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PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway, Inc. here officially kicked off its sixth annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Month fundraiser yesterday with a celebration at corporate headquarters. The company aims to raise almost $5 million this month to fund research and the continuing effort to find a cure. Former Major League baseball players Dave Stewart, Robin Ventura, and Eric Karros will be at the program launch and an employee luncheon following it.
Since its inception, the fundraiser has raised over $12.7 million for research and treatment of prostate cancer. Safeway, together with the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the world's largest philanthropic supporter of prostate cancer research, will use the contributions to fund grants to over 1,200 researchers at 100 institutions around the world.
"Prostate cancer affects one in six men and poses a significant health threat," said Larree Renda, Safeway's e.v.p., chief strategist, and administrative officer, as well as chairwoman of the Safeway Foundation, in a statement. "However, the disease has a 90 percent cure rate with early detection and treatment. We believe it is crucial to get the message out about early testing and to find new ways to treat the disease."
To reinforce the message early detection, Safeway, for the first time, will offer prostate cancer screenings at 550 Safeway pharmacies in the United States during June. The screening, which typically costs $35, will cost just $10 at the participating locations.
In addition to the fundraising and screenings, Safeway will provide information to customers about the disease. Throughout June, facts about prostate cancer and Safeway's campaign will appear in the weekly sales circulars inserted in local newspapers or delivered directly to consumers' homes. Similar messages will be disseminated on safeway's in-store radio network and printed on quart containers of the company's Lucerne brand milk and paper grocery bags.
Safeway, which operates 1,775 stores in the United States and Canada, had annual sales of $38.4 billion last year.