 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 collectively aim to understand the role of stem cells in breast cancer, improve response to hormonal therapy and develop markers that characterize resistance and steps in breast cancer metastasis. Dr. Kate Horwitz, distinguished professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine, accepted the grant.
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 26, with an early morning Opening Ceremony at the Keystone Resort, Marmot Lot at Mountain House. Following the ceremony, walkers began their journey, traveling through the Rocky Mountains and concluding at the Avon Walk “Wellness Village” on the Summit County Middle School campus in Frisco, CO, 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, June 27, walkers completed another 13.1 miles together, ending in the Town of Breckenridge, North Gondola Lot, 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] 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 $350 million through the dedication of more than120,000 participating women and men. The Avon Walk Rocky Mountains is the fifth of nine 2010 Avon Walks, following successful events in Houston, TX, Washington, D.C., Boston, MA, and Chicago, IL, that have raised nearly $25 million so far.
Donations are still being accepted for the Avon Walk Rocky Mountains and registration is still open for women and men to take part in the remaining Avon Walks of 2010: San Francisco, CA (July 11-12); Los Angeles, CA (September 12-13); New York, NY (October 10-11); and Charlotte, NC (October 24-25).
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.
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.