Corporate Press Releases

AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer Raises $3.7 million in Boston at 13 Annual Event

More than 1,600 Women and Men Conquer 39.3-miles to Crush Breast Cancer

May 18, 2015

BOSTON, May 17, 2015 – AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer, formerly known as the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, continued this weekend in Boston raising $3.7 million to accelerate breast cancer research; improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment; and educate people about breast cancer. 

AVON 39 Boston – the third of seven events across the country to unveil the new theme #Powerof39 – drew more than 1,600 participants from 34 states and Washington, D.C., including 214 breast cancer survivors and 245 men.

“We were thrilled to continue the AVON 39 series in Boston, where 1,600 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.”

Boston AVON 39er, Amanda Lind, shared her moving story and battle with breast cancer to fellow participants, volunteers, family and friends. “At 29, I found out that I breast cancer - and it eventually spread to my lymph nodes. Everyone told me not to worry because I was so young, but I couldn’t help it because I had a family history and we lost my grandmother to the disease,” said Lind. “Looking back, I’ve been incredibly lucky, as so many women and men with breast cancer don’t have the support that I had. That’s why I became a 39er – to support those that are less fortunate. I began my AVON 39 journey right after finishing my treatments, and I’m still committed to this walk 10 years later.  I crossed the finish line today thankful that I am still here to enjoy every moment that life gives me.” 

Jill Surdyka, AVON 39 National Ambassador, announced ten 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 nearly $1.9 million donated by the Avon Foundation for Women to organizations and institutions in New England.

Representatives from each of the New England area organizations 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.

  • Boston Medical Center received a $125,000 grant to screen more than 17,000 women this year and help hundreds of those needing follow-up to navigate the medical system.
  • Boston University received a $50,000 grant to study the impact of environmental chemicals, like car exhaust, on the development of breast cancer.
  • Community Servings, the AVON 39 Boston’s food sponsor, received a grant of $100,000 to provide more than 33,000 meals to women diagnosed with breast cancer and their families, so that patients get nutritious meals at a time when they need it the most.
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute received a grant of $125,000 to study ways improve the efficacy of treatments for metastatic breast cancer
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, the AVON 39 Boston’s medical sponsor, received a grant of $1 million to research, education and clinical care activities for breast health. Funding will support work on a global scale to train new fellows, conduct multinational clinical trials and improve breast cancer care.
  • Partners Healthcare System received a grant of $150,000 grant to study how to better treat breast cancer that has spread to the brain and know which treatments will be the most effective.
  • Silent Spring Institute received a grant of $125,000 to continue research into the role of environmental chemicals in causing breast cancer.
  • Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven received a $35,000 grant to provide patient navigation to medically underserved metastatic breast cancer patients, to help them and their families access care and make informed health care decisions.
  • Tufts Medical Center received a $75,000 grant to provide patient navigation to underserved women from its neighborhood of Chinatown.
  • YWCA of Malden received a $59,000 grant to increase screening and reduce breast cancer mortality for low-income and uninsured women in eight communities north of Boston.
  • YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts received a $48,000 grant to provide breast health outreach and education to low-income, un-and-underinsured women who live in Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.   

Event Details and Exciting New Elements 
AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer Boston began on Saturday, May 16 at 6:30 a.m. with an inspirational opening ceremony at Carson Beach Harborwalk. 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 Boston area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by supporters. They spent Saturday night at Basecamp 39, which was located at Reebok World Headquarters and 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 17, after completing the final 13.1 miles, participants joined family and friends to celebrate their achievement at a closing ceremony at Carson Beach Harborwalk 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. Upcoming events will take place in 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 Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, 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, and Official Sponsors and Suppliers PLS Financial Services, Cadillac, Fallon Ambulance Service, Muffin Town, Suffolk Downs, and Massachusetts General Hospital

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