The Breast Cancer Research Foundation

by Lisa Coen, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Founded in 1993 by visionary Evelyn Lauder, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to identifying and providing critical funding for research to prevent and cure breast cancer, and to increase public awareness of good breast health. Research funded by the organization has helped save lives and improve quality of care for thousands of breast cancer patients. The foundation supports research and awareness programs, carries out fundraising events, coordinates corporate partner programs and provides awareness and prevention information.

Over 90% of all donations received by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation go directly towards research grants and awareness programs. To date, the foundation has raised more than $350 million and has been awarded the highest possible rating of "A+" by CharityWatch (formerly known as the American Institute of Philanthropy). The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is the only cancer organization to receive this honor from the national charity watchdog service.

About Evelyn Lauder

Evelyn joined the world-renowned Esteé Lauder Companies soon after marrying the matriarch's son, Leonard. In 1989 Evelyn joined the Board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Over the course of three years, she spearheaded a fundraising drive, and by 1992 established the first-ever comprehensive breast and diagnostic center--the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Center. Designed specifically with patients in mind, the center allows them to attend to all of their breast health needs under one roof. At the center, expert care is available in a comfortable and private out-of-hospital setting.

Also in 1992, Evelyn launched The Esteé Lauder Companies Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. With an idea proposed by Alexandra Penney, the former editor of Self Magazine, Evelyn and Alexandra created the Pink Ribbon--recognized world-wide as a symbol of breast health and now known as the universal symbol for breast cancer. Initially through this awareness campaign, bows were provided to customers at department store cosmetic counters to reinforce the importance of breast cancer screening. To date, the campaign has distributed more than 115 million pink ribbons worldwide, and continues to launch other initiatives to help bring awareness to breast health.

Evelyn was a passionate advocate in the campaign against Breast Cancer until November 2011, when she lost her own battle with cancer.

How Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Supports the Breast Cancer Research Foundation

All proceeds from sales of pink rhinestone awareness pins on the Fire Mountain Gems website are donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Like many families, our family at Fire Mountain Gems and Beads has been deeply affected by cancer. To help cope and heal from these profound challenges, Fire Mountain Gems employees created an amazing project called "Circle of Hope" in 2003 to raise both awareness and money for the campaign against breast cancer. Through the Circle of Hope project, compassionate bead-artists from around the world were offered the opportunity to donate their handcrafted beads for a cause. The one-of-a-kind beads were featured in the annual Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Jewelry Maker's Catalog and on the Circle of Hope page on our website for many years. In October, the handmade beads were sold individually online with 100% of the sales benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. We encourage you to read the stories of some members of our extended family to see how courage, faith and community are essential components to overcoming this great challenge: Breast Cancer Awareness Pins
Circle of Hope Circle of Hope Glass Beads

Additional Resources ... To learn more about the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, visit them online at

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