Tenth Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Washington, D.C. Raises $5 Million
More Than 2,200 Women and Men Join Together to Participate in the 39.3-mile Walk; Ten Local Breast Cancer Organizations Receive Grants
Washington, D.C., May 6, 2012 – The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer tenth birthday season continued with the annual Avon Walk in Washington, D.C. this weekend, which raised $5 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. The Avon Walk Washington, D.C. attracted 2,200 participants from 39 states and Washington, D.C., including 269 breast cancer survivors, who joined together to raise life-saving funds and awareness for breast cancer.
During the closing ceremony at the Washington Monument Grounds, three-year breast cancer survivor LaWanda Fountain, 39, of Washington, D.C., emotionally detailed her family history with breast cancer and her journey, which began in 2009 with a diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer.
“When I walked my first Avon Walk in 2005, it was in honor of my dad’s sister, my aunt Joan, who is now a 10-year survivor. Several years later, I received the shocking news that I had triple-negative breast cancer,” said Fountain. “Today, I talk to high school kids about breast cancer, I counsel friends and family members about early detection and I walk my butt off to raise money to help people who aren’t as blessed as I am. Because family is really important to me – and our Avon Walk family is helping save lives like mine.”
Dr. Marc Hurlbert, Executive Director of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, announced during the closing ceremony a total of $4.25 million in grants to ten local organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the community. “Our beneficiaries are leaders from your communities in the fight against breast cancer,” said Hurlbert. “They represent organizations that 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.”
Following are the Washington, D.C. area grants announced at the Closing Ceremony:
- Johns Hopkins University received a grant of $1,275,000 to assist in the support of the more than 14,000 women who will receive services this year at the Johns Hopkins Avon Breast Center of Excellence.
- Georgetown University Medical Center, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center received a grant of $500,000, to support Avon’s signature program in the District, the Capital Breast Care Center.
- Foundation for the National Institutes of Health received a grant of $710,000 to support a “think tank” and research project to define if viruses play a role in breast cancer development. The grant will also support the Second Collaborative Summit on Breast Cancer Research to encourage collaboration among key stakeholders in the breast cancer research field.
- National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund received a grant of $525,000 to support “Project LEAD,” a program that trains breast cancer survivors to serve as advisors and advocates for breast cancer research; through Avon support the program has already trained more than 1,900 advocates.
- Food and Friends received a grant of $275,000 to support its Avon Pink Ribbon Delivery Program, which provides breast cancer patients and their families with specialized nutrition support and delivered meals.
- Howard University Cancer Center received a grant of $250,000 to assist in the purchase dedicated ultrasound equipment.
- University of Maryland Baltimore received a grant of $240,000 to support the Baltimore City Breast Cancer Patient Navigator Program.
- The Conquer Cancer Foundation received a grant of $250,000, which will support the ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium and their IDEA Award Program, which brings doctors from outside the U.S. to ASCO, the largest cancer conference.
- Virginia Tech Foundation received a $150,000 grant, which will continue to support researchers investigating environmental risk factors of breast cancer development.
- The District of Columbia Cancer Consortium received a $75,000 grant to support the development of a Breast Cancer Surveillance System to analyze and understand the number of cancer diagnoses in the District and the barriers for women to get screened.
About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Washington, D.C.
During the Avon Walk Washington, D.C., participants had the choice of walking a marathon (26.2 miles) or a marathon and half (39.3 miles) over the weekend, which kicked off on Saturday, May 5, with an early morning opening ceremony at the Washington Monument Grounds. Immediately following the ceremony, walkers began their journey trekking through the greater Washington, D.C. area and finished their day with fellow walkers at “Wellness Village” at Meadowbrook Park in Chevy Chase, MD. The “Wellness Village” featured pink two-person sleeping tents, hot showers, prepared meals, entertainment, volunteer medical services and comprehensive support services. Additionally, leisure activities such as yoga and a spa zone with mini-back-and-foot-massages were available to participants. On Sunday, May 6, walkers completed another 13.1 miles together, ending back at the Washington Monument Grounds where they were greeted by thousands of family and friends, and celebrated the completion of their journey at a moving closing ceremony that included the awarding of new grants.
To participate in the Avon Walk Washington, D.C., 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 $423 million through the dedication of more than 160,000 participating women and men from across the country, including thousands of Avon Associates and Representatives. The Avon Walk Washington, D.C. is the second event of the 2012 10th birthday season, and registration is still open for women and men to take part in the remaining 2012 Avon Walks: Boston (May 19-20), Chicago (June 2-3), Rocky Mountains, CO (June 23-24), San Francisco (July 7-8), Santa Barbara (September 22-23), New York City (October 20-21), and Charlotte, NC (October 27-28).
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer thanks National Sponsors: Reebok and OtterBox, Local Sponsors: Capital Party Rental, Ronald Reagan Building, and Medical Sponsor: Johns Hopkins Medicine
Remember: early detection can help save lives. Discuss breast cancer screening with your doctor. Make informed decisions about what age to start mammography. Get to know your risk and risk reduction strategies. 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.