Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

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Christine Sinclair, A&W Canada and The MS Society of Canada Announce $1.4 Million Raised for Canadians Living with Multiple Sclerosis Through 13th Annual Burgers to Beat MS

  • National News Release

Delicious news just in: it’s time to celebrate – one A&W Teen Burger® at a time! The 13th annual A&W Canada Burgers to Beat MS Day, in partnership with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, raised $1.4 million in support of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

On Thursday, August 19th, every A&W restaurant location across Canada contributed to making this year's Burgers to Beat MS Day such a success. On this day, $2 from every A&W Teen Burger® sold across Canada went towards helping people living with MS. In 13 years, this initiative has raised more than $17 million, making A&W the single largest annual corporate fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada. This annual fundraiser is very close to the hearts of A&W's franchisees across the country, with many going above and beyond to raise crucial funds and awareness ahead of, and on Burgers to Beat MS Day.

All-star support from Christine Sinclair

For her fifth consecutive year, Olympic gold medalist and Canadian women's national soccer team captain, Christine Sinclair, participated in A&W's 2021 Burgers to Beat MS Day in honour of her mother, Sandi, who was diagnosed with MS over 30 years ago. Christine shared her story about how MS impacts all Canadians, not just the people who live with it – their family, friends, community, and country are all affected by this disease. She understands first-hand the daily impacts of this disease and what it means to live with a diagnosed loved one. Once again, she asked Canadians to join her in raising funds and awareness to support the MS Society in its goal towards achieving a world free of MS.

"As an individual who has personally witnessed what it means to live with the impacts of MS, I am wholeheartedly devoted to supporting this cause," says Christine Sinclair. "It means a lot to be back for my fifth year in a row teaming up with the MS Society and A&W to participate in Burgers to Beat MS Day in honour of my mother. The level of importance around raising funds and awareness is personally very high for me, to support people diagnosed, like her. I am so grateful to see the continuous support and excitement from Canadians around this campaign!"

MS in Canada: the startling facts

Canada has one of the highest MS rates in the world, with over 90,000 Canadians living with this disease. MS is a complex and unpredictable disease that impacts the central nervous system, affecting each person differently. Common symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, (muscle) weakness, impaired sensation, vision loss, mood changes and cognitive impairment.

On average, 12 Canadians are diagnosed with MS every day, and it’s the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada. Sixty percent of adults diagnosed with MS are between the ages of 20 and 49, and women are three times more likely to be diagnosed with MS than men. The cause of MS remains a mystery, and as of today, there is no cure, but each day researchers are learning more.

"Each year, because of Burgers to Beat MS Day, funds and awareness for MS are raised across Canada, and this year was no different. The time and effort our franchisees put into making 2021's campaign a soaring success is truly motivating and makes me look forward to the coming years even more," says Susan Senecal, President and CEO, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. "Our restaurants collectively raising over $1.4 million is incredible – Thank you, Canada, for going above and beyond."

"As the 13th annual Burgers to Beat MS comes to a close, we couldn't be happier with this year's results and what it means to our organization and people affected by MS," shares Pamela Valentine, President and CEO, MS Society of Canada. "Our continued partnership with A&W over the last 13 years has been monumental in supporting our work towards achieving our goal of a world free of MS. Each year we are inspired by the number of Canadians coming together to support this cause to raise funds and awareness for the MS Society."

During this year's Burger's to Beat MS Day, Christine Sinclair, Susan Senecal and Pamela Valentine came together virtually to celebrate the 13th annual campaign by ordering a Teen Burger® with their friends and family (via drive-thru, take out/third-party delivery and dining-in). They also participated in virtual interviews to raise awareness about the disease and shared how Canadians could show their support and make a difference in the lives of people affected by MS.

About A&W Canada

A&W is proud to be a Canadian company - 100% Canadian owned and operated, and one of the most trusted brands in the country. A leader in the QSR industry, we believe that sourcing simple, great-tasting ingredients, farmed with care is the right thing to do. Our brand, our restaurants, and our people are known for being innovators who champion and embrace change. We serve Canadians coast to coast with over 1,000 restaurants across the country. For more information, please visitaw.ca.

About multiple sclerosis and the MS Society of Canada

Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. On average, 12 Canadians are diagnosed every day. MS is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord). It is considered an episodic disease meaning that the severity and duration of illness and disability can vary and are often followed by periods of wellness. Most people are diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 49 and the unpredictable effects of the disease will last for the rest of their lives. The MS Society provides information, support and advocacy to people affected by MS, and funds research to find the cause and cure for the disease, bringing us closer to a world free of MS. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 for more information, to get involved, or to support Canadians affected by MS by making a donation.

Join the conversation and connect with the MS community online. Find the MS Society on Twitter, Instagram or like our page on Facebook. 

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Editor's Note: Your local A&W restaurant, MS Society of Canada contact and/or other Burgers to Beat MS partners may send you additional details about the campaign results.

Susan Senecal, Pamela Valentine and other A&W and MS Society of Canada spokespeople are available for interviews upon request.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Saul Lewis

Strategic Objectives

slewis@strategicobjectives.com

C: 416 366 7735 ext. 0309

Kristin Harold

MS Society of Canada

kristin.harold@mssociety.ca

C: 613 900 6941

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