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Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Undertakes Historic Initiative To Paint New York City's Fifth Avenue Pink

PRNewswire
Oct 10, 2000

  Avon Celebrates Record-Setting $15.3 Million Total Breast Cancer Gift
To Columbia Presbyterian and Emory Cancer Centers for Research and Quality
                   Care for Medically Underserved Women

 Avon Worldwide Fund for Women's Health Surpasses $100 Million Milestone

NEW YORK, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Andrea Jung, president and chief executive officer of Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP), joined in a photo opportunity today commemorating a historic initiative to paint a mile-long pink line down the center of Fifth Avenue to spotlight the need for increased breast cancer research and access to care.

The painting of the "pink mile" -- the first ever of its kind, which will stretch from 42 Street to 59 Street beginning this evening -- also marks a record-setting gift from the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade: a total of $15.3 million to Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center of New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan and the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. In celebration, Mayor Giuliani proclaimed October 10 "Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Day."

The Avon funds will support a comprehensive breast care program and breast cancer biomedical research at each institution. Special focus of the programs will be on medically underserved women -- low income, minority, and uninsured -- representing a unique approach that makes a significant contribution to correcting historical inequities in health care.

"Every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and through this compelling visual message on one of our most famous avenues, New York City is determined to raise awareness for this disease with the hope that it will save lives," said Mayor Giuliani. "Avon has taken the lead in the private sector to fight breast cancer with record-setting funding that benefits medically underserved women in New York and nationwide. It is fitting that we partner to raise awareness among our city's residents and visitors from around the world."

Concurrent with U.S. funding news, Ms. Jung announced that the Avon Worldwide Fund for Women's Health surpassed $100 million, and pledged that the Fund will reach $200 million by the end of 2002. The Avon Fund, launched in 1992 in the U.K., supports programs for breast cancer and other women's health issues in 30 countries, with the mission to break the barriers -- financial, medical, cultural and social -- to women's health. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade is the U.S. program of the Avon Fund.

"Avon is proud to be the largest corporate supporter in the fight against breast cancer in the U.S.," said Ms. Jung. "I am particularly pleased that the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade funding directly provides low-income and minority women, who are historically left behind by the health care system, with quality breast cancer care and the benefit of groundbreaking research. For as long as there is a need, Avon is committed to funding breast cancer research and access to care for all women."

Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Beneficiaries

Avon's $15.3 million gift breaks the record the company set in March for the single largest corporate gift to breast cancer. Of these funds, $10 million will be awarded to the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and $5.3 million to Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. At each institution, a portion of Avon's gift will fund a comprehensive breast cancer care program for medically underserved, minority and low-income women, including community-based outreach, education, screening, counseling and state-of-the-art treatment which is often unavailable to these populations. Avon will also fund an on-site breast cancer resource center providing written, video and electronic information, a bilingual staff and community health advisors.

The balance of the gift will establish the Avon Products Foundation Breast Cancer Research Laboratory at each cancer center, staffed with a diverse team of top researchers, known as "Avon Scholars" and equipped with the latest technological advances to conduct biomedical research. In both centers, special focus will be on the genetics and genomics of breast cancer, an extremely promising area of research. In addition, research will be integrated with the clinical care provided at each center, enabling medically underserved female patients -- historically the last to experience advances in health and medicine -- to benefit from groundbreaking research.

"The Avon Products Foundation Breast Cancer Program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center will have an immediate and dramatic impact on many women by combining high impact research with enhanced patient care," said Karen Antman, MD, Director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. "This flagship program will not only expedite the search for effective prevention and curative treatment, but also will broaden significantly the Center's services for the medically underserved. Additionally, the funds will endow an Avon Chair in breast cancer research that will ensure continued education and research."

"The Avon philanthropy is breathtaking. It supports the ideas and research of seven new young Winship Cancer Institute faculty -- 'Avon Scholars' -- committed to translating the promise of genomics biotechnologies to saving lives from breast cancer," said Dr. Jonathon Simons, Director of Winship Cancer Institute. "Entirely new concepts in prevention, detection and treatment will be tested, and we will be able to create 'field of dreams' for high impact outreach: a special Avon breast clinic inside Grady Memorial Hospital where our Emory oncology faculty care for Georgia's underserved. This clinic will be a new model of excellence in caring and cutting edge approaches to solving the problem of breast cancer. African-American women, who are statistically at highest risk of dying from breast cancer, can walk in and benefit from what Avon has made possible."

National and Global Outreach

With this $15.3 million, Avon breast cancer funding gifts in the U.S. for the year 2000 total $32 million. These extraordinary funds were raised by the sale of Avon Crusade "pink ribbon" products by Avon independent Sales Representatives (which number nearly 500,000 across the U.S.), and the series of Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day walks, each a 60-mile, 3-day walk with some 3,000 participants. On a global scale, with Ms. Jung's pledge to reach $200 million in the next two years, the Avon Worldwide Fund for Women's Health will be able to expand health programs to reach more women around the world.

Simultaneous with the new funding announcement, Avon released the results of the "Women & Health" section of the 2000 Avon Global Women's Survey. The survey of 30,000 women in 33 countries reveals that one of the top health concerns of women worldwide is "women's cancers," especially breast cancer, yet most women (74%) are not taking the appropriate steps for early detection, whether through lack of awareness or lack of available services. The survey also reveals that easier access to quality health care is a leading issue for improving women's lives around the world, ranking second globally after financial independence as a top priority.

Avon is the world's leading direct seller of beauty and related products, with $5.3 billion in annual revenues. Avon markets to women in 137 countries through three million independent sales representatives. Avon product lines include such recognizable brands as Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Avon Color, Far Away, Perceive, Avon Skin Care and Women of Earth. Avon also markets an extensive line of fashion jewelry, apparel, gifts and collectibles. More information on Avon, its products and corporate programs can be found on the company's website http://www.avon.com/.

SOURCE: Avon Products, Inc.

Contact: Susan Heaney, 212-282-7107, or Tracey Warshaw, 212-282-7106,
both of Avon Products, Inc.; or Julie Horn of Dan Klores Associates, Inc.,
212-981-5221, for Avon Products, Inc.

Website: http://www.avon.com/

Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/079575.html or fax,
800-758-5804, ext. 079575

 
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