Corporate Press Releases

AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer Raises More Than $4.6 Million in Washington, D.C. at 13th Annual Event

2,000 Women and Men Conquer 39.3-miles to Crush Breast Cancer

May 3, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 3, 2015 – AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer, formerly known as the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, continued this weekend in Washington, D.C. raising more than $4.6 million to accelerate breast cancer research; improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer.
AVON 39 Washington D.C. – the second of seven events across the country to unveil the new theme #Powerof39 – drew 2,000 participants from 37 states and Washington, D.C., including 317 breast cancer survivors and 308 men.
“We were thrilled to kick off the AVON 39 this weekend in Washington, D.C. where 2,000 39ers united with one common goal: to end breast cancer,” said Jill Surdyka, AVON 39 National Ambassador. “The grants given today will help us do just that – and will help us to further our goal in providing services to those in need, educating the public, and crushing breast cancer once and for all. The dedication, enthusiasm and spirit of our participants is undeniable – and we’re extremely grateful for their ongoing support.”  
Washington, D.C. local and second time AVON 39er, Kimberly Curtis, shared her moving story and battle with breast cancer to fellow participants, volunteers, family and friends. “When my regular mammogram came back suspicious, I wasn’t concerned because I was extremely healthy – and definitely didn’t have a family history of breast cancer,” said Curtis. “I’ll admit, going through treatment – including getting a lumpectomy and undergoing radiation – wasn’t easy, but it was lifesaving. I got through this tragic time in my life with the help of my medical team, family and friends. To me, the Power of 39 means having a strong support system. If you’ve got family, faith, love and a community like AVON 39ers who will walk tirelessly to support one another – you’ve got enough to fight cancer.” 
Jill Surdyka, AVON 39 National Ambassador, announced nine new grants to local breast cancer organizations, ensuring the funds raised immediately benefit the local community. Additional grants will be awarded throughout the year, adding to the  $4.6 million donated by the Avon Foundation for Women to organizations and institutions in Washington D.C.
Representatives from the eight organizations  in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas received grants on stage at the AVON 39 closing ceremony. They thanked participants for their commitment to ending breast cancer and for their spectacular fundraising achievements. 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.

  •  Food & Friends, the AVON 39 D.C.’s food sponsor, received a $225,000 grant to provide nearly 200,000 meals to women diagnosed with breast cancer and their families, ensuring that patients receive nutritious meals at a time when they need it the most.
  • George Washington University received a grant of $100,000 to support an Avon Patient Navigator who will remove barriers and coordinate access to care for prompt diagnosis, and assist with resources for more than 1,500 patients.
  • Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center received a grant of $100,000 to continue studying ways to diagnose breast cancer as early as possible and better predict which breast cancers are likely to recur.
  • Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Capital Breast Care Center, a program of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, received a grant of $200,000 to help provide breast cancer screening services to nearly 2,000 women in the metropolitan area, many of whom are ineligible for public assistance and will require follow-up and evaluation. 
  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center received a $75,000 grant to provide patient navigation services to underserved women and to reduce the gap in breast care for those served in North East Baltimore City and Baltimore County communities. 
  • Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the AVON 39 D.C.’s medical sponsor, received two grants totaling $800,000 to support research focused on how to better treat metastatic breast cancer and also fund the Johns Hopkins–Avon Breast Cancer Program – which is the hub of all research, education and clinical care activities for breast health at Johns Hopkins.
  • Meritus Healthcare Foundation received a $60,000 grant to support the Avon Breast Health Navigator program at Meritus Medical Center which will help medically underserved women from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia access the breast health care they need.
  • Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center received a $100,000 grant to provide education, screening and patient navigation services to women in D.C. Ward 5.

Event Details and Exciting New Elements 
AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer Washington D.C. began on Saturday, May 2 at 6:30 a.m. with an inspirational opening ceremony at the Washington Monument Grounds. During the opening ceremony, participants received woven ribbon wristbands, called connection bands, to showcase who they are walking for. Participants then walked 26.2 miles through the Washington D.C. area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by supporters. They spent Saturday night at Meadowbrook Park’s Basecamp 39, which featured pink two-person tents, hot showers, meals, and entertainment. New elements to the campgrounds included a temporary tattoo parlor, assorted games, and nightly entertainment. A special tent, Lounge 39, also allowed participants to relax.
On Sunday, May 3, after completing the final 13.1 miles, participants joined family and friends to celebrate their achievement at a closing ceremony at Washington Monument Grounds where the new grants were awarded. A DJ was onsite as participants crossed the finish line and received finisher metals as a new keepsake of their accomplishment.


Get Involved with AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer
The 2015 season is open for registration and events will also take place in Washington, D.C. (May 2-3); Boston (May 16-17); Chicago (June 6-7); San Francisco (July 11-12); Santa Barbara (September 12-13); and New York (October 17-18).  

For more information about AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer, visit or join the #Powerof39 conversation on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube.

About the Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women is the world’s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women.  Since its inception in 1955, the Avon Foundation has promoted or aided charitable, scientific, educational, and humanitarian activities, with a special emphasis on activities that improve the lives of women and their families. Through 2014, Avon global philanthropy, led by the Avon Foundation, has donated nearly $1 billion 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 for more information.



Encourage women around you to do the same. Don’t forget, men can get breast cancer, too. 
For breast cancer information and resources, visit

AVON 39 Thanks National Sponsor Reebok, Official Sponsor PLS Financial Services and Medical Sponsor Baylor College of Medicine

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