MERRIAM, Kan., Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- It didn't matter if they were faded, straight leg, boot cut or distressed; hundreds of thousands of people put on jeans with Felicity Huffman to celebrate Lee National Denim Day. The event has become one of the largest single-day fundraisers for breast cancer, and through $5 donations, has raised an estimated $4-$5 million for the Women's Cancer Programs of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), bringing the 15-year total to nearly $85 million.
Leading the effort was actress Felicity Huffman, who served as this year's celebrity ambassador. Huffman shared her personal reason for leading this year's campaign, in that one in eight women each year will die from breast cancer.
"I have six sisters and two beautiful daughters—that's eight women who mean the world to me," says Huffman. "I'm proud to join Lee National Denim Day, the Entertainment Industry Foundation and the Cancer Support Community because they fund programs that are making huge strides in breast cancer research and patient support. It is truly amazing to see so many people coming together on a single day and raising millions to fight this disease."
Net proceeds from Lee National Denim Day will fund Lee Laboratories nationwide to find more effective, less toxic breast cancer treatments, and EIF's Biomarker Discovery Project, to develop a blood test for earlier detection of breast cancer when survival rates are highest. They will also help the Cancer Support Community, uniting The Wellness Community and Gilda's Club Worldwide, in providing emotional and social support to patients and their families.
"The Women's Cancer Programs of EIF were created in an effort to bring together some of the very best scientists and institutions in the country to collaborate on groundbreaking research projects," said Lisa Paulsen, President and CEO of EIF. "We are so grateful to Lee Jeans for its commitment to this fundraiser for the past 15 years, and to our dedicated ambassador Felicity Huffman for giving so much of her time to bring attention to these programs."
"We're so honored to be a new addition to Lee National Denim Day this year," says Kim Thiboldeaux, President and CEO of the Cancer Support Community. "Through the funds raised by Denim Day, CSC affiliates across the country, including The Wellness Community and Gilda's Club, can better serve cancer patients and their families."
While groups nationwide were celebrating Denim Day in their hometowns today, Huffman joined Lee Jeans in Kansas City for a public celebration to reveal the money raised and present the check to the Women's Cancer Programs of EIF and their partner, the Cancer Support Community.
"For the past 15 years, we've been honored to hear the stories of so many people who have survived this battle, family/friends who are still fighting and those who will be remembered," said Liz Cahill, VP of Marketing and Communications at Lee Jeans. "At Lee, we couldn't be more proud of this program that brings people together each year and really proves there's power in numbers."
Though the official Lee National Denim Day was held today, it's not too late to plan your own Denim Day. Registration is still open on Denimday.com and donations will be accepted through December 31, 2010 for this year's campaign.
Lee® Jeans is a division of VF Corporation. (NYSE : VFC ). Headquartered in Merriam, Kan., Lee manufactures and markets brand denim, casual pants, shirts, fleece and knit apparel. VF Corporation is a leader in branded lifestyle apparel including jeanswear, outdoor products, image apparel and sportswear. Its principal brands include Wrangler®, Lee®, Riders®, Rustler®, The North Face®, Vans®, Reef®, Napapijri®, Kipling®, Nautica®, John Varvatos®, JanSport®, Eastpak®, Eagle Creek®, Lee Sport®, Majestic® and Red Kap®. VF Corporation's press releases, annual report and other information can be accessed through the company's home page, www.vfc.com.
The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), as a leading charitable organization of the entertainment industry, has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to support charitable initiatives addressing critical health, education and social issues. Through its Women's Cancer Programs, the Entertainment Industry Foundation is committed to saving lives by raising awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and reproductive cancers, providing funds to advance treatment research, early detection methods, and supporting community programs that assist the millions of women and their families at risk of or affected by cancer. For questions about EIF's Women's Cancer Programs and information, visit www.eifoundation.org or call 800-426-0010.
About Cancer Support Community
Backed by evidence that the best cancer care includes emotional and social support, the Cancer Support Community offers these services to all people affected by cancer. Likely the largest professionally-led network of cancer support worldwide, the organization delivers a comprehensive menu of personalized and essential services. Because no cancer care plan is complete without emotional and social support, the Cancer Support Community has a vibrant network of community-based centers and online services run by trained and licensed professionals. For more information, visit www.cancersupportcommunity.org.
In July 2009, The Wellness Community and Gilda's Club Worldwide joined forces to become the Cancer Support Community. The combined organization provides high-quality psychological and social support through a network of nearly 50 local affiliates, more than 100 satellite locations and online.
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SOURCE Lee Jeans