A&W's Cruisin' for a Cause Day Exceeds $1 Million Fundraising Goal

A&W and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada thank Canadians for incredible support

VANCOUVER, Sept. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. (TSE: AW.UN) is proud to announce that more than one million dollars was raised in support of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada during its third-annual Cruisin' for a Cause Day held last week on August 25.  In total, this national fundraising event has raised more than $2 million over the past three years to help end MS.

"The ongoing enthusiasm and commitment to this very important cause has been outstanding," said Paul Hollands, president and CEO, A&W Food Services Canada. "On behalf of A&W, I would like to thank and congratulate all of our customers, staff, car clubs and other supporters across Canada who helped us achieve this significant goal."

"This incredible achievement was made possible thanks to the people of A&W who made it their mission to raise $1 million with tremendous spirit and a deep commitment to the community," said Yves Savoie, president and CEO, MS Society of Canada. "On behalf of all of those touched by MS, I offer heartfelt thanks to the entire A&W family who made this success possible. The funds raised allow us to reach into communities to deliver life-enhancing services and fund research that brings us closer to ending MS every day."

More than 730 A&W restaurants across Canada helped raise funds through the sale of cut-outs, customer contributions and donations of $1 from every Teen Burger® sold on August 25.  Cruisin' for a Cause (or le Rendez-vous A&W pour stopper la SP as it is known in Quebec) raised both funds and awareness of multiple sclerosis through a variety of events including classic car gatherings, retro music, car hop service and car hop relay races, hula hoop contests and Great A&W Root Bear® visits.

Supporters can still text "MS" to 45678 until September 30 to make a $5 donation to the Cruisin' for a Cause campaign.

Canada has one of the highest incidence rates of multiple sclerosis in the world, making research and support for people with MS and their families critical. Multiple sclerosis is the most common neurological disease of young adults in Canada and affects from 55,000 to 75,000 Canadians.

Cruisin' for a Cause Day is a fundraising event affiliated with A&W's national Cruisin' the Dub program, which began over ten years ago at a grassroots level in various communities. It was created by classic car enthusiasts who enjoyed gathering at A&W restaurants to share their passion for their vintage autos.   The popular fundraiser creates an opportunity for the many Canadians who grew up enjoying warm summer evenings at the drive in—often with the radio blaring and trays of Teen® burgers, fresh made onion rings and icy cold A&W Root Beer® delivered to their car by car hops—to revisit those fond memories while supporting the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

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 over 730 locations coast-to-coast.  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 www.aw.ca.

About multiple sclerosis and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. It is the most common neurological disease of young adults in Canada. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40, and the unpredictable effects of MS last for the rest of their lives. 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 www.mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 to make a donation or for more information.

Image with caption: "A&W and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada raised more than $1 million to help end MS during national Cruisin' for a Cause Day, on Thursday, August 25. (From left) Andrei Sedoff, MS Society National Inspiration Champion; Paul Hollands, President and CEO, A&W Food Services of Canada; and Yves Savoie, President and CEO, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada were joined by the Great A&W Root Bear® at one of their many stops as they toured the country in support of Cruisin' for a Cause Day. (CNW Group/A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110901_C7859_PHOTO_EN_2758.jpg


For further information:

Erin Gawne
Hoggan & Associates
T:  604.742.4264
C: 604.364.8909


Stewart Wong
Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada
T: 416.967.3025
C:  416.575.3025

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