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NEW YORK — Avon’s first Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer concert, starring Natalie Cole, brought in $2 million for the cause. Held Monday night at Avery Fisher Hall, the performance followed an awards presentation that honored leaders in the fight against the disease.
Dr. V. Craig Jordan, whose research resulted in the development of the breast cancer drug tamoxifen, was presented with the Medical Advancement Award. Margaret Kirk, chief executive officer of Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization, a support agency providing counseling and free prosthetics, received the Community Advocacy Award. U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana was selected for the Public Policy Award for her co-sponsorship of the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act of 2001. The New York Times was noted for its coverage of the issue with the Media Leadership Award, and Marta Vildostegui, an Avon district sales manager, was given the Avon Pink Ribbon Crusader honor. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988, Vildostegui manages 560 Avon sales representatives and delivered district sales of $2 million last year. In 1993, she helped create the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade program.
On hand to help were celebrity presenters Lee Lee Sobieski, Star Jones, Randolph Duke, Caroline Rhea and former U.S. surgeon general Antonia Novella.
“Our goal is to make the world a better place by eradicating this disease,” said Andrea Jung, Avon chairman and chief executive, and the evening’s host. To date, Avon has raised $237 million for the breast cancer cause. By yearend the hope is to reach or exceed $250 million, she said.