CHICAGO (WLS) -- After over a dozen years of providing fundraising and support for breast cancer research and survivors, the Avon Foundation will no longer be organizing their annual breast cancer walk, the company announced Friday.
Avon released a press release saying they will be introducing a new fundraising program in Spring 2018, but did not give details as to what the program will entail.
Heather Lang, a media buying executive, said she stepped out on her first walk just six weeks after being treated for breast cancer. Lang and her support group, the Pink Sistas, have raised $466,777.72 walking the Avon 39 Walk every year since 2005.
"It was one of the hardest things I had ever done," said Lang. "Completely bald walking 39 miles over the weekend, but it is something I look forward to every year, it is a bonding experience."
Avon said the funds raised during the 2017 walk will continue to provide resources to the breast cancer community.
"100% of all net proceeds raised from the 2017 Avon 39 Walk season and any additional funds raised through other fundraising initiatives are being granted to our long term beneficiaries so that they may continue to sustain their amazing work in the breast cancer community," Avon wrote on their website.
The Non-Profit Charity Watch gave the Avon Foundation and the walk a C- grade, saying they spend $42 to raise $100, and they should be spending half that amount.
"They need to find more efficient ways of raising money...there are a lot of F grades in the cancer area, people are very sympathetic and they give with their heart, they don't think it through," said President of Charity Watch Daniel Borokoff.
Avon said the money that has been pledged for 2018 can be left with them for delivery to their traditional beneficiaries, or refunded within a month.
Avon said the walk, which started in 1992, has raised over $646 million.
Avon Foundation ends Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer