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AVON ESTABLISHES FIRST CORPORATE GRANT FUND TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO BREAST CANCER EDUCATION AND EARLY DETECTION SERVICES; WILL AWARD $250,000

 NEW YORK, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) announced today that it has created "The Breast Health Access Fund" to support new and established community-based breast cancer programs that improve women's access to education and early detection services, especially underserved women.
 In October of this year, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Avon launched "Avon's Breast Cancer Awareness Crusade," a five-year, multi-million dollar campaign with the mission to bring breast cancer education and access to early detection services to women nationwide. The Avon Breast Health Access Fund will distribute part of the more than $5 million raised by Avon's 415,000-person salesforce through ribbon pin sales. The National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO) will administer the Fund with Avon, awarding $250,000 in March and additional sums in September. The Fund will operate as a pilot program in 1994 and may be extended to award grants on a bi-annual basis thereafter.
 Most grants will be in the $5,000 to $20,000 range, with several "supergrants" to be made available at the $25,000 to $75,000 level. Grants are for a one-year period, and will not fund medical services directly. The sales representatives of Avon, the largest direct selling operation in the world, will be encouraged to volunteer their time to help grant recipients publicize their programs in their communities.
 The Need for Access Funding
 "A woman's best chance to survive breast cancer is to detect and treat it early," says Amy Langer, Executive Director of NABCO. "While the percentage of women following recommended guidelines for early detection has risen over the years, most of that advance has been among white, middle to upper class women.
 Among uninsured and underserved women, there has been little change, and these women are over-represented among those with poor prospects for survival from the disease."
 The Avon Breast Health Access Fund will target all the educational, logistical and financial barriers to obtaining breast cancer detection identified by recent research, including cost, age, lack of awareness, lack of education, lack of recommendations by physicians, fear of screening procedures, fear of discovering cancer and other attitudinal obstacles.
 The Avon Breast Health Access Fund Criteria
 Because many women are difficult to reach with broad educational programs, Avon will seek to support programs that contact women where they live, work and worship. Grant recipients must be not-for-profit organizations offering community programs that provide needed education and access to early detection services. Recipients will be selected by an advisory board of breast cancer experts, representatives of women's health organizations and Avon corporate friends.
 Application Procedure
 A request for proposals will be widely circulated in the breast cancer community beginning November 29, 1993, by NABCO, with the assistance of several national medical and service organizations. January 31, 1994 is the application deadline. A simple, easy-to- complete application form may be obtained by writing to: NABCO and The Avon Breast Health Access Fund, 9 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019.
 -0- 11/30/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Daniels of Avon Products, 212-546-6058; or Amy Langer of NABCO, 212-719-0152; or John Mohrbacher of Cone Communications, 617-227-2111/
 (AVP)


CO: Avon Products, Inc. ST: New York IN: HEA SU:

WB -- NY078 -- 8817 11/30/93 14:21 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 30, 1993
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