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New York, NY/Daytona, FL (January 24, 2009) -- The Avon Foundation, award-winning actor Patrick Dempsey and Dempsey Racing have announced the creation of the Dempsey Racing Challenge, a special new contest to drive fundraising for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

The announcement was made by Patrick Dempsey and Carol Kurzig, President of the Avon Foundation, at the Grand-Am Rolex 24 at Daytona in which Dempsey Racing is competing. Dempsey Racing is already committed to help raise awareness for the Avon Walk: the Dempsey Racing black and white No. 40 Mazda RX-8, driven by Dempsey and co-drivers Joe Foster, Charles Espenlaub, Tim Lewis and Jep Thornton, carries pink trim and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer logo while the drivers and crew will also wear the logo on the race suits.

The Dempsey Racing Challenge offers the top fundraiser in each of the nine 2009 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events the opportunity to meet Patrick Dempsey and Dempsey Racing as special guests at the 2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Competition is expected to be strong for this exciting opportunity, and significant funds will be raised for access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer. While the fundraising minimum for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer is $1,800 per walker, many participants raise far more, and the Dempsey Racing Challenge provides a new, one-of-a-kind fundraising incentive.

Dempsey is also planning to attend one of the 2009 Avon Walks for Breast Cancer, and his own racing suit, emblazoned with the Avon Walk logo, will be auctioned off to benefit the Avon Walk fundraising.

“Real men can wear pink!” said Dempsey. “There is a new diagnosis of breast cancer every three minutes. That’s a staggering statistic, and we at Dempsey Racing are showing our support of the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and the important work of the Avon Foundation by sporting a little bit of pink. Both the Avon Walk and the Grand-Am Rolex 24 are endurance events, and this is a great place to announce our new program. We hope the Dempsey Racing Challenge will help inspire people to register for the Avon Walk and get in the spirit to raise even more money to save lives.”

The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series is a project of the Avon Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, encompassing nine 39 mile weekend-long walks that attract tens of thousand of participants and raise significant funds to ensure that everyone has access to quality breast cancer screening, support and treatment, and to advance research to ultimately eradicate breast cancer. From 2003-2008, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series attracted nearly 100,000 participants and raised more than $265 million.

“The Avon Foundation is proud to have worked with Patrick Dempsey in supporting the Central Maine Medical Center – he launched The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer, Hope and Healing, to honor his mother, a cancer survivor.” said Kurzig. “The Avon Foundation provided funds for breast cancer patient navigators and mammography equipment. We’re very excited to be taking our partnership in a new direction by outfitting Patrick and his car in Avon Walk pink and creating the Dempsey Racing Challenge.”

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The Avon Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity founded in 1955 and a leader in the causes of breast cancer and domestic violence. Total Avon global philanthropy through 2008 raised and awarded more than $660 million in over 50 countries worldwide, including $585 million to advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer, with a focus on the medically underserved. Funding supports five areas: awareness and education; screening and diagnosis; access to treatment; support services; and scientific research. For more information: To register or donate to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer:

Dempsey Racing, originally formed as Hyper Sport LLC in 2002, is a professional sports car racing team competing at the top levels of American endurance sports car racing. The reigning 2008 Grand Am Koni Challenge Champions, the team will campaign a Mazda RX-8 GT in the 2009 Grand-Am GT championship series. The team has also raced in the American Le Mans Series and KONI Challenge Series in a variety of BMW, Ford, Infiniti, Mazda and Panoz products.


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