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A&W Canada and the MS Society of Canada Kick Off 10th Annual Burgers to Beat MS Campaign

Canadians Invited to Join Christine Sinclair on the Burgers to Beat MS Team and Help Take On Multiple Sclerosis

VANCOUVER, July 9, 2018 /CNW/ - A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. and the MS Society of Canada are teaming up with soccer superstar Christine Sinclair, two-time Olympic bronze medalist and Canadian women's national soccer team captain, for the 10th annual Burgers to Beat MS campaign to take on multiple sclerosis (MS). Burgers to Beat MS kicks off Monday, July 9 and runs until Thursday, August 16. Canadians can help support by rounding up their bill at the A&W register, purchasing limited-edition stickers for $2, giving through in-restaurant donation mugs, and visiting an A&W restaurant on Burgers to Beat MS Day on August 16, when $2 from every Teen Burger® sold across Canada will go towards beating MS.

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 MS. Sinclair knows first-hand the impact that MS has—her mother, Sandi, who was also her childhood soccer coach, lives with the disease—and she wants to encourage all Canadians to come together to help find a way to beat the disease.

"My mom living with MS is something I've dealt with my entire life," says Sinclair. "Through Burgers to Beat MS, I believe I have an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of Canadians who are living with MS. My ultimate goal is that other people won't have to go through what my family has had to experience."

Join Christine Sinclair on the Burgers to Beat MS Team
To kick-off the annual fundraising campaign, A&W and the MS Society will host the Burgers to Beat MS Training Camp at Robson Square in Vancouver, B.C. on Monday, July 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Burgers to Beat MS Training Camp will help Canadians get ready to take on MS on Burgers to Beat MS Day on Thursday, August 16. Led by Burgers to Beat MSTeam Captain, Sinclair, along with Assistant Captain, The Great A&W Root Bear® and MS Society coaches, the Burgers to Beat MS Training Camp will feature fun, soccer-themed activities, special team photos with Sinclair and the opportunity to learn more about MS and what it's like to live with the disease.

Canadians coast-to-coast who can't make it to the Training Camp are invited to support the cause by joining the Team online. Simply post on social media why you are joining the Burgers to Beat MS Team using #BurgersToBeatMS and tagging @AWCanada and @MSSocietyCanada. Earlybird sign up is open July 9 through July 31, and Canadians that join the Team during this time by posting on Instagram and Twitter can score a special Burgers to Beat MS prize pack, including a $100 A&W gift card and a Sinclair-signed jersey and soccer ball†.

Since 2009, Burgers to Beat MS has raised more than $11 million, making it the single largest annual corporate fundraiser for the MS Society of Canada. A&W is aiming to raise more than $2 million through the 10th annual Burgers to Beat MS campaign, and wants Canadians to get involved early to help raise important awareness and much-needed funds for those with MS.

"Burgers to Beat MS is a campaign that brings the extended A&W family together, working together for a cause that's close to our hearts," says Susan Senecal, President and CEO, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. "The 10th anniversary of Burgers to Beat MS is a special milestone, and we want to make the biggest impact possible. We're encouraging all Canadians to team up with us and Christine Sinclair to help make a difference in the lives of people living with MS."

MS is a complex and unpredictable disease that affects the central nervous system and affects 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 day researchers are learning more about what causes the disease and ways to prevent it.

"We look forward to our Burgers to Beat MS partnership with A&W each year, and this year is bigger than ever as it's the 10th anniversary of the campaign," says Pamela Valentine, President and CEO, MS Society of Canada. "Burgers to Beat MS enables the MS Society of Canada to fund critical research to improve the quality of life of those living with MS. It helps support advocacy efforts for Canadians affected by MS to have the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of life and provides program delivery in local communities. The funds raised through Burgers to Beat MS will help us drive forward for a cure."

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 925 locations coast-to-coast. 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. 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 TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

†No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of Canada, 18+. Enter between July 9, 2018 at 12:00 a.m. ET and July 31, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. For Official Rules, visit http://bit.ly/BurgerstoBeatMSTeamContestRules.

Prize pack valued at $250. Void where prohibited.

SOURCE A&W Food Services of Canada Inc.

For further information: Morgan Andrade, Strategic Objectives, Morgan.Andrade@strategicobjectives.com, C: 416.219.0082; O: 416.366.7735 ext. 283; Jennifer Asselin, MS Society of Canada, Jennifer.Asselin@mssociety.ca, T: 1.800.268.7582 ext. 3144