Award-winning actor Patrick Dempsey and the Avon Foundation have joined forces to launch the Dempsey Racing Challenge, which will drive fundraising for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

The announcement was made at Daytona ahead of the Rolex 24, where Dempsey will compete in the GT class in his Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 alongside Joe Foster, Charles Espenlaub, Tim Lewis and Jep Thornton.

The challenge will offer the top fundraiser from each of the nine 2009 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer events the chance to meet Dempsey and his team at the 2010 running of the Rolex 24, with significant funds expected to be raised as a result. The minimum fundraising amount for a walk is $1,800 per walker.

"Real men can wear pink!" said Dempsey, who will carry pink trim on his race suit this weekend. "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 programme. 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 is made up of nine 39 mile weekend long walks that attract tens of thousands of participants and raise funds to enable everyone to have access to quality breast cancer screening, support and treatment.

Since 2003, it has raised more than $265 million.



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