Award-Winning Singer Fergie Joins Thousands of Participants at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Santa Barbara Event Raises More Than $6.4 Million

Recording artist and Avon spokesperson participates in inspirational closing ceremony and awards millions to 12 local breast cancer organizations

Santa Barbara, CA, September 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Fergie, six-time Grammy Award winner and Avon spokesperson, was a special guest at the eighth annual Los Angeles-area Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Santa Barbara, CA, on September 11-12. The Avon Walk raised more than $6.4 million to advance access to care and breast cancer research, and attracted more than 2,800 participants from 45 states and Canada, including 322 breast cancer survivors.

Fergie, a global ambassador for the Avon Foundation for Women, walked alongside walkers on the last leg of their weekend-long, 39.3-mile journey, boosting their spirits for the final stretch of the 13-mile route on Sunday. After crossing the finish line at Carpinteria State Beach on Sunday afternoon, Fergie congratulated the Avon Walk Santa Barbara’s top ten fund-raisers. She then joined the Walk participants’ family, friends and supporters at the inspirational Closing Ceremony to announce a total of more than $3 million in initial grants awarded to 12 organizations in Southern California.

“I had the chance to meet some of you out on the route today and hear stories of why you walk,” Fergie said at the Closing Ceremony. “I can only say – for me and my mom and father who are with me – thank you. Thank you for taking a stand and for walking an insane amount of miles to fight breast cancer. I’m sure you all know how much good the money you raised will do.”

In addition to Fergie, breast cancer survivor, Noelle Krejci, from Corona, CA, also took part in the Closing Ceremony, sharing her moving story of triumph over breast cancer and providing inspiration to the thousands of people present. Also joining Fergie on stage was Dr. Susan Love, a leader in the breast cancer movement for more than 30 years, who accepted a grant to advance the work of the Love/Avon Army of Women.

Avon Foundation President Carol Kurzig said, “We are delighted with the success of our Avon Walk Santa Barbara and with the funds we are able to award to the Southern California organizations leading the fight against breast cancer. This is a return to our Southern California roots since the very first long-distance breast cancer walk to benefit the Avon Foundation for Women took place here in 1998. We are especially privileged that Fergie joined us to make our return so memorable. In her solo career and as the female vocalist for the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie has risen to the top of the music world; but she’s a California girl and knows how important it is to help those in need.”

Fergie presented 12 grants at the Closing Ceremony, dramatically demonstrating how the funds raised will immediately benefit the community. More grants are slated to be awarded throughout the year to breast cancer programs in California and nationwide.

The grants included:

  • Project Angel Food received $125,000 to support meal delivery and nutritional counseling services for people fighting breast cancer and their families throughout Los Angeles County. CEO Margaret Steele accepted the grant.
  • Six grants that will strengthen the Avon Safety Net program in Southern California. Avon Safety Net Grants fund a network of more than 100 hospitals and community clinics across the country supported by the Avon Foundation to ensure that women and men without insurance or resources have access to high quality breast health services.
    • Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara received a $25,000 grant, accepted by Executive Director Silvana Kelly;
    • Antelope Valley Community Clinic in Lancaster, CA, received a $100,000 grant, accepted by Erika Banuelos, the breast cancer management program coordinator;
    • Cancer Center of Santa Barbara received a $100,000 grant, accepted by President Rick Scott;
    • Northridge Hospital Foundation received a $110,000 grant, accepted by Lori Muir, service line director;
    • Saint Johns Hospital & Health Center in Santa Monica received a $150,000 grant, accepted by Dr. Armando Giuliano, center director; and
    • Council of Community Clinics in San Diego received $150,000, accepted by Program Director Nicole Howard.
  • UCLA Foundation received $180,000 to support Avon Foundation breast imaging fellowships at the Iris Cantor Cancer Center for Breast Imaging and UCLA Santa Monica Women’s Imaging Centers. Dr. Larry Bassett, director of the Breast Imaging Fellowship Program, accepted the grant.
  • UCLA Center of Integrative Oncology received a grant for $300,000 to manage a multi-institutional research study to determine if biomarkers found in breast fluid can accurately predict breast cancer risk and outcomes. Care Felix, senior research study coordinator, accepted the grant.
  • John Wayne Cancer Institute received $300,000 to support a research study investigating the role of one biomarker in triple negative breast cancer. Dr. Xiaojiang Cui accepted the grant.
  • Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation received $740,000 to support the work of the Love/Avon Army of Women, which is changing the way breast cancer research is done by significantly reducing the time it takes to recruit research study volunteers and encouraging researchers to study the changes happening in healthy women before breast cancer develops to learn how to stop it. President and Founder Dr. Susan Love accepted the grant.
  • The Avon Breast Cancer Center at the UCLA-Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and Olive View Medical Center, one of eight flagship Avon Breast Centers nationwide, received $750,000 to support the Avon Cares For Life Program, which includes on-site patient navigation, survivorship programs, a high risk clinic and clinical trials. Program Manager Lori Viveros accepted the grant.

