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Safeway Inc. yesterday said it raised a record $13.2 million during its June prostate cancer fundraising and awareness campaign, a program the grocer created to fuel leading-edge cancer research.
"We continue to be impressed and thankful for the generosity of our customers and dedication of our employees in helping find a cure for prostate cancer," said Safeway chairman, president, and c.e.o., Steve Burd. "This kind of exceptional outcome tells us this cause resonates, and that the initiative is having a meaningful impact."
This marks the eighth consecutive year that Safeway has worked with the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), a philanthropic supporter of prostate cancer research. Since 2000, Safeway has raised nearly $42 million for prostate cancer research at some of the top cancer centers in North America.
"Without these funds, hundreds of critical experiments to end prostate cancer would not continue in future years," said Jonathan Simon, MD, c.e.o. and president of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. "The fact that the program raised significantly more compared to last year is astounding and a testament to the compassionate spirit of Safeway customers and employees."
Each June Safeway and its banner stores -- Vons, Pavilions, Genuardi's, Dominick's, Carrs, Randalls, Tom Thumb, and Pak 'N Save -- conduct fundraising activities and solicit donations in support of prostate cancer research. The company also holds awareness-raising events in various markets.
For example, this year the company sponsored a Father's Day cook-off competition in which Hall of Fame Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda and San Francisco Giant Aaron Rowand challenged Oakland A's Mark Ellis and Mike Sweeney to a steak grilling competition at a Safeway store in San Francisco. Sweeney told of his father's recent winning bout against the disease. Lasorda is a longtime supporter of the Prostate Cancer Foundation as are a number of Major League baseball players.
Safeway and PCF recently partnered in the creation of the S.T.A.R. Team (Special Team Amplification of Research), an interdisciplinary group of investigators from multiple prominent cancer research centers, including Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the University of Michigan Cancer Center, and the University of British Columbia, with additional input from University of Washington, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Emory University.
Safeway and PCF donated a combined $6 million to launch the team's collective research into the role that targeted heat plays in cancer treatment, specifically prostate cancer therapy.
Safeway operates 1,740 stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $42.3 billion in 2007.