The Power of the Penny Still Going Strong for Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada

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| Source: Avon Products CA

TORONTO, Feb. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With the last day for circulation of the penny now upon us, most Canadians are done with the copper coin, but Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada, in partnership with the Avon Foundation for Women and Scotiabank, want Canadians to know that their surplus of pennies still has the power to improve the lives of those affected by and living with breast cancer.

As part of its Avon Every Penny Counts campaign, Willow is asking Canadians to collect their pennies, roll them and drop them off at any Scotiabank branch across Canada where they will be deposited into a special Every Penny Counts bank account.

The campaign launched two years ago with astounding results. Penny events and roll-a-thons were held in communities across the country. Everyone, from young children to seniors gathered up their small change to make a big change for Willow. To date, the campaign has raised over 28,000,000 pennies! That is $280,000 to benefit Willow's peer support services which are delivered free of charge to anyone affected by breast cancer.

"We are proud to continue supporting the Every Penny Counts Campaign through our Scotiabank Bright Future community giving program," says Anatol von Hahn, Group Head, Canadian Banking for Scotiabank. "The funds raised mean so much to many individuals affected by breast cancer. Canadians have truly demonstrated that when you gather up and donate a little bit of change from your pockets, a huge amount of positive change can result."

For those wondering what $280,000 in pennies looks like, here is some perspective: 560,000 rolls of pennies from end to end would run the length of 424 Canadian football fields. 560,000 stacked rolls of pennies would be the equivalent in height to 77 CN Towers. To Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada and those affected by breast cancer, it looks something more like this: 900,000 pennies ensures Willow's doors are open to welcome anyone affected by breast cancer. 6,000 pennies allows a Health Librarian to research and provide information specific to each individual's unique case. 3,100 pennies pays for an hour-long conversation with a Willow Peer Support Counselor. 150,000 pennies trains one breast cancer survivor to facilitate a support group in her own community.

In addition to raising funds, awareness of Willow's free support services increased significantly as a result of the campaign.  People who might otherwise have been isolated by the effects of breast cancer learned that there was a place they could turn to and receive the support and information necessary to ease their journey. As a result Willow was able to expand support to rural and remote communities across Canada, from the Queen Charlotte Islands to Bonavista, Newfoundland.

"This philanthropic partnership is a fine example of the amazing things that people can achieve when they work together for a greater good," says Roberta Lacey, Director of Communications & Events, Avon Canada. "The Avon Foundation for Women and its partners are inviting Canadians to dig to the bottom of their purses and pockets, piggy banks and dresser drawers, in search of all the loose change that gathers there. It's a small action that can have a grand effect on a national level. Anyone, at any age can get involved. That's the beauty of this program."

Based on the program's success, Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada, the Avon Foundation for Women and Scotiabank plan to keep things rolling. The Every Penny Counts bank account will remain open so that Canadians can continue to drop off their rolled coins and cash donations at any Scotiabank branch across Canada. All donations to Account #80002 06366 14 will go to benefit Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada. To find out more or to download coin wrappers, visit www.avoneverypennycounts.ca.

About Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada

Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada, founded in 1994, is a national not-for-profit breast cancer organization that provides peer support and information today for those who cannot wait for tomorrow's cure. From the individual diagnosed, to their family and caregivers, Willow makes sure no one needs to face breast cancer alone. For more information please visit www.willow.org.

About Avon

Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with over $11 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through approximately 6.4 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty products, as well as fashion and home products, 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.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $47 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

For more information, please contact:

Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada: Jeffrey Beach, 416.778.6314 ext 224
jbeach@willow.org

Avon:  Elizabeth Munro, Avon Canada, Media Relations, 514.630.8305
elizabeth.munro@avon.com

Scotiabank: Deborah Clark, Scotiabank, Media Communications, 416.933.0646
d.clark@scotiabank.com

The Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=17043

Elizabeth Munro, Avon Canada, Media Relations
514.630.8305