Corporate Press Releases

AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer Raises $4.6 Million in San Francisco at 13th Annual Event

More than 2,000 Women and Men Conquered 39.3 Miles to Crush Breast Cancer

Jul 12, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO, July 12, 2015 – AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer, formerly known as the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, continued this weekend in San Francisco raising $4.6 million to accelerate breast cancer research, improve access to screening, diagnosis and treatment, and educate people about breast cancer.

AVON 39 San Francisco – the fifth of seven events across the country to unveil the new theme #Powerof39 – drew more than 2,000 participants from 43 states and Washington, D.C., including 293 breast cancer survivors and 330 men.

“We were thrilled to continue the AVON 39 series in San Francisco, where more than 2,000 39ers united with one common goal: to eliminate 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.”

San Francisco AVON 39er, Alex Loveman, shared her moving story and battle with breast cancer to fellow participants, volunteers, family and friends. “When my radiologist told me I had breast cancer, I was shocked and felt completely numb. That’s the feeling I carried with me as I tried to wrap my head around how I was going to raise my three-year-old daughter and two-month-old twins,” said Loveman. “I was very fortunate to be part of a last-minute clinical study that began working immediately. Between that and the support from my husband, family and friends, the numb feeling began to fade. That’s what this weekend means to me, support and community. This weekend we united as a community to raise money and support the fight against breast cancer.”

Surdyka announced 11 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 more than $41 million donated by the Avon Foundation for Women to organizations and institutions in Northern California since 2001. 

Representatives from each Northern California organization 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.

  • San Francisco General Hospital, the home of the Avon Breast Cancer Center of Excellence, received a $500,000 grant to support the “Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Center” at SFGH, which includes a mobile mammography van, a high-risk genetic clinic, community outreach and breast cancer research programs. The Avon Center has performed over 95,000 mammograms and more than 12,000 breast procedures since it opened in 2004.
  • University of California San Francisco received a $300,000 grant to develop novel therapies to reverse treatment resistance in hormone therapy resistant metastatic breast cancer and reactivate a patient’s immune system to help fight the cancer.
  • Project Open Hand, AVON 39 San Francisco's food sponsor, received a $200,000 grant to serve more than 400 breast cancer clients this year, providing more than 63,000 meals through Project Open Hand’s Homebound Critically Ill Program.
  • Charlotte Maxwell Clinic received two grants totaling $175,000 to provide integrative medical services including acupuncture, Chinese herbs, massage therapy and homeopathy and safety net support services for low-income women with breast cancer, with a focus on patients with metastatic disease.
  • Paradigm Shift Therapeutics received a grant of $150,000 to support of research that will enable testing the role the protein CD47 plays in the development and spread of breast cancer. This protein may improve a patient’s response to chemotherapy, help reduce side effects and prevent breast cancer metastasis.
  • Alameda Health System Foundation received a grant of $125,000 to assist high-risk patients in need of diagnostics and treatment services.
  • Women’s Cancer Resource Center received a grant of $125,000 to support 3,200 high-risk or diagnosed women with navigation, financial assistance, education and support services.
  • Zero Breast Cancer received a grant of $100,000 to continue its unique community-based, participatory approach to breast cancer research to identify its causes and ultimately prevent it.
  • Cancer Resource Center of Mendocino received a $75,000 to grant to provide patient navigation and support services to women with breast cancer who live in some of the most rural parts of Northern California with a special focus on Hispanic and Native American women.
  • Shanti Project received a $50,000 to grant provide one-on-one Care Navigation services to 175 underserved, low-income women with breast cancer in San Francisco.

Event Details and Exciting New Elements

AVON 39 The Walk to End Breast Cancer San Francisco began on Saturday, July 11 at 6:30 a.m. with an inspirational opening ceremony at Fort Mason. 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 San Francisco area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered on by supporters. They spent Saturday night at Basecamp 39, which was located at Corte Madera Town Park, 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, July 12 after completing the final 13.1 miles, participants joined family and friends to celebrate their achievement at a closing ceremony at Fort Mason 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 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, Official Sponsors Tiger Balm, PL$, The Company Store, Medical Sponsor Stanford Health Care, Supplier Sponsors San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Go Go Squeez and Opening Ceremony Coffee Sponsor Cognizant.

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