NEW YORK, Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Avon Products, Inc. celebrated the culmination of its 125th anniversary year last night at the Avon Foundation for Women Global Voices for Change Gala by honoring global champions working to end breast cancer and domestic violence, and by announcing the winners of Avon's first-ever global online singing talent search for women and songwriting competition for women and men, Avon Voices. Avon Chairman and CEO Andrea Jung, Fergie, Natasha Bedingfield, Delta Goodrem, Ashley Greene and more than 800 guests and performers from 39 countries attended this star-studded celebration at the Marriot Marquis in New York City's Times Square, which raised more than $2.3 million for the Avon Foundation for Women.
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"This year we are thrilled that our awards reflect the truly global nature of our critical work to eradicate breast cancer and violence against women. Tonight, we honor the dedication and support of our partners around the world who share in our commitment to improve the lives of women," said Andrea Jung. "By the end of this year – our 125th year – Avon global philanthropy will have donated more than $860 million, thanks to the grassroots efforts of our network of 6.5 million Representatives, 40,000 Associates and hundreds of millions of consumers – making us the largest corporate philanthropy focused solely on women's causes in the world."
"The Avon Foundation Gala is one of the most anticipated nights of the year, and I'm excited to be a part of it and to celebrate Global Voices for Change – those true champions around the world who work tirelessly to empower women and improve their health and safety," said Fergie, six-time GRAMMY award winner, Avon Voices judge and Gala Co-Host with Andrea Jung. "It has been my great pleasure to serve as a judge for Avon Voices, and I'm so pleased that our year-long global talent search came to its conclusion at the Avon Foundation Gala tonight."
Avon Foundation for Women Global Awards Recipients
Every year since 2001 at its annual gala, the Avon Foundation for Women has recognized individuals and organizations in the United States for their leadership in the causes that are most important to women. To date, the Avon Foundation Gala has raised more than $22 million. This year, Avon Foundation Gala honorees span the globe, honoring organizations that improve access to breast health care and assist victims of domestic and gender violence. Avon Voices celebrity judges were honored to help present these awards.
Global Breast Cancer Medical Advancement Champions (Brazil and Poland)
Andrea Jung, Colombian singing star Maia, and Brazil's biggest pop star Ivete Sangalo, presented the first Global Breast Cancer Medical Advancement Champions Award to the Barretos Cancer Hospital, a center of excellence in oncology care located in rural Brazil that assists nearly 3,000 patients per day, nearly all of them low-income and all part of the Brazilian public health system. Avon Brazil has supported the Barretos Cancer Hospital since 2002 and helped fund the creation of the Avon Institute Breast Cancer Prevention Center, purchase digital mammography and ultrasound equipment, and upgrade the hospital's mobile mammography van. Through this partnership, the program now screens 60,000 women each year and has improved the detection of early-stage cancers. Barretos Cancer Hospital General Director Henrique Duarte Prata accepted the award.
Stowarzyszenie Amazonki, the Association of Amazon Women – an organization providing support to women affected by breast cancer throughout Poland – received the second Global Breast Cancer Medical Advancement Champions Award. Andrea Jung and Russian singing sensation Valeriya presented the award to the organization's board member, Ewa Grabiec-Raczak, who is also a breast cancer survivor. Stowarzyszenie Amazonki has received funding from the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade in Poland since 1997 to provide cancer rehabilitation and education activities for 15,000 breast cancer survivors at 140 sites throughout Poland.
2011 Global Community Advocacy Champions (Philippines and United Kingdom)
Avon Foundation for Women President Carol Kurzig, Filipina singer and actress Lea Salonga, and Australian Artist of the Decade Delta Goodrem, presented the first Global Community Advocacy Champions Award to the Women's Crisis Center in Quezon City, Philippines, for its life-saving work to support victims of domestic violence. The Center provides crisis intervention, counseling, temporary shelter, education and training services and serves as secretariat for the National Network of Family Violence Prevention Programs. Theresa Balayon, Women's Crisis Center Executive Officer, accepted the award.
