Reese Witherspoon, Avon Foundation for Women Honorary Chairman.
Reese Witherspoon Raises Breast Cancer Awareness
Reese Witherspoon was a special guest at the ninth annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Closing Ceremony in New York on Sunday October 16, where she thanked walkers, crew and supporters for their incredible commitment to the cause.
Ms. Witherspoon is actively involved in children’s and women’s advocacy organizations. She is a long-time supporter of Save the Children, serves of the Board of the Children’s Defense Fund and, since 2007, has served as the honorary chair of the Avon Foundation, a charitable organization that supports women and focuses on breast cancer research and the prevention of domestic violence.
The Avon Walk New York raised more than $8.4 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer, which is added to the more than $400 million raised by the Avon Walks since 2003. The Walk attracted 3,500 participants from 42 states, Washington, D.C., and six countries–including Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Denmark and Switzerland–along with 430 men and 444 breast cancer survivors.
Witherspoon greeted walkers on stage at the Closing Ceremony congratulating them for finishing their weekend-long, 39.3-mile journey:
“I’m so happy to be back at the Avon Walk and once again I’m absolutely amazed at what you all just did,” said Witherspoon. “Walking all those miles and raising all that money—you’re all incredible!”
During the Closing Ceremony at Hudson River Park’s Pier 84, Liz Dente, a three-year breast cancer survivor and Team Avon walker from New Rochelle, NY, spoke movingly about her breast cancer diagnosis and journey through treatment:
“I’m a planner and breast cancer was certainly not in the master plan of my busy life. But then things changed. One day I was worried about corporate systems analysis, the next I was worried about who could best raise my kids with my husband after I’m gone. Our kids were 6 and 9 years old and we were determined that 2008 was not going to be the year that mommy got breast cancer. It was going to be the year of first grade and fourth grade; the year of no training wheels and diving off the diving board. That thinking—our ‘new normal’—saved all of us, because even while I dealt with all the procedures, surgery, chemo and exhaustion, my number one goal in this battle has been to keep my kids’ lives as carefree as possible. Now, as I stand here before you, exhausted but exhilarated from completing my third Avon Walk New York, my husband and kids are here with me. Because of their love and support and the incredible medical care I’ve been lucky enough to receive, I’m able to raise them myself…as a breast cancer survivor.”
To ensure the funds raised immediately benefit the community, Witherspoon presented more than $9.1 million in grants during the Closing Ceremony. More grants are slated to be awarded throughout the year to breast cancer programs.