Corporate Press Releases

Video: The Avon Foundation for Women Gala 'Celebrating Champions Who Change Women's Lives'

A benefit evening for the Avon Foundation for Women hosted by Andrea Jung & Reese Witherspoon Featuring a Musical Performance by Fergie

Oct 28, 2009

The ninth annual Avon Foundation for Women Gala honored exceptional women and men for their efforts fighting breast cancer and domestic violence at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. The event was hosted by award winning actress and Avon Honorary Chair, Avon Foundation for Women Reese Witherspoon and Andrea Jung, Avon Chairman and CEO, Avon Products Inc., with a special musical performance by Fergie.

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More than 550 guests attended the event, which raised $2 million to benefit breast cancer research and access to care and domestic violence education, prevention and victim support programs.

Along with Reese Witherspoon and Andrea Jung, presenters included Patrick and Jillian Dempsey, Courteney Cox, Lauren Conrad, and Suze Orman. Featured guests included "Precious" star Paula Patton, Push author Sapphire, and Today Show co-host Hoda Kotb.

"This is the ninth year we have come together to honor and celebrate outstanding partners who advance the work of the Avon Foundation for Women - true Champions Who Change Women's Lives," stated Andrea Jung. "Tonight, as we recognize those committed to ending breast cancer and domestic violence, it is a privilege to reflect on the incredible progress we have made together in saving and improving women's lives around the world."

Avon Foundation for Women Awards Recipients

Every year since 2001, the Avon Foundation for Women has recognized individuals, organizations and companies for leadership in women's causes. This year's honorees included the following:

The Medical Advancement in Breast Cancer Award was presented by Patrick and Jillian Dempsey and Andrea Jung to Barbara Cicatelli and Kathy Gates-Ferris, founder and director of the non-profit organization Cicatelli Associates Inc. for their management of the Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund, now celebrating 10 years of reaching out to the women most in need of breast cancer screening and treatment services. The AFBCF has distributed nearly $50 million to community-based programs providing culturally-sensitive education and outreach to underserved women - including low-income, older, and minority women, and women in rural and underserved areas across the country. By the end of 2009, these programs will have linked women to one million mammograms and Clinical Breast Exams and educated more than 15 million people about the importance of early detection.

The Community Advocacy Champion Award was presented by Reese Witherspoon to Casey Gwinn, J.D. for the National Family Justice Center Alliance on behalf of victims of domestic violence. Through Casey's exceptional dedication, personal commitment and extraordinary leadership, the first Family Justice Center was established in San Diego in 2002, and has been replicated more than 40 times not only in the United States, but also globally, in Mexico, the U.K. and Canada. Today there are centers in development in Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Germany, Guam, Samoa, South Africa, Jordan and Bahrain. In 2002, Casey saw his vision of a comprehensive, "one stop shop" for services to victims of family violence become a reality in San Diego. In partnership with the San Diego Police Department, Casey led the effort to open the nationally acclaimed San Diego Family Justice Center. In January, 2003, Casey and the San Diego Family Justice Center were profiled on the Oprah Winfrey Show as leading the way for other communities in its coordinated approach to co-locating services for victims of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, and sexual assault.

The Women's Empowerment Champion Award, which recognizes and honors members of the Avon Family who have demonstrated outstanding philanthropic efforts in the community, was presented by Courteney Cox to Avon West Area Sales Leader Kathleen Earle and team member Jennifer Torres, for raising over $300,000 through participation in three Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events in Los Angeles, Colorado and San Francisco. One by one, dollar by dollar, step by step, they have shown the power of teamwork, commitment and passion. Team Avon West mobilized hundreds of people - Avon Representatives, District Managers and Division Sales Managers - to truly change the lives of women. The money they raised will help ensure that women and men get the life-saving breast cancer screening, treatment and support they need, regardless of their ability to pay. They will help turn many more breast cancer diagnoses into stories of survival.

The Hall of Fame Champion Induction Award was presented by Andrea Jung to Firmenich and its CEO Patrick Firmenich. The Hall of Fame celebrates and recognizes extraordinary support by generous allies who share Avon's dedication to eradicating breast cancer and domestic violence. The 115 year old Firmenich is the largest privately held company in the flavors and fragrances business and has worked with Avon for 40 years.

The m.powerment Award, presented by Avon's beauty and fashion boutique brand mark, recognizes programs focused on empowering young women to prevent dating abuse and partner violence. Honorary Chair of m.powerment, Lauren Conrad presented a new m.powerment grant of $50,000 to The New York City Healthy Relationship Training Academy, run by the Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence. The Academy's workshops are led by Peer Educators, impressive young leaders in high school and college who are doing important work every day to help reduce violence in young couples. This grant will accelerate the Academy's efforts to raise awareness and educate thousands more young people throughout New York City. The grant, made with funds won by Conrad for m.powerment on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? Charity Edition was presented to the Commissioner of the New York City Mayor's Office to Combat Domestic Violence, Yolanda Jimenez, joined by The Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs and Counsel to the Mayor, Carol Robles-Roman.

The Voice of Courage Award was presented by Suze Orman to Sapphire, author of Push and Paula Patton, actress in "Precious." The Voice of Courage Award honors those who lend their voices to speak out for those who cannot, by championing the cause of domestic violence. The award recognizes individuals who use their creativity and commitment to take a stand for victims and shed light on this insidious problem. Sapphire is the author of the gripping and emotional book Push, from which "Precious" is adapted. Patton is the talented film actress who plays the role of the empathetic teacher, Ms. Rain, in the film. Lionsgate will release "Precious" in theaters beginning November 6, 2009.

The Avon Foundation for Women is the world's largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on women's issues. Since it was founded in 1955, the Avon Foundation has been committed to the mission to improve the lives of women and their families. Now past the half century milestone, the Avon Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that brings this mission to life through two key areas of focus: breast cancer and domestic violence. Through 2009, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $725 million in over 50 countries for causes most important to women.

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SOURCE: Avon Foundation for Women

CONTACT: Jennifer Iino-Harvey, +1-212-282-8193,; or Lisa Kussell, +1-212-901-3930,

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