Annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Santa Barbara Raises $4.6 Million
2,000 Women and Men Participate in the 39.3-mile Walk;
Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic is
1 of 10 Local Breast Cancer Organizations to Receive Grants
Santa Barbara, September 7, 2014 – The 12th annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season continued in Santa Barbara this weekend, raising $4.6 million to accelerate breast cancer research; improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer.
The Avon Walk Santa Barbara – the sixth of eight 2014 Avon Walks across the country – attracted 2,000 participants from 41 states and Washington, D.C. In addition, 297 breast cancer survivors and 274 men joined together to raise lifesaving funds for breast cancer. “I was moved by the Avon Walk this weekend,” said Mike Dirnt, bassist for the rock band Green Day. “My wife is currently battling this disease, so it was both inspiring and encouraging to speak with survivors and their loved ones.”
During the Closing Ceremony at Carpinteria State Beach, Jennifer McClure, a breast cancer survivor and second time Avon Walker, shared her breast cancer journey with fellow walkers, volunteers, family and friends. “When you think of Valentine’s Day, you of think flowers, chocolates, and maybe even a romantic dinner. But on Valentine’s Day in 2012, I received the results of an MRI and a breast cancer diagnosis. During that life-changing year, I had such incredible support from my family and my community – and I find that same sense of community at the Avon Walk. Avon Walkers all share a common mission – to help those who haven’t been as lucky as we have been, and to spread the word about early detection and advocacy for your own breast care. My sisters and I crossed that finish line under brilliant skies today, and we feel so very lucky to be a part of this caring and determined community.”
Eloise Caggiano, a breast cancer survivor and Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Program Director, announced 10 new grants to local breast cancer organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the local community. “These grants represent only a portion of the funding that the Avon Foundation will distribute in Southern California and across the country this year, but we want to make sure the impact of your Walk begins today. Every grant moves us closer toward our goal of a world without breast cancer,” said Caggiano.
The Southern California organizations that received grants on stage include:
· The Cancer Center of Santa Barbara received a grant of $100,000 to provide patients with radiology, surgery, and oncology care at the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara.
· Breast Resource Center of Santa Barbara received a grant of $25,000 to provide Spanish-speaking women diagnosed with breast cancer with navigation support, financial assistance, education, case management, and other services.
· Cedars-Sinai Medical Center received a research grant of $300,000 to study triple negative breast cells – FOXC1 – and its role in breast cancer with BRCA mutations.
· Dignity Health’s French Hospital Medical Center received a grant of $100,000 to assist low-income, uninsured, and underinsured Hispanic-Latino women in San Luis Obispo County with screening, diagnostic, and treatment services.
· Project Angel Food received a grant of $125,000 to provide nearly 54,000 meals for breast cancer patients and their families in the Los Angeles County-area.
· San Antonio Community Hospital Foundation received a grant of $100,000 to support the hospital’s Nurse Navigator Program, which will help patients in the Inland Valleys to receive timely and high-quality breast cancer screening, diagnostics and treatment.
· St. Johns Healthcare Foundation Oxnard and Pleasant Valley received grant of $85,000 to conduct outreach, offer screening, and assist with navigation support for underserved women in Ventura County.
· Watts Healthcare Corporation received a research grant of $100,000 to purchase new mammogram tracking software and other new screening equipment that will help the organization provide services to low-income and uninsured South Los Angeles residents.
· John Wayne Cancer Institute, medical sponsor for the weekend, Dr. Delphine Lee accepts a research grant of $300,000 to study the role a bacteria in breast milk ducts might play in the development of invasive breast cancer.
· The Avon Breast Cancer Center at the UCLA-Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and its Olive View Medical Center partner, a flagship Avon Breast Cancer Center of Excellence, received a grant for $500,000 to continue support of the Avon Cares For Life Program, which includes on-site patient navigation, and survivorship programs.
Visit this link (https://www.flickr.com/photos/avonwalkphotos/sets/) in the Avon Walk Santa Barbara folder to find online album of photographs.
In addition to awarding local Santa Barbara grants, the Avon Foundation will continue to provide leadership support nationally for the fight against breast cancer. Recent initiatives include:
· 2014 Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Mortality Study: The Avon Foundation funded a nationwide study in partnership with Chicago’s Sinai Urban Health Institute to determine why more black women are dying of breast cancer than white women in 39 of the largest U.S. cities. The study revealed that San Francisco had a large and widening racial disparity in breast cancer mortality.
· Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance: The Avon Foundation is leading a new metastatic breast cancer alliance of 20 breast cancer agencies that are working to discover better ways to help those living with the disease and reduce deaths due to breast cancer recurrences.
· Breast Cancer Start-Up Challenge: The Avon Foundation, The Center for Advancing Innovation, and the National Cancer Institute partnered to create a business start-up challenge to fast-track ten promising breast cancer research discoveries. The inventions were conceived and developed by Avon Foundation grantees and scientists at the National Cancer Institute.
· Avon Comprehensive Breast Centers and Breast Health Outreach Programs: Through Avon Walk donations, the Avon Foundation continues to fund seven Avon Comprehensive Breast Centers across the country, accelerate breast cancer screening and treatment at 55 Safety Net Hospital Programs, provide financial assistance and counseling support nationwide through AVONCares at Cancer Care, and educate the public through 58 Avon Breast Health Outreach Programs. All Avon Safety Net and Breast Cancer Outreach Program grantees commit to providing their services to everyone – no matter their insurance status, demographic background or ability to pay.
About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Santa Barbara
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Santa Barbara began on Saturday, September 6 at 6:30 a.m. with an inspirational opening ceremony at Chase Palm Park. Walkers then began their journey of 26.2 miles through the Santa Barbara area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by supporters. Participants spent Saturday night at the Walk’s “Wellness Village“ at Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club, featuring pink two-person tents, hot showers and meals, entertainment and volunteer medical services, as well as leisure activities such as yoga and a spa zone with mini-back and foot massages.
On Sunday, September 7, after completing the Avon Walk’s final 13.1 miles, participants joined family and friends to celebrate their achievement at a closing ceremony at Carpinteria State Beach. During the ceremony, the Avon Foundation awarded new grants to Santa Barbara area breast cancer organizations to ensure the funds raised will benefit the community immediately.
Remaining 2014 Avon Walks include: New York City (October 18-19) and Charlotte (October 25-26).
Get Involved with Avon Walks for Breast Cancer
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Santa Barbara was the sixth of eight walks taking place around the country this year. Registration is open for the remaining 2014 Avon Walks in the following cities: New York City (October 18-19) and Charlotte (October 25-26).
For more information on the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, visit www.avonwalk.org or call 888-541-WALK. To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women visit www.avonfoundation.org.
About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series is a project of the Avon Foundation for Women, a 501(c)(3) public charity. Since its launch in 2003, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series has raised more than $500 million through the dedication of more than 192,000 participating women and men from across the country, including thousands of Avon Associates and Representatives. The Avon Foundation awards the funds raised to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations to support breast cancer education, screening and diagnosis, access to treatment and support services, and research. The Walks take place in eight cities, covering 39.3 miles in two days, and raise significant awareness and funds to fight breast cancer. The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Series is the largest fund-raising event for the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Since Avon launched the Crusade in 1992, Avon breast cancer programs in more than 50 countries have donated more than $815 million for research and advancing access to care. Visit www.avonwalk.org for more information.
About the Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2013, Avon global philanthropy, led by the Avon Foundation, has donated more than $957 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses on funding breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Visit www.avonfoundation.org for more information.
About the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic
The Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic has been providing state-of-the-art cancer treatment since 1949. Through the charitable giving of families and foundations, the Cancer Center has stayed in the vanguard of comprehensive, outpatient cancer care. By retaining highly trained and devoted medical personnel, acquiring the latest technology and protocols, and integrating patient support programs and classes, the Cancer Center treats those on the journey to live with, through and beyond cancer.