Refuge, the largest single provider of specialized domestic violence services in the United Kingdom, received the second Global Community Advocacy Champions Award. Lisa King, an advocate in the effort to end violence against women and head of communications for Refuge, accepted the award from Carol Kurzig and GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield. Refuge helps disadvantaged, homeless and abused women and children rebuild their lives. Avon U.K. funding supports Refuge's network of independent domestic violence advocates who work with women who are at the greatest risk of serious injury and harm.
2011 Voice for Change Champion (United States)
Andrea Jung and Ashley Greene, brand ambassador for mark, Avon's beauty and fashion boutique brand, presented Cynthia Leive, editor-in-chief of Glamour Magazine, with the 2011 Voice for Change Champion Award in recognition of Glamour's commitment to empowering and educating women by calling attention to the critical issue of partner violence. Earlier this year, the Avon Foundation partnered with Glamour in the Tell Somebody text-to-donate campaign that raised awareness and funds for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Through this campaign, Glamour encouraged women to talk about relationship violence – both to ask for help and to offer it without judgment. In support of the Tell Somebody campaign, the Avon Foundation donated $200,000 to the National Domestic Violence Hotline to help ensure that no call goes unanswered when a victim makes the difficult decision to reach out for help.
Also at the Gala, the Avon Voices talent search concluded with the announcement of the two Avon Voices winners: Selena Gittens of Canada, an Avon Representative, and Evelina Anusauskaite of Lithuania, who were chosen from among the top ten finalists, based on a combination of their live performances at the Hard Rock Cafe on November 1, and 2.5 million votes received from around the world. The eight other finalists were: Pauline Alencar (Brazil); Cissy Crutcher (US); Jaclyn Dustin (US); Joy Loria (Philippines – Avon Representative); Roslynn Mahe (UK); Rapeeporn Pratum-Anon (Thailand); Claudia Santos Morandi (Venezuela); Natalia Terekhova (Russia).
The winners of the Avon Voices talent search will record an album that will be sold through Avon distribution channels in select markets, and will include an original song, "Be What You Believe," written by GRAMMY and Golden Globe award-winning music industry legend, Diane Warren, and produced by seven-time GRAMMY-winning producer/engineer, Humberto Gatica. The Avon Voices finalists joined many of the celebrity judges to debut this song live at the Gala. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this album in 2012 will go to the Avon Foundation for Women. Additionally, Avon Voices made a $25,000 donation to the Avon Foundation in honor of its commitment to advancing women's empowerment around the world.
Please visit http://mm.gettyimages.com/mm/nicePath/gyipa_public?nav=pr158768298 for Avon Foundation Gala photos.
For more information about Avon Voices, please visit: http://www.multivu.com/players/English/45814-avon-voices/.
To view a recap of the event via Twitter, reference the official event hashtag: #avon125.
To view an archive of a Livestream video of the Avon Foundation Gala, please visit www.facebook.com/avonvoices.
About Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world's largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2011, Avon global philanthropy has donated over $860 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Avon also responds generously to provide support for relief and recovery efforts in times of major natural disasters and emergencies. Learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women at www.avonfoundation.org.
About Avon Voices
Avon Voices, the company's first-ever global singing talent search launched a year ago as part of Avon's 125th anniversary celebration and was open to consumers from more than 60 countries along with its 6.5 million Sales Representatives. Contestants were judged by a combination of public online voting and renowned music industry leaders from around the world, including six-time GRAMMY award winner Fergie; legendary songwriter Diane Warren; Natasha Bedingfield, GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter; Delta Goodrem, Australian Artist of the Decade; Lea Salonga, Filipina singer and actress; Ivete Sangalo, Brazil's biggest pop star; Maia, Colombian singing star; and Russian sensation, Valeriya. Learn more about Avon Voices at www.avonvoices.com.
About Avon Products, Inc.
Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with over $10 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through approximately 6.5 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty products, as well as fashion and home products, and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals, and Mark. Learn more about Avon and its products at www.avoncompany.com
SOURCE Avon Foundation for Women