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Avon Foundation Honors 'The Most Powerful Women in Breast Cancer' at Annual Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer Awards Celebration

Jewel and Serena Williams Help the Avon Foundation Raise Millions for the Fight Against Breast Cancer

PRNewswire
NEW YORK
Oct 14, 2003

"The Most Powerful Women in Breast Cancer" will be honored tonight as part of the Avon Foundation Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer Awards Celebration at Tavern on the Green in New York City. The fundraising gala, co-hosted by Avon Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrea Jung and Avon Foundation President Kathleen Walas, will feature an acoustic performance by multi-platinum Atlantic recording artist Jewel, and a special appearance by tennis superstar Serena Williams, who will receive the Celebrity Role Model Award during the awards ceremony.

"Breast cancer, unfortunately, touches all our lives. It is not a disease that just affects women -- but has the power to forever change families, friends, even communities," said Jewel. "By being part of the Avon Foundation's Awards Celebration, I want to send a message of hope that we will one day find a cure for breast cancer."

The third annual Avon Foundation awards event, which is expected to raise more than $2 million for breast cancer research and care organizations, celebrates the second decade of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade in the United States. This year's Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer Awards, first presented in October 2001, will recognize leading women who have made a significant impact in the fight against breast cancer. The 2003 "Most Powerful Women in Breast Cancer" award honorees are:

Celebrity Role Model

Serena Williams, who at the young age of 22 has reached international tennis fame, will be recognized and honored as a Celebrity Role Model for her active involvement in the breast cancer cause. Among her accomplishments, Serena has won 14 Grand Slam titles, an Olympic gold medal, 23 Singles Tennis Championships and 11 Doubles Championships. In addition to her overpowering tennis skills, she is a strong advocate for education. She is a current Board member of the OWL Foundation, dedicated to maximizing opportunities for youth who have been evaluated as slow learners. Serena is also a spokesperson for the American Library Association's READ campaign, visits schools, conducts tennis clinics for at-risk children and youth, mentors and visits hospitals and donates to many foundations including the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the Arthur Ashe Foundation.

Medical Advancement

Nancy E. Davidson, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center's Breast Cancer Program, will be honored with the Medical Advancement Award for her groundbreaking integration of basic scientific investigation of the biology of breast cancer with a focus on new therapeutic approaches to the disease. Dr. Davidson has published key findings on the role of hormones, especially estrogen, on gene expression and cell growth in breast cancer. Dr. Davidson is currently investigating estrogen receptor gene regulation, which may play a role in hormone resistance in breast cancer cells.

Community Advocacy

The Young Survival Coalition (YSC), based in New York City, will be honored as a leader in breast cancer Community Advocacy. The YSC is the only international, non-profit network of breast cancer survivors and supporters dedicated to the concerns and issues that are unique to young women and breast cancer, such as fertility issues, early menopause, and educating young women about the importance of breast self-exams. Today, with an international group of more than 5,000 survivors and supporters, the Avon Foundation recognizes YSC for its tremendous efforts in advocating for younger women with breast cancer. The award will be accepted on behalf of the Coalition by YSC President Randi Rosenberg.

Media Leadership

Gwen Darien, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of MAMM magazine, will be honored for Media Leadership. A cancer survivor herself, Darien represents the only consumer publication devoted to women with breast and reproductive cancers and their families and healthcare providers. MAMM provides vibrant and groundbreaking reportage on critical issues and stories of hope and survival.

"We are pleased to recognize these remarkable women for their invaluable contributions to breast cancer research, advocacy, education and awareness," said Jung. "Avon has been a driving force in support of the breast cancer cause worldwide, and will continue to champion the cause until we've achieved our quest to kiss goodbye to breast cancer."

  Additional special awards will be presented during the ceremony:
  * Avon Pink Ribbon Crusaders: To Nancy Utech, Avon Leadership
    Representative, Beauty Advisor and member of Avon President's Club, and
    her daughter Carole Utech, a mark Representative from Addison, Illinois.
    mark is Avon's new beauty business for young women.  This compassionate
    mother-daughter team exemplifies the spirit of charity in their
    heartfelt efforts to raise funds for cancer research.
  * Charitable Weekend Warriors: To three dedicated and passionate women who
    represent the thousands of Avon walk participants who have raised funds
    and awareness for the breast cancer cause through participation in
    multiple Avon walks across the country: Sandra Jordan, from North
    Chicago, Illinois, who raised more than $30,000; Barbara Jo Kirshbaum,
    from Upland, CA, who raised more than $200,000; and Robin Steiner, from
    Phoenix, AZ who raised $70,000.  Together these women will be recognized
    for their extraordinary commitment to the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer
    Crusade and changing the lives of women and men fighting the disease.

  About the Avon Foundation and Avon Breast Cancer Crusade

The Avon Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 with a mission to improve the lives of women by supporting programs that offer economic opportunity and provide care and research for breast cancer in the U.S. and around the world.

In support of women's health, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade began in the U.K. in 1992, and has expanded to 50 countries. Funds are raised through a wide variety of special events, product sales, walks, runs, concerts and other marketing initiatives worldwide. The mission is to fund access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer with a focus on reaching the medically underserved population, including minorities, the poor, elderly, under- and uninsured. In ten years, the Avon Crusade has returned more than $250 million net to breast cancer research and care organizations worldwide.

SOURCE: The Avon Foundation

CONTACT: Jennie Kim of Weber Shandwick, +1-212-445-8308, for The Avon
Foundation; or Tracey Warshaw of the Avon Foundation, +1-212-282-5664,
tracey.warshaw@avon.com

 
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