In 12 years, the annual Burgers to Beat MS campaign has raised more than $16 million, making A&W the single largest annual corporate fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada. This annual fundraising initiative is very close to the hearts of A&W’s franchisees across the country, with many going above and beyond to raise much needed funds and awareness in support of those living with MS. Some of this year’s most creative local activities included: a golf tournament hosted by an A&W franchisee from Ste-Julienne, Quebec and a dedicated fundraising website organized by the A&W franchisee and his team from Kenora, Ontario.
On Thursday, August 20th, A&W hosted its first-ever Take Out Burgers to Beat MS Day at restaurants across Canada – nearly 1,000 locations – by donating $2 from every Teen Burger® sold on the day to the MS Society of Canada.
With the safety of Canadians being a top priority, the annual Burgers to Beat MS campaign launched a special Take Out edition this year to ensure burger lovers from coast-to-coast could continue to make an impactful difference for Canadians living with and affected by MS.
Christine Sinclair, two-time Olympic medalist and Canadian women’s national soccer team captain, led this special edition of A&W’s Burgers to Beat MS Day for the fourth consecutive year in honour of her mother, Sandi, who was diagnosed with MS more than 30 years ago. As the campaign’s spokesperson, Christine shared her story to help educate and rally Canadians to make a difference, raising much-needed funds and awareness to help the MS Society of Canada in its goal towards achieving a world free of MS.
“My fourth year as Burgers to Beat MS Team Captain has been an honour,” says Christine Sinclair. “As a country, we are facing new challenges and it was inspiring to see Canadians embrace this year’s Take Out Burgers to Beat MS Day by celebrating safely with close friends and family while coming together as a nation to raise awareness and important funds for the MS Society.”
Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, with over 77,000 Canadians living with this disease. Approximately 11 Canadians are diagnosed with MS every day and women are three times more likely than men to be diagnosed. The current health crisis has impacted all Canadians, and for those affected by MS it adds additional concern and stress on top of an already challenging disease.
“It was so inspiring to see communities across Canada rally together to support Burgers to Beat MS again this year, especially given the extra challenges we’re all facing. I want to thank our guests, our franchisees, and their restaurant teams for their incredible generosity and unwavering support,” says Susan Senecal, President and CEO, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.
This year, Canadians were encouraged to participate in the Burgers to Beat MS campaign by ordering take out. Christine Sinclair, Susan Senecal and Pamela Valentine, President and CEO, MS Society of Canada, came together virtually to celebrate the 12th annual campaign by ordering a Teen Burger® with their friends and family via drive-thru, take out and third-party delivery, as well as participating in virtual interviews to raise awareness about the disease and share how Canadians can show their support and make a difference in the lives of those living with and affected by MS.
MS is a complex and unpredictable disease that impacts 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 one of the most common neurological diseases affecting young adults. The cause of MS remains a mystery and as of today, there is no cure, but each day researchers are learning more.
“The annual Burgers to Beat MS campaign is one of our largest partner fundraising initiatives and we are so grateful for Canadians’ dedication to helping us work towards a world free of MS,” said Pamela Valentine, President and CEO, MS Society of Canada. “Canadians affected by MS require more support than ever before, as they face barriers in accessing appropriate care support and financial difficulties due to COVID-19. This year in particular we are incredibly proud to see the MS community come together in the most ‘Canadian way’ by making a positive difference to support those in need.”
About A&W Canada
A&W is proud to be a Canadian company – 100% Canadian owned and operated, and one of the most trusted brands in the country. A leader in the QSR industry, we believe that sourcing simple, great-tasting ingredients, farmed with care is the right thing to do. Our brand, our restaurants, and our people are known for being innovators who champion and embrace change. We serve Canadians coast to coast with nearly 1,000 restaurants across the country. For more information, please visit aw.ca.
About multiple sclerosis and the MS Society of Canada
Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. On average, 11 Canadians are diagnosed every day. MS is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord). It is considered an episodic disease meaning that the severity and duration of illness and disability can vary and are often followed by periods of wellness. Most people are diagnosed with MS between the ages of 20 and 49 and the unpredictable effects of the disease will last for the rest of their lives. The MS Society provides information, support and advocacy to people affected by MS, and funds research to find the cause and cure for the disease, bringing us closer to a world free of MS. Please visit mssociety.ca or call 1-800-268-7582 for more information, to get involved, or to support Canadians affected by MS by making a donation.