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Soccer Star Christine Sinclair sets her sights on Beating MS through supporting A&W's Burgers to Beat MS

VANCOUVER, July 18, 2017 /CNW/ - A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada are pleased to announce that two-time Olympic bronze medalist and Canadian women's national soccer team captain Christine Sinclair has joined the fight to beat MS through supporting A&W's nation-wide Burgers to Beat MS campaign. She will travel to select A&W restaurants across Canada on August 23rd and 24th, meeting the staff and guests, and helping to raise money.

Soccer Star Christine Sinclair teams up with A&W Canada and the MS Society of Canada to support A&W's Burgers to Beat MS Canada-wide fundraiser. (CNW Group/A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.)

Now in its 9th year, Burgers to Beat MS has raised close to $10 million, and is the single largest annual fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada. Starting this week, nearly 900 A&W restaurants across the country will begin hosting fundraising activities. Supporters can donate through rounding up their bill at the register, purchasing $1, $2 and $5 paper cutouts, giving through in-store donation mugs, and through other local restaurant fundraising initiatives. Online donations can also be made at BurgersToBeatMS.ca.

The campaign will culminate with Burgers to Beat MS day on Thursday, August 24th. This year, A&W's dedicated operators are proud to be doubling donations made from the sale of every Teen Burger® from $1 to $2. With Sinclair's help and the generous donations from A&W's operators, staff and guests, A&W aims to raise more than ever before to support world-class MS research, programs and services that aim to improve quality of life for Canadians living with the disease.

"Our goal this year is to raise $2 million, and we are thrilled to have Christine Sinclair, a proven champion, join us in supporting this important campaign," said Paul Hollands, Chairman and CEO, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. "Burgers to Beat MS started with a small group of A&W operators wanting to make a difference. Every year it has grown, making a real difference in helping those affected by this debilitating disease."

Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world, making it Canada's disease. Sinclair's mother Sandi, who coached her childhood soccer teams, is among the one in 340 Canadians living with MS, which is why Christine has teamed up with A&W and the MS Society to beat MS.

"I have become a part of this to educate the public and support finding a cure," said Sinclair, who was recently appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada. "I don't want other people to go through what my family has gone through with the difficulties my mom faces every day."

Sandi Sinclair now lives in a long-term care facility where she is approximately 20 years younger than most other residents. Watching her mother struggle with the slow progression of MS, which has limited her mobility as she now uses a wheelchair, motivated Christine Sinclair to become more involved in the cause.

"Each year we look forward to our partnership with A&W. We are excited to have Christine, a Canadian icon, share her personal connection to MS and help raise awareness for our cause," said Valerie Hussey, Chair, Board of Directors, MS Society of Canada. "The doubling of donations from the Teen Burger® this year demonstrates the generosity of the A&W family and their guests during Burgers to Beat MS. Our collaboration with A&W has supported significant research projects and helped us improve the lives of Canadians with MS, day to day."

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 chain with nearly 900 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.

For further information: Brenda Jones, Hoggan & Associates, bjones@hoggan.com, C: 604.312.1070; Jennifer Asselin, MS Society of Canada, jennifer.asselin@mssociety.ca, T: 416.922.6065 ext. 3144