Avon Products Foundation awards Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center $2.5 million for breast cancer research and clinical care

August 13, 2001

SEATTLE - August 12, 2001 - At closing ceremonies of the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Day, held today at Memorial Stadium in Seattle, Carolyn Aishton, vice president of Corporate Programs for Avon Products, Inc., announced a $2.5 million gift to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. The gift will fund breast cancer research and clinical care. The funds were awarded by the Avon Products Foundation and were generated through the fundraising initiatives of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.

The generous gift will provide funds to establish the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade Opportunity Fund, the first of its kind at the Hutchinson Center. Funds will be used to support innovative pilot projects in all aspects of breast cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment, as well as specific initiatives to develop new treatments for breast cancer based on immune response, and to develop and test new methods of breast imaging and screening. In collaboration with UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, the Avon Product Foundation's gift will also provide funding for an integrated program of direct clinical care and research designed to improve and sustain access to high quality breast care for a racially and ethnically diverse population of low-income women in King County.

"Through its thoughtful and targeted breast cancer crusade, Avon has generated a network of cancer centers dedicated to the improvement of cancer care and survivorship for all women," said Dr. Peggy Porter, Head of the Breast Cancer Program at the Hutchinson Center. "Avon's gift to the Hutchinson Center will allow us to move forward in new research directions and really begin to translate basic science discoveries into significant advancements in prevention and treatment of breast cancer."

"Avon is proud to be the largest corporate supporter of the breast cancer cause, with more than $140 million generated worldwide by the end of last year," said Ms. Aishton. "We are particularly pleased that the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade funding directly provides medically underserved women with quality breast cancer care and the benefit of groundbreaking research, and are delighted to welcome the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to our growing roster of beneficiaries. For as long as there is a need, Avon is committed to funding breast cancer research and access to care for all women."

Over the last quarter century, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has gained international distinction for excellence in cancer research and treatment. Best known for its groundbreaking development of bone marrow transplantation as the only cure for many types of cancer, the Hutchinson Center makes major scientific contributions to the fields of molecular, genetic, basic biomedical, clinical and public health research. Moreover, the Hutchinson Center has built the largest cancer prevention research program in the world. These strengths form a powerful base for building an outstanding program in breast cancer research. The Avon Products Foundation's generous gift to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) will provide unique resources to implement new breast cancer research directions and to build valuable relationships among the Hutchinson Center, the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) and Harborview Medical Center (HMC).

In 1995 the Hutchinson Center collaborated with the University of Washington to initiate the Breast Cancer Research Program, a multidisciplinary group of scientists that includes representatives from four institutions and virtually all research and medical disciplines. This Program provides a forum for the exchange of ideas about breast cancer research through seminars, invited speakers and interdisciplinary research. Program members have conducted many important projects, including mapping mutations that contribute to cancer risk and evaluating life-style factors and potential interventions. Large multi-year studies coordinated at the Hutchinson Center have greatly improved our understanding of several risk factors for breast cancer, including the use of oral contraceptives and hormone-replacement therapy.

Funds generated annually through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade fundraising initiatives support five vital areas of the breast cancer cause, including a comprehensive array of biomedical research; clinical care; financial assistance and support services; educational seminars and advocacy training; and community-based breast health programs nationwide. Distinctive from other corporate funding, gifts from the Avon Products Foundation have a special focus on medically underserved populations. This focus encompasses outreach to and state-of-the-art care for disadvantaged, elderly, minority, under- and un-insured women, who have been traditionally left behind by the health care system, and inclusion of these women in research studies. The philanthropy represents a significant effort to reverse historical disparities in health care, most notably in breast cancer care.

The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade: Funding Access to Care and Finding a Cure

Launched in 1993, the mission of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade is to fund medical research into the possible prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of breast cancer, and to provide women, particularly those who are medically underserved, with access to breast cancer education, early detection screening services, clinical care, financial assistance and support services. Worldwide, as of December 2000 Avon programs raised more than $140 million for breast cancer and other leading women's health issues.

Funds are generated in the U.S. through two initiatives. Since 1993, funds have been raised through special Avon Crusade "pink ribbon" fundraising products (currently including a stuffed bear, pen, pin and scented candle) sold by 550,000 Avon independent sales representatives nationwide. In 1998, the Avon Breast Cancer 3-Days were launched, a national series of three-day, 60 mile fundraising walks, created and produced by Pallotta TeamWorks, each with some 4,000 participants. The Seattle event is one of nine Avon 3-Days taking place this year.

Since March 2000, the Avon Products Foundation has awarded major gifts to the following institutions and organizations: Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center of the Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center; Harvard Comprehensive Cancer Center/Massachusetts General Hospital; Johns Hopkins Oncology Center (Baltimore); The Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center; Northwestern University/Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (Chicago); University of Colorado Cancer Center (Boulder, CO); University of California at Irvine Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center; University of California, San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center; Cancer Care, Inc. (based in New York City); Boston Medical Center; Food & Friends (Washington, DC); Howard University Cancer Center (Washington, DC); Olive View-UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles); Iris Cantor Center for Breast Imaging at UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles); the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund (Washington, DC); Rise Sister Rise of Breast Cancer Resource Committee (Washington, DC); and over 500 community-based breast health programs in 46 states and Washington, DC.

The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade in the U.S. is the largest program of the Avon Worldwide Fund for Women's Health, launched in 1992 to support programs for breast cancer and other vital women's health issues. Now supporting programs in 30 countries, the Avon Worldwide Fund has generated some $140 million to help break barriers to women's health in countries as diverse as Poland, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico and the Philippines. Avon Chief Executive Officer Andrea Jung has pledged to reach $250 million by the end of 2002.

Avon is the world's leading direct seller of beauty and related products, with $5.7 billion in annual revenues. The company currently markets in 139 countries through 3.4 million independent Sales Representatives. Avon is committed to women through programs such as the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, the Avon Worldwide Fund for Women's Health and the Avon Global Women's Walking-Running-Wellness Program. Product lines include such recognizable brands as Anew, Avon Color, Skin-So-Soft and Advance Techniques Hair Care. The company also markets an extensive line of fashion jewelry, apparel, gifts and collectibles. In May 2001, the company launched Avon Wellness, a new global collection of health and wellness products for women and their families. More information on Avon can be found on the company's website www.avon.com.
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is an independent, nonprofit research institution dedicated to the development and advancement of biomedical technology to eliminate cancer and other potentially fatal diseases. Recognized internationally for its pioneering work in bone-marrow transplantation, the Center's four scientific divisions collaborate to form a unique environment for conducting basic and applied science. The Hutchinson Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Pacific Northwest. For more information, visit the Center's Web site at www.fhcrc.org.

Advancing knowledge, saving lives

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

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