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Safeway, Inc. this week began its eighth annual prostate cancer fundraising and awareness campaign this week, an effort that has raised nearly $30 million for prostate cancer research at some of North America's top cancer centers.
The company has teamed with the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), the world's largest philanthropic supporter of prostate cancer research, to distribute the funds. This year's campaign will focus on early detection and screening as a way to reduce mortality rates.
"Prostate cancer survival improves dramatically with screenings and early detection," said Safeway chairman, president, and c.e.o. Steve Burd. "Our companywide public service campaign will extend that core message to a wide audience and save lives in the process."
Safeway