A&W Canada and the MS Society of Canada join forces for an 8th year to Beat MS

$1 from every Teen Burger® sold across Canada will go towards helping those living with MS

VANCOUVER, Aug. 18, 2016 /CNW/ - A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. celebrates Burgers to Beat MS day on Thursday, August 25th to help Canadians living with MS. For an 8th year, $1 from every Teen Burger® sold across the country on this day will go to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. Since 2009, A&W's dedicated operators, enthusiastic staff, and loyal guests have raised more than $8 million to support world-class MS research that is bringing us closer to a cure, and programs and services that help Canadians with MS live better lives until a cure is found.

Uniting Canadians from coast to coast in support of a great cause, all 860 A&W restaurants across the country will host Burgers to Beat MS events – many featuring A&W Root Beer® float stands, music, games, and other fun-filled activities. Anyone can get involved and join the #BurgersToBeatMS conversation on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. A&W has also created a special Snapchat filter that will be available to all Canadians on August 25.

In addition to buying a Teen Burger®, supporters can also donate through rounding up their bill at the register, purchasing $2 paper cutouts, and giving through in-store donation mugs – all of which go towards supporting activities that help people touched by MS. A&W will also donate $1 to the MS Society for every share on Facebook (up to $20,000) of the Burgers to Beat MS online video being launched today, featuring A&W spokesperson Allen—from A&W's TV commercials. This video will be available on A&W's Facebook page.

"Through our partnership with A&W, I have been astonished by the generosity of the A&W family and the support of their guests each year during this event," says Yves Savoie, President and CEO of the MS Society of Canada. "I am so very proud of the work we do together with A&W in making real progress in MS research and improving the lives of Canadians living with MS. We could not do this without the support of the many Canadians who join us in the fight to end MS on Burgers to Beat MS day."

Burgers to Beat MS creates an opportunity for Canadians to come together to support Canadian-led efforts to better understand MS and find a cure, while enjoying a delicious Teen Burger®.

"We need everyone's support to make this year's campaign the best yet, and are asking Canadians to join us on August 25th to help beat MS by buying a Teen Burger®, making a donation, and encouraging everyone you know to do the same," says Paul Hollands, Chairman and CEO of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. "I am proud of how this important fundraising initiative is strongly supported by A&W employees and our generous guests so that those suffering from MS may have access to a cure in the near future."

Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world, with one in 340 individuals living with MS, making it Canada's disease. MS is one of the most common neurological diseases among young adults, attacking the central nervous system, and affecting vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility. Most commonly diagnosed in individuals aged 15 – 40, early in the disease, people often experience temporary episodes of worsening symptoms accompanied by active inflammation in the brain (called relapses), whereas later on, disease progression is inevitable.

Although the cause of this often disabling disease is still not known, researchers are bringing us closer to finding the answer. In 2016, the MS Society of Canada and its affiliated MS Scientific Research Foundation (MSSRF) celebrated a success with the published results of a Canadian study of a treatment called immunoablation and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (IAHSCT), involving intensive chemotherapy to completely wipe out the immune system and transplantation of blood-forming stem cells to form a new immune system that doesn't attack myelin. Results showed that IAHSCT halted all brain inflammation in people with early, aggressive multiple sclerosis, reversed disability and facilitated lasting recovery. The MS Society and its affiliated MSSRF are also funding the promising MEsenchymal Stem cell therapy for CAnadian MS patients (MESCAMS) study. Co-led by the same renowned investigator who published the IAHSCT results – Dr. Mark Freedman – MESCAMS will investigate treatment with a different type of stem cell that has the potential to suppress inflammation and promote repair. With A&W as a key funder, this work will provide more definitive answers regarding their use to treat persons living with both relapsing and progressive forms of MS.

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 restaurant company with 860 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.

SOURCE A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.

Image with caption: "Burgers to Beat MS: On August 25th, A&W Canada and the MS Society of Canada celebrate Burgers to Beat MS, a campaign to benefit Canadians living with MS. On this day, $1 from every Teen Burger® sold will be donated to help end MS. Yves Savoie, President and CEO, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and Paul Hollands, Chairman and CEO, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. (right) will be joined by the Great A&W Root Bear® to serve refreshing A&W Root Beer® floats at select restaurants across Canada. Since 2009, A&W has raised over $8 million to support the MS community across Canada and world-class MS research. (CNW Group/A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160818_C8786_PHOTO_EN_755184.jpg

For further information: Brenda Jones, Hoggan & Associates, bjones@hoggan.com, C: 604.312.1070; Matthew Higginson, MS Society of Canada, matthew.higginson@mssociety.ca, T: 416.922.6600 x3159

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