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Avon Foundation 50th Anniversary Awards Celebration


Gala celebration in New York City follows a Scientific Symposium and global breast cancer educational program in New York City and nearly 40 grassroots events worldwide,

V-Day Founder Eve Ensler among Honorees - Receives Voice of Change Award

Andrea Jung, Chairman and CEO, Avon Products, Inc., Eve Ensler, Salma Hayek and Kathleen Walas, President, Avon Foundation. photo: Dmitrious Kambouris/Wire Image

The Avon Foundation 50th Anniversary Awards Celebration was held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City tonight, celebrating half a century committed to improving the lives of women. The event raised $2 million and honored leaders in the causes of breast cancer, domestic violence and community advocacy. Hosting the event were Andrea Jung, Chairman & CEO Avon Products, Inc. and Kathleen Walas, President, Avon Foundation. Guests included Oscar-nominated actress and producer Salma Hayek and Playwright Eve Ensler, and the evening culminated with a musical performance by Lee Ann Womack, top-nominated female vocalist for the 2005 Country Music Awards.

The Avon Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is a leader in the causes of breast cancer and women's empowerment through its two key programs: the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which was launched in 1992, and Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence, which was launched in July 2004. In addition, the Avon Foundation provides emergency and disaster relief. Kathleen Walas, President of the Avon Foundation, announced at the Awards Celebration that the funds raised for breast cancer and women's empowerment in 50 countries worldwide now exceed $450 million. Fundraising programs in addition to the Awards Celebration include the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series, fundraising products and special events. Funds raised by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade support access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer, with a focus on the medically underserved. Speak Out Against Domestic Violence raises funds for awareness, education, direct service and prevention programs.

"We want to honor our first 50 years of the Avon Foundation by setting the stage for an even stronger next half century," said Avon Foundation President Kathleen Walas. "This celebration is in honor of those who have battled breast cancer and our shared commitment to eradicate this disease, and in honor of the women who have faced domestic violence and our promise to stand by them and help defeat violence against women."

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Andrea Jung, Chairman and CEO, Avon Products, Inc. and Eve Ensler. photo: Dmitrious Kambouris/Wire Image

Avon Foundation Awards Recipients

Eve Ensler received the Avon Foundation Voice of Change Award for her groundbreaking work to stop violence against women and girls. Through her Award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues, and V-Day events, Ms. Ensler has created a global movement working towards a world where women are free to thrive, safe from violence. In 2005 alone more than 2,500 V-Day benefits events took place around the world. Presenting the Award to Ms. Ensler was Oscar-nominated actress and producer Salma Hayek, who serves as spokesperson for the Avon Foundation Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program.

Dr. Paul Goss received the Avon Foundation Award for Medical Advancement in Breast Cancer. Dr. Goss is Director of Breast Cancer Research at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston and Co-Director of the Breast Cancer Disease Program of the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. Dr. Goss has been instrumental in research on the role of estrogen and the use of aromatase inhibitors for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer, and was Principal Investigator on breakthrough clinical trials that significantly improved treatment for postmenopausal women while changing clinical practice worldwide.

Arnold Fisher received the Avon Foundation Community Advocate Award for his tireless work on behalf of servicemen and women killed or injured in military action. Mr. Fisher is a partner at Fisher Brothers, a leader in New York City real estate, and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Intrepid Museum of Foundation. He has led the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund to provide financial support to the families of military personnel killed in the line of duty. In addition, the Fisher House Foundation has created a network of "Fisher Houses" on the campuses of military medical centers to provide housing to the families of hospitalized military service personnel. Presenting Mr. Fisher with his award was Major Tammy Duckworth, who lost both legs less then one year ago when the Blackhawk helicopter she was piloting in Baghdad came under fire.

A Worldwide Celebration of 50 Years of Global Philanthropy

The Avon Foundation Awards Celebration was the culmination of more than a month of events that raised funds and awareness for the breast cancer cause, and advanced research and access to care. These included:

  • The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer New York took place on October 1-2 , serving as the final US Avon Walk and the kick-off for the Avon Foundation Anniversary and Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities. More than 2,700 participants from across the country took part and raised over $7 million.
  • The first-ever Walk Around the World for Breast Cancer - a series of breast cancer fundraising and awareness events occurring in nearly 40 countries across five continents. At the conclusion of selected events, a breast cancer survivor traveled to another country, participating in its event and passing along a "Global Connection Ribbon" in a sign of solidarity and support. Several of the participating survivors were brought to New York and recognized at the Avon Foundation 50th Anniversary Awards Celebration. Novartis Oncology is the generous supporter of the Global Connection Ribbon Tour and is dedicated to researching breast cancer therapies and reducing risk of recurrence. Getty Images donated its services and photographed many of the events in countries across the globe.
  • Breast Cancer 2005: From Discovery to Delivery - a scientific symposium on October 24 featuring international, world-renowned experts addressing both the latest breast cancer research breakthroughs and how to assure access to these breakthroughs to the medically underserved. Attendees consisted of nearly 200 doctors, clinicians, scientists and breast cancer experts from around the world.
  • Avon Foundation-American Cancer Society University - a unique five-day training seminar hosted by the Avon Foundation and the American Cancer Society taking place on October 24-28. The seminar is attended by representatives from 12 countries, who will learn how to create more effective breast cancer awareness and fundraising initiatives in their homelands.

    About the Avon Foundation

    The Avon Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded on October 21, 1955 to improve the lives of women and their families. Now marking its half century, the Avon Foundation brings this mission to life through two key areas: breast cancer and women's empowerment, now focused on the issue of domestic violence. Through 2005 Avon programs in 50 countries worldwide have raised and awarded more than $450 million for these two causes. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade supports access to care and finding a cure, funding five areas of the breast cancer cause: awareness and education; screening and diagnosis; access to treatment; support services; and scientific research. The Avon Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program was launched in 2004 and in its first year awarded nearly $1 million for domestic violence awareness, education, direct service and prevention programs. For more information visit .