A&W celebrated Burgers to Beat MS Day on Thursday, August 16 at all of its restaurants across Canada—more than 930 locations—by donating $2 from every Teen Burger® sold to the MS Society of Canada. The 10th annual Burgers to Beat MS campaign inspired a nation to come together and show their support for those affected by and living with MS.
Christine Sinclair—two-time Olympic bronze medalist, Canadian women's national soccer team captain and Burgers to Beat MS spokesperson—knows all too well the impact MS can have. Her mom and childhood soccer coach, Sandi, was diagnosed with the disease before Sinclair was born.
"My mom is my hero and watching her struggle with MS makes me want to do anything I can to help find a way to beat this disease," says Sinclair. "I want to bring Canadians together to give hope to everyone that has been touched by MS."
Sinclair and her family are not alone. Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world. On average, 11 Canadians are diagnosed with MS every day, and women are three times more likely than men to be diagnosed with the chronic disease.
Money raised through Burgers to Beat MS helps the MS Society of Canada to fund world-class MS research, programs and services, and advocacy efforts that aim to improve the quality of life for Canadians living with and affected by the disease.
Many A&W restaurants across Canada extended their fundraising activities beyond Teen Burger® donations and hosted special Burgers to Beat MS fundraising activities and events, with many featuring A&W Root Beer® float stands, photo opportunities and meet & greets with the Great A&W Root Bear®, live entertainment, fun fairs, visits from local dignitaries and more.
"The 10th year of Burgers to Beat MS is a special milestone supporting a cause that's close to our hearts," says Susan Senecal, President and CEO, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. "Burgers to Beat MS is more than a fundraising campaign, it's an opportunity to truly connect with the communities we serve. Our operators and restaurant staff go above and beyond each year to contribute in their own way and mobilize their local communities so that they can make a real impact, together."
To celebrate Burgers to Beat MS Day, Sinclair joined Senecal and Pamela Valentine, President and CEO, MS Society of Canada, to celebrate with guests, staff and volunteers in restaurants across the country—Greater Toronto Area (Toronto, Oakville, Mississauga and Brampton), Ont., Montreal, Que. and Edmonton, Alta. Hundreds of MS Society volunteers and ambassadors stopped by A&W restaurants from coast-to-coast to help raise awareness about the disease and how Canadians can help make a difference in the lives of those living with and affected by MS.
MS is a complex and unpredictable disease that affects the central nervous system, affecting each person differently. Common symptoms include: fatigue, dizziness, (muscle) weakness, impaired sensation, vision loss, mood changes and cognitive impairment. It is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults. The cause of MS remains a mystery and as of today, there is no cure, but each and every day researchers are learning more about what causes the disease and ways to treat it.
In 10 years, the annual Burgers to Beat MS campaign has raised nearly $13 million, making A&W the single largest annual corporate fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada. For the sixth consecutive year, a Grande Prairie, Alta. A&W restaurant ranked as the top fundraising location across the entire country, raising more than $51,813.
"We are extremely proud of this partnership, and grateful to every member of the A&W family who have made such a difference over this past decade," says Pamela Valentine, President and CEO, MS Society of Canada. "We want to thank every Canadian that bought a Teen Burger®, rounded up their bill, and donated to the campaign. These are all acts of greatness that enable the MS Society to empower Canadians affected by MS to live their best lives."
About Burgers Beat MS Campaign
Burgers to Beat MS Day on Thursday, August 16 celebrated the end of the 2018 Burgers to Beat MS campaign. The 10th annual Burgers to Beat MS campaign kicked off Monday, July 9, when Canadians were invited to help those living with MS by rounding up their bill at the A&W register, purchasing limited-edition stickers for $2 each, giving through in-store donation mugs and donating online at BurgersToBeatMS.ca.
About A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.
A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. is Canada's original and fastest growing quick service burger chain. It's 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 chain with more than 930 locations coast-to-coast. For more information, please visit aw.ca. Find A&W on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
About multiple sclerosis and the MS Society of Canada
Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. MS is a chronic, often disabling disease of the central nervous system comprising the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. It is one of the most common neurological diseases affecting 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 programs and services to people with MS and their families, advocates for those living with MS, and funds research to help improve the quality of life for people living with MS and to ultimately find a cure for this disease. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 to make a donation or for more information.
Join the conversation and connect with the MS community online. Find the MS Society on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Editor's Note: Your local A&W restaurant, MS Society of Canada chapter and/or other Burgers to Beat MS partners may send you additional details about the campaign.
SOURCE A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.
For further information: or to request an interview with an A&W or MS Society of Canada representative, please contact: Sara Beckford, Strategic Objectives, [email protected], C: 416.262.7241, O: 416.366.7735 ext. 275; Jennifer Asselin, MS Society of Canada, [email protected], T: 1.800.268.7582 ext. 3144