Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

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Canadians Come Together to Raise Awareness and Funds to Help Beat MS

  • National News Release

A&W’s Annual Burgers to Beat MS Campaign Raises $1.85 Million


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Vancouver, BC – September 1, 2017 – A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. is proud to announce its ninth annual Burgers to Beat MS campaign, which ran July 17th to August 24th, has raised a record-high of $1.85 million for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada . Since 2009, the campaign has raised more than $11 million to help provide programs and services for Canadians living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and fund research that will impact the lives of, and give hope to, those living with MS. Burgers to Beat MS is the single largest annual corporate fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada.

The campaign wrapped up on August 24th with Burgers to Beat MS day when A&W donated $2 from every Teen Burger® sold to the MS Society. To celebrate, nearly 900 A&W restaurants across the country hosted Burgers to Beat MS events – many featuring the Great A&W Root Bear®, A&W Root Beer® floats, music, games and other fun activities.

Leading up to, and on, Burgers to Beat MS day, Canadians raised funds for the MS Society of Canada by rounding up their bill at the register, purchasing $1, $2 and $5 paper cutouts, donating through in-store donation mugs, and participating in local restaurant fundraising initiatives. Online donations were made at BurgersToBeatMS.ca, and A&W also donated $40,000 for Facebook shares of the Burgers to Beat MS online video featuring Christine Sinclair and popular A&W spokesperson Allen—from A&W’s TV commercials. Additionally, Canadians joined the conversation online using #BurgersToBeatMS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and utilizing A&W’s national Snapchat filter. With this support, #BurgersToBeatMS trended organically on Twitter on August 24th.

Burgers to Beat MS is a wonderful national success and we couldn’t do it without our guests, our dedicated operators and our employees,” says Paul Hollands, chairman and CEO, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. “The campaign gets bigger and better every year, and we’re already looking ahead to making 2018 and our 10th anniversary our best year yet.”

To help raise awareness, Christine Sinclair, two-time Olympic bronze medalist and Canadian women’s national soccer team captain, joined the fight to beat MS. Sinclair, whose mother, Sandra, lives with MS, shared her story and hosted special events in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Sinclair helped make and serve more than 150 A&W Root Beer® floats in Vancouver; kicked-off a special soccer-themed event in Toronto, scoring the first of many goals against the Great A&W Root Bear®; and met with more than 300 eager soccer fans, who started lining up more than two hours beforehand, at an A&W event in Montreal.

“My mom was diagnosed before I was born, but I didn’t know until I was 11 or 12 years old,” says Sinclair. “I had no idea what MS was or the impact it would have on our family. Watching the disease slowly take its toll on her has been devastating. But, through it all, she’s been a rock. She is my hero.”

For the fifth year in a row, a Grande Prairie, Alta A&W restaurant ranked as the top fundraising restaurant in Canada, raising more than $45,000. A&W restaurants in Sudbury, Ont., Saskatoon, Sask. and other cities held large events featuring live bands. Restaurants were inspired by Sinclair’s participation in the campaign, and held their own soccer-themed events, and A&W Root Beer® floats were served up in exchange for a donation to the MS Society in many cities across the country, including Prince George, B.C. and Kingston, Ont.

Burgers to Beat MS continues to be an incredible partnership,” says Valerie Hussey, chair, board of directors, MS Society of Canada. “To see tens of thousands of A&W employees from coast to coast come together with such passion and dedication means so much to Canadians living with multiple sclerosis, their families, and their communities.”

Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world, making it Canada’s disease. The cause of MS remains a mystery and as of today, there is no cure, but each day researchers are learning more about what causes MS and ways to prevent it. Support from A&W allows the MS Society to further innovative research efforts, better support people living with MS, and shows Canadians that if we work together we can create a better quality of life for people living with this disease

A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. is 100 per cent Canadian owned and is one of the strongest brand names in the Canadian foodservice industry. A&W is the nation's second largest hamburger chain with nearly 900 locations across the country. From coast-to-coast, A&W is a leader in the Canadian burger industry, serving beef raised without the use of steroids or hormones, chicken raised without the use of antibiotics, eggs from hens fed a vegetarian diet without animal by-products, and pork raised without the use of antibiotics. A&W Restaurants feature famous trade-marked menu items such as The Burger Family®, Chubby Chicken® and A&W Root Beer®. For more information, please visit aw.ca.

The MS Society of Canada is dedicated to finding a cure for multiple sclerosis by funding leading-edge research and improving the quality of life of those affected by the disease. The MS Society offers programs and services for people with MS and their families, and its affiliated MS Scientific Research Foundation is among the largest funders of MS research in the world. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 to make a donation or to learn more about the latest in MS research and programs in your area. Join the conversation and connect with the MS community online – find @MSSocietyCanada on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat.

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For more information, please contact:

Brenda Jones
Hoggan & Associates
bjones@hoggan.com
C: 604.312.1070

Jennifer Asselin
Senior Coordinator, Media Relations and Communications
MS Society of Canada
jennifer.asselin@mssociety.ca
1.800.268.7582 ext. 3144