The most prominent fundraising walk for breast cancer in Los Angeles is the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, organized by the Avon Foundation. It is an annual event that takes place in September. Over the course of the walk, participants walk 39 miles over 2 days through the city and around several local beaches. Money raised from the event is used by the Avon Foundation to support breast cancer research.
The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Los Angeles was established in 2003 by the Avon Foundation, a charity created and maintained by Avon Products, a global cosmetics and perfume company. Money raised by the event is used by research hospitals and educational awareness programs in the Los Angeles area. Typical beneficiaries of the money raised include the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, and Project Angel Food.
Individuals may participate in the Los Angeles Walk for breast cancer in one of 2 roles, as walkers or volunteers. Walkers are those who will actually transverse the 39 miles over the 2 days of the event and are responsible for the bulk of the fundraising. Each individual walker is required to raise at least $1,800 for the Avon Foundation before the date of the walk. Volunteers work over the 2 days of the event at registration tables, rest stops, and the overnight wellness camp. They are not required to raise any money.
The walk is split over a Saturday and Sunday, with participants walking 26 miles on the first day and 13 miles on the second day. On Saturday night, walkers eat and sleep at the Wellness Camp, which is set up by volunteers the day of the event. While the specific route of the event varies from year to year, it typically includes a leg through downtown Los Angeles and a stint through the Long Beach area.
Introduction meetings are offered at libraries and community centers around the Los Angeles area for both walkers and volunteers to meet and gain information about the walk in the months leading up to the event. At meetings, participants can share fundraising tips and volunteering requirements, and they can also learn important training exercises for the long-distance walk.
Great Start Party
In preparation for the walk, the Los Angeles branch of the Avon Foundation hosts an annual commencement gala called the “Great Start Party,” which is held in January at one of the popular hotels around Los Angeles. At this event, walkers and volunteers from around the L.A. area mingle and share information about their experiences. The Avon Foundation invites several speakers, ranging from veteran walkers to medical personnel to breast cancer survivors, to address the group and provide inspiration and information to participants.