Portrait of a Mentor:
Remembering Evelyn H. Lauder
The Estée Lauder Companies’ BCA Campaign was founded in 1992 by the late Evelyn H. Lauder with the launch of the Pink Ribbon, the universal symbol for breast health. This month, Global Ambassador Elizabeth Hurley shares her work with The Campaign over more than 20 years, in the touching feature Portrait of a Mentor, Remembering Evelyn H. Lauder.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Evelyn H. Lauder?
EH: “Evelyn Lauder co-invented the pink ribbon in the early 90s, right when The Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign was started. I keep one of these pink ribbons on my vanity so that every morning when I get ready and do my makeup, I can look at it and remember that this has now become a universal symbol of hope and inspiration for people all around the world.”
What does the pink ribbon represent to you?
EH : “Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that there was once a world where the pink ribbon didn’t exist. Breast Cancer wasn’t talked about, and it was a time when people were very frightened. To me, the ribbon represents a movement that got people talking about breast cancer, spreading the word about it, raising funds, supporting one another and working towards a day where no woman dies of breast cancer.”
What are some of your fondest memories about your role as Global Ambassador?
EH: “I think traveling around the world with Evelyn, raising funds and awareness for The BCA Campaign, are some of the fondest memories of the 20 or so years that I’ve been here. We had some wonderful adventures together. We met thousands of people during our travels and I’ll never forget some of the conversations I had with some of the women, most of whom were survivors and some of whom were going through treatment. I’ve also been greatly impacted and inspired by speaking with the researchers who are funded by The BCA Campaign about the progress they are making to bring us close to a cure.”
What do you think Evelyn would be most proud of today if she were still with us?
“Evelyn always said that it (defeating breast cancer) is something that can never be done by any one person; it has to be done by a group. This year, The Campaign is really focusing on the idea of togetherness, which is so significant. I think Evelyn would be so pleased to see the new people that have joined this year’s Campaign, and how we are working together to inspire, support others and promote health and wellness. Ultimately, that’s what will bring us closer to a world without breast cancer and that is truly the legacy Evelyn left behind.”
What does it mean to continue The BCA Campaign’s work with William Lauder, Evelyn’s son?
“I’m extremely fond of Evelyn’s son, William Lauder. He’s been part of this movement right from the beginning. Since Evelyn passed away, he’s really stepped up and taken a major role leading The Campaign’s endeavors. I love working with him. We’ve raised a lot of money together and certain raised a lot of awareness. He’s fantastic, and a really great asset for The BCA Campaign.”