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PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Supermarket chain Safeway Inc. raised a record $5.1 million to support prostate cancer research during its annual June fundraiser, bringing its six-year total to almost $18 million.
"Our customers and employees continue to impress us with their generosity and resourcefulness toward raising money for prostate cancer research," said Larree Renda, Safeway's e.v.p. "This new record and dollar amount tells us the cause hits home and that our awareness-raising activities are having an impact."
To date, Safeway has raised more than $17.8 million to support the cause. The company's June fundraiser benefits the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the world's largest philanthropic supporter of prostate cancer research and facilitator of more than 1,200 research grants to 100 institutions worldwide.
During June, Safeway solicited customer donations at checkstands and held a range of retail fundraising activities. The retailer's employees organized parking lot barbecues and held book sales, raffles, and parking lot carnivals. The company also spent the month raising awareness using a range of channels including its weekly sales circular, radio advertisements, milk carton imprints, as well as prostate cancer awareness messaging throughout the store.
To further promote early detection, Safeway also conducted prostate cancer screening at 550 Safeway pharmacies in the U.S. during June. "We take the awareness-raising component of our June campaign seriously," said Renda. "Early detection boosts prostate cancer survival rates, and each year we find new ways to get the message in front of our customers and their families."
Each year, Safeway raises money for numerous charitable causes including breast cancer research, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Easter Seals. The company contributed more than $24 million to local schools through eScrip and other educational programs in 2005. Safeway also donates more than $110 million to Second Harvest food banks and other hunger relief organizations annually.
Safeway operates 1,770 stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $38.4 billion in 2005.