• May 24, 2014 7:00 AM
  • - Retail

Beer Store partners with Ontario communities to fight blood cancers

Province-wide bottle drive aims to surpass last year's record of $1.7 million raised

TORONTO, May 24, 2014 /CNW/ - The Beer Store and the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 12R24 are hoping enthusiasm for the Victoria Day Weekend will bubble over into generosity when beer lovers head back to return their empty bottles.

The Beer Store and its 7,500 employees have called on customers to participate in the annual Returns for Leukemia Bottle Drive for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada on May 24 and 25. The effort follows the "unofficial start of summer" and one of the busiest weekends at the Beer Store.

The Beer Store and UFCW Local 12R24 are hoping to collect 6 million bottles over two days and build on the $1.7 million raised in 2013.

They are asking customers to direct their deposit returns to providing patient support and helping find a cure for leukemia and other blood cancers, the number one cancer killer of children in Canada.

"This campaign has raised millions of dollars for leukemia and lymphoma research. It has become something of a movement at the Beer Store – it started with the Bottle Drive, but it has spread to local runs, bike rides and in-store fundraising programs," said Beer Store President Ted Moroz. "The Bottle Drive is part of our larger commitment to making a meaningful contribution in the communities we serve through our core values of philanthropy, community involvement and social and environmental responsibility programs."

"The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada has been the charity of choice for our members since 1985," said Rob Edwards, president of UFCW Local 12R24. "Our members are proud to join forces with the Beer Store and our very generous customers to raise money for research and help support families affected by blood cancers. We have made great strides and look forward to the day when there is a cure for leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers.

Chris and Jane Bidner are Beer Store employees who have struggled to watch as their grandson battles leukemia. "Nevan's cancer has gone into remission but our family's journey is far from over as doctors continue his therapy to keep it from coming back," said Chris Bidner, a supervisor at the Brampton Distribution Centre. "My wife and I are so thankful to the Beer Store, the UFCW and our amazing customers for joining my family in the fight against blood cancers."

Over the last eight years, Returns For Leukemia has raised $8 million for research into blood cancers and support for patients and their families. It is the biggest bottle drive in the world.

All 447 Beer Store locations across Ontario will be collecting empty beer, wine and spirit containers from their customers. Volunteers will be at each location asking patrons to donate their empty containers or make a cash donation.

Stores will also accept cash donations or $1 can be added to purchases as a donation to the bottle drive throughout May. Visit www.bottledrive.ca for more information.

Trivia:

  • The 6 million bottle target equals the length of a line of bottles stretching from London to Ottawa and back (or along the Trans-Canada Highway from the Ontario-Manitoba border to past Sault Ste Marie).
  • In 2013, the Beer Store recovered 1.72 billion beer containers through the Beer Store Deposit System for Beer Containers.

About Returns For Leukemia

This is a joint initiative of United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 12R24, representing The Beer Store employees, and The Beer Store. It has raised over $8 million over the last eight years.

Customers are invited to donate all or a portion of their empty bottle refund to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). 100 percent of the funds they contribute will go directly to the charity.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada

100,000 Canadians are battling blood cancer. Every 28 minutes, someone in Canada is diagnosed. Every 77 minutes a Canadian loses his or her life to leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease or myeloma.

The LLSC is the largest Canadian voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLSC mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLSC funds lifesaving blood cancer research across Canada and provides free information and support services.

Founded in 1955, LLSC has offices across Canada. To learn more, visit www.llscanada.org or contact 1-877-668-8326. Charitable Business No. 10762 3654 RR0001.

SOURCE The Beer Store

For further information: Lorna Warwick, Senior National Director, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, 647-253-5502 (office) or 416-670-3692 (cell), lorna.warwick@lls.org; Jay Armitage, 416-917-0489 (cell), Jay.armitage@fleishman.ca