15th annual A&W Burgers to Beat MS nets $1.6M for MS Canada

Haul brings to $20M+ amount event has raised for nonprofit

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by Mary Chapman |

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Total Teen Burger purchases netted $1.6 million for MS Canada on A&W Canada’s 15th Annual Burgers to Beat MS Day.

Proceeds from the Aug. 17 fundraiser, wherein A&W donated $2 from each burger sold, brings to more than $20 million the amount the initiative has brought to the nonprofit organization.

Canada has one of the world’s highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) and the proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to support them. Each day, 12 Canadians are diagnosed with the progressive neurodegenerative disorder.

In the run-up to the fundraiser, Canadians were able to donate or round up A&W purchases to the nearest dollar, with the extra cents going to MS Canada for research to advance treatment and care, improve patients’ wellbeing, and halt the disorder’s progression. A&W Canada has more than 1,000 restaurants in Canada.

“For 15 years, Canadians have generously united in support of Burgers to Beat MS Day,” Susan Senecal, president and CEO of A&W Food Services of Canada, said in a press release. “Raising $1.6M will continue to fund vital MS Canada programming and resources to foster a world free of MS. We look forward to continuing this powerful initiative to make the mission a reality.”

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This year, A&W partnered with TJ Brodie, a defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs, and his wife Amber, who was diagnosed seven years ago.

“Even though MS has no known cure, I am confident that one day, we will live in a world free of MS,” Amber Brodie said. “The compassion from Canadians I have experienced through Burgers to Beat MS has been overwhelming, and I thank everyone for their generosity.”

“It was an honour and a privilege to help A&W Canada and MS Canada spread the word about the prevalence of MS and how it has personally affected our lives,” TJ Brodie said. “Based on the results of this year’s Burgers to Beat MS, Canadians are not only cheering from the sidelines, but playing a pivotal role in advancing research and treatments.”

Since 2008, A&W restaurants throughout Canada have looked forward to the annual campaign and several went all-out this year to be a part of it, according to A&W Canada.

In Winnepeg, the Portage Avenue A&W erected a stage and local musicians performed live music. In Saskatchewan, an A&W in Humboldt featured visits from the Great A&W Root Bear, the chain’s mascot, entertainment by Canadian singer JJ Voss, and a raffle and car show. In Amherst, Nova Scotia, a yard and bake sale was hosted at a local A&W by members of the community.

“Our longstanding and valued relationship with A&W’s Burgers to Beat MS initiative has helped to make major advancements for the care of Canadians living with MS,” said Pamela Valentine, PhD, president and CEO of MS Canada. “Year after year, we are grateful for the unwavering support Canadians have shown the MS community, raising funds that directly contribute to supporting programs, wellness initiatives and achieving progress through state-of-the-art research to better understand MS and treatments.”