Hamilton resident discovers that breast cancer has no gender and real men do
wear pink

MONTREAL, Feb. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Susan Edwards of Hamilton, Ontario spends the majority of her days surrounded by men. As the President and owner of Robar Centre in Hamilton, Edwards runs a training centre where students are taught to safely use heavy equipment. The majority of her students and instructors are male.

Last summer, while enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, Edwards spotted an Avon Brochure and a page promoting the Paint it Pink breast cancer initiative. Paint it Pink was a nationwide program that invited the general public to send a message of hope and share expressions of pink via photos uploaded to Avon's Paint it Pink website www.paintitpinkcanada.com

While Avon is known as the company for women, Edwards knew that she could make a positive difference by relying on the network of men in her training centre. She approached her students with the idea of assembling participants in pink hard hats and T-shirts to pose for a photo demonstrating their support for the cause.

Students quickly spread the word and a local motorcycle club and passing cyclists got in on the fun and donned their best smiles and pink shirts, for the photo session.

Although Edwards has not experienced breast cancer herself, she emphasizes that "we shouldn't have to be personally affected before we jump on board with support. Is any cause less urgent because we are not personally experiencing it?"

As a participant in the Paint It Pink campaign, Edwards was given the opportunity to nominate a breast cancer charity of her choice to be considered for funding. She chose the Juravinski Cancer Centre in Hamilton. Avon Canada will be contributing $10,000 to the Centre as a result of Edwards' recommendation.

"The Juravinski Cancer Centre came up in so many of the conversations when these men were sharing their stories and experiences with me," says Edwards. "Either the individual had a relative (mother, wife, sister, aunt) or a personal friend currently receiving breast cancer treatment at the Centre. The stories were so personal and touching that in many instances it was difficult for me to keep my composure."

Edwards says that she believes everything happens for a reason and she was meant to do what she did as a participant in the Paint it Pink initiative. "This was the start of many memorable connections for me'" she says.

After the photo was uploaded to the Paint It Pink website, Edwards took every opportunity presented to her, and accepted every invitation to participate in golf tournaments and fundraising events to not only raise money, but provide an outlet for men to share their experiences.

While the Paint it Pink campaign has since come to a close, the photo gallery is still active and features Edwards' photo for all to see.

Avon Breast Cancer Crusade

To date, Avon Canada has raised and donated over $16 million dollars to breast cancer, making Avon the largest corporate contributor to breast cancer research in the country. Internationally, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has raised and awarded over $600 million in 50 countries for awareness and education; screening and diagnosis; access to treatment; support services; and scientific research.

About Avon

Avon is the world's largest direct seller, marketing to women in more than 100 countries through 5.5 million independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty products, fashion jewelry and apparel, 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.avon.ca.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE Avon Canada

For further information: For further information: Elizabeth Munro, Avon Canada, Public Relations & Communications, (514) 630-8305, elizabeth.munro@avon.com

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