A&W Restaurants and Guests across Canada raise $1.5 million to End MS

A&W Canada and the MS Society of Canada thank restaurants and guests from coast to coast for their support

VANCOUVER, Sept. 3, 2015 /CNW/ - A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. is proud to announce that its 7th annual Cruisin' to End MS campaign raised an astounding $1.5 million – the most ever collected through this campaign – to help Canadians living with multiple sclerosis. One dollar from every Teen Burger® sold across the country on August 27th, in addition to funds collected in donation mugs, through paper cutout sales and online went to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. A&W's dedicated operators, energetic staff, and loyal guests have now raised $8 million over 7 years to support people living with MS and MS research in Canada.

"Through our 840 A&W restaurants, we are extremely pleased to partner with the MS Society to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis, which affects 1 in 280 Canadians, and fundraise toward supporting those with the disease, including funding leading-edge research," says Paul Hollands, Chairman and CEO, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.  "On behalf of A&W, I offer heartfelt thanks to all our operators, staff and guests for supporting this campaign, and sending it to new heights."

Uniting Canadians from coast to coast to support a great cause, A&W restaurants across the country hosted their own Cruisin' to End MS activities, which ranged from serving A&W Root Beer® floats in Prince George, B.C., to hosting a live blues band in Sudbury, Ont., to holding a massive classic car and hot rod show, featuring 400 vehicles, in St. John's, N.L.

"The astounding support from the A&W family, individuals and communities across the country has made Cruisin' to End MS the successful event it has grown to be over the last seven years," says Yves Savoie, President and CEO, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. "The $1.5 million raised in 2015 proves that Canadians are invested in the fight to put an end to MS – Canada's disease – and we couldn't be more grateful."

For a third year in a row, Grande Prairie's A&W located at 12205 - 100 St. was the top fundraising restaurant in Canada, raising nearly $40,000 this year. On August 27th, Hollands and Savoie personally visited this restaurant, as well as other top-fundraising restaurants across Canada to thank the operators, staff and guests for supporting this campaign.

Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis in the world, with more than 100,000 individuals living with MS, making it Canada's disease. MS is one of the most common neurological diseases among young adults in the country, attacking the central nervous system, and affecting vision, hearing, memory, balance and mobility. Most commonly diagnosed in young adults aged 15 – 40, even children as young as 2 years old have been diagnosed with MS. Although the cause of this often disabling disease is still not known, researchers are closer to finding the answer. The MS Society of Canada offers programs and services for people with MS and their families, and along with the MS Scientific Research Foundation, is among the largest funders of MS research in the world.

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. With 840 locations, A&W was recently voted the nation's best-tasting burger restaurant. They are also the first and only national burger chain to serve beef raised without the use of steroids or hormones. For more information, please visit awguarantee.ca.

About the MS Society of Canada. The MS Society provides services to people with MS and their families, and funds research to find the cause and cure for this disease. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 for more information.

SOURCE A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.

Image with caption: "Cruisin' to End MS: During the 7th annual Cruisin' to End MS, on August 27th, Yves Savoie, President and CEO, MS Society of Canada, and Paul Hollands (right), Chairman and CEO, A&W Canada, were joined by the Great A&W Root Bear® while serving frosty A&W Root Beer® floats for a $2 donation to the MS Society outside an A&W restaurant in Prince George, B.C. This year's campaign raised $1.5 million toward ending MS. (CNW Group/A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150903_C8191_PHOTO_EN_489755.jpg

For further information: Please contact: Brenda Jones, Hoggan & Associates, bjones@hoggan.com, C: 604.312.1070; Brian Lim, MS Society of Canada, brian.lim@mssociety.ca, T: 1.866.922.6065 x3142

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