A&W Food Services of Canada, a chain of hamburger restaurants, in partnership with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, raised more than $1.9 million at its 10th annual “Burgers to Beat MS” campaign Aug. 16. This is the largest amount the campaign has raised.
To celebrate Burgers to Beat MS campaign, Christine Sinclair, a two-time Olympic bronze medalist and captain of Canada’s women’s national soccer team, joined Susan Senecal, president and CEO of A&W, and Pamela Valentine, president and CEO, MS Society of Canada, to celebrate with customers, staff, guests, and volunteers in 930 A&W restaurants across Canada.
Sinclair — also a Burgers to Beat MS spokesperson — knows the effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) very well. Her mother and childhood soccer coach, Sandi, was diagnosed with the disease.
“My mom is my hero and watching her struggle with MS makes me want to do anything I can to help find a way to beat this disease,” Sinclair said in a press release. “I want to bring Canadians together to give hope to everyone that has been touched by MS.”
Hundreds of MS Society volunteers and ambassadors visited A&W restaurants across Canada to raise awareness about MS. For each “Teen Burger” sold at the restaurants, $2 was donated to the MS Society of Canada.
Besides those donations, many participating A&W restaurants hosted other special Burgers to Beat MS fundraising events and activities, including A&W Root Beer float stands, photo opportunities with the Great A&W Root Bear, fun fairs, live entertainment, visits from local dignitaries. and more.
Money from Burgers to Beat MS campaign helps the MS Society of Canada to fund world-class MS research, programs, and services, and to undertake advocacy efforts with the aim of improving the quality of life for Canadians living with MS and people close to them.
“We are extremely proud of this partnership, and grateful to every member of the A&W family who have made such a difference over this past decade,” said Valentine. “We want to thank every Canadian that bought a Teen Burger, rounded up their bill, and donated to the campaign. These are all acts of greatness that enable the MS Society to empower Canadians affected by MS to live their best lives.”
In the past 10 years, the annual campaign has raised almost $13 million, making A&W the single largest annual corporate fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada.
“The 10th year of Burgers to Beat MS is a special milestone supporting a cause that’s close to our hearts,” said Senecal. “Burgers to Beat MS is more than a fundraising campaign, it’s an opportunity to truly connect with the communities we serve. Our operators and restaurant staff go above and beyond each year to contribute in their own way and mobilize their local communities so that they can make a real impact, together.”
Of note, Canada has one of the highest rates of MS worldwide. An average of 11 Canadians are diagnosed with MS every day.