A benefit evening for the Avon Foundation for Women hosted by Andrea Jung & Reese Witherspoon. Featuring a Musical Performance by Melissa Etheridge
The 10th annual Avon Foundation for Women Gala tonight honored exceptional women and men for their efforts to end breast cancer and violence against women. The event, held at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City, has raised more than $20 million for Avon philanthropy in the decade since it launched. The event was hosted by Reese Witherspoon, award-winning actress and Honorary Chair of the Avon Foundation for Women, and Andrea Jung, Chairman and CEO, Avon Products, Inc., with a special musical performance by Melissa Etheridge.
More than 550 guests attended and donated $2.2 million this year 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 and Christy Turlington Burns.
“This is our very special tenth anniversary celebration where we honor extraordinary champions who are changing women’s lives, and salute their powerful contributions to women’s health and empowerment,” said Andrea Jung. “Through the generosity of our supporters, in addition to the grassroots efforts of millions of supporters around the world — including our Avon Sales Representatives, Associates, and customers — Avon is the world’s largest corporate philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women.”
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:
Andrea Jung presented the Breast Cancer Medical Advancement Champion Award to President and CEO of New York-Presbyterian Hospital Dr. Herb Pardes and Co-Director of Avon’s Breast Cancer Program at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at the New York Presbyterian Medical Center, Dr. Dawn Hershman. New York-Presbyterian Hospital was one of Avon’s pioneering partners in creating the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Centers of Excellences, now located in eight of the top medical centers in the United States. The Avon Center at New York-Presbyterian provides breast cancer early detection, prevention and cancer treatment services for more than 18,000 women a year. They draw patients from around the world because of their exceptional global reputation, but focus equally on serving low income and uninsured women from throughout New York City’s neighborhoods.
Christy Turlington Burns presented a $520,000 grant to Partners in Health, accepted by Partners in Health Vice President Susan Sayers, to create the Avon Cancer Care Program in Haiti. The program will provide expert clinicians at 15 locations in Haiti to train community health workers to perform clinical breast screening exams. In addition, it will supply modern equipment for diagnostics of suspicious exam findings and access to state-of-the-art pathology evaluation through partners in the United States, as well as treatments where available. Partners in Health has worked in Haiti since 1987 and works in some of the poorest countries in the world to deliver high-quality health care by establishing long-term relationships with sister organizations based in those countries.
The Voice for Change Award was presented by Reese Witherspoon to Anna Quindlen, author of Every Last One. The 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 public profile to take a stand for victims and shed light on this insidious problem. Quindlen, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and #1 New York Times best-selling author, has dedicated her prolific writing career to exploring issues of greatest importance to women and families. Every Last One powerfully illustrates the tragic consequences that can occur when we don’t recognize or say or do anything to stop the destructive relationships we observe among those we know and love.
Reese Witherspoon presented the evening’s final award, the Community Advocacy Champion Award, to Ambassador-at-Large, Office of Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State, Melanne Verveer. This award recognizes organizations and individuals working to help end violence against women. For the last four years on International Women’s Day, the Avon Foundation for Women has made a new commitment to expand its efforts to keep women safe around the world. This year, Avon and the Avon Foundation partnered with Vital Voices and the U.S. Department of State at a global summit in Washington, DC, to launch The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women. The Global Partnership created 15 country delegations consisting of leaders from diverse sectors to share insights, forge collaborations, and seek ways to overcome challenging cultural realities that have been barriers to progress in reducing violence against women in their countries.
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 improving the lives of women and their families around the world. Today Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care, efforts to reduce violence against women, its women’s environmental movement to nurture nature, and efforts to provide relief and recovery in times of major natural disasters and emergencies. Through 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women.