About the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Santa Barbara

During the Avon Walk Santa Barbara, a noncompetitive event, women and men had a choice of walking a marathon (26.2 miles) or a marathon and a half (39.3 miles) over the weekend. The event kicked off Saturday, September 11, with an early morning Opening Ceremony at Chase Palm Park. Following the ceremony, walkers began their journey through Santa Barbara. Walkers had the choice of walking a half or full marathon on Saturday through the Santa Barbara area, supported by an all-volunteer crew and cheered by family and supporters along the route. Walkers and crew spent the night at the “Wellness Village” at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club in Carpinteria, CA, which featured two-person sleeping tents, hot showers, prepared meals, entertainment, volunteer medical services and comprehensive support services, along with leisure activities such as relaxing yoga to stretch out their muscles, a spa zone with mini-back-and-foot-massages, and “tool school 101” demonstrations from sponsor Tomboy Tools. On Sunday, September 12, walkers completed their final 13.1 miles, and celebrated their achievement with Fergie at the Closing Ceremony at Carpinteria State Beach with thousands of family and friends.

To participate in the Avon Walk Santa Barbara, each walker raised a minimum of $1,800 in donations. The Avon Foundation for Women [a 501(c)(3) public charity] raises and manages funds, which are awarded to local, regional and national breast cancer organizations to support five areas of the breast cancer cause, including awareness and education, screening and diagnosis, access to treatment, support services, and scientific research, all with a focus on the medically underserved.

Donations are still being accepted for the Avon Walk Santa Barbara, and registration is still open for women and men to take part in the two remaining Avon Walks of 2010 in New York, NY (October 10-11) and Charlotte, NC (October 24-25). The Avon Walk Santa Barbara is the seventh of nine Avon Walks this year, following successful events in Houston, TX; Washington, D.C.; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Rocky Mountains, CO; and San Francisco, CA that have raised more than $30 million so far.

The Avon Walks series launched in 2003 and through mid-2010 the Avon Walks have raised more than $350 million through the dedication of nearly 120,000 participating women and men.

To register, donate or for additional information, please visit www.avonwalk.org or call 800-541-WALK. For information on the Avon Foundation visit www.avonfoundation.org.

About the Avon Foundation for Women

The Avon Foundation for Women was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women, and brings this mission to life through focus on two key issues: breast cancer and domestic violence. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade launched in 1992, and Avon breast cancer programs in more than 50 countries have raised more than $640 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer, with a focus on the medically underserved. Funding is awarded to beneficiaries ranging from leading cancer centers to community-based breast health programs to support five critical areas: awareness and education; screening and diagnosis; access to treatment; support services; and scientific research. In addition to generous support from Avon Products, Inc., the Avon Foundation raises funds through the sale of “pink ribbon” products, and through a variety of events, races and walks; the U.S. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series is the Foundation’s largest fund-raising source.

About Fergie

Multi-platinum recording artist Fergie began her career early, first as the voice for the cartoon series Charlie Brown as both Sally and Lucy, later as a cast member of Kids Incorporated during her teen years, followed by joining the all-female pop trio Wild Orchid. She joined The Black Eyed Peas in 2002, and was on hand when the release of their first disc together, Elephunk, went triple platinum. The mega-single "Let's Get It Started," earned The Peas an award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Two years later the follow-up Monkey Business yielded five Top 40 hits including "Don't Phunk With My Heart" and "My Humps" and has sold over nine million copies worldwide. Once again, The Black Eyed Peas won an award for the Best Rap Performance for "Don't Phunk With My Heart." In 2006, Fergie released her debut solo album, The Dutchess, which sold over 6 million copies worldwide.

The Black Eye Peas fifth CD, The E.N.D. entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at #1. "Boom Boom Pow" and "I Gotta Feeling" spent 26 consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Black Eyed Peas made Billboard history with the longest successive stay at the top of the chart.

Fergie had a starring role in the award-nominated feature film, "NINE.

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The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer thanks National Sponsors: Reebok and Genentech BioOncology; and Official Sponsors: Tomboy Tools, Yoga Journal, Otterbox and Post Selects.

Remember: early detection can help save lives. Discuss breast cancer screening with your doctor. Make informed decisions about what age to start mammography. Get to know your risk and risk reduction strategies. For more breast cancer information and resources, visit www.cancer.org (keyword breast cancer) or www.avonfoundation.org, where you can access free printable breast cancer informational literature.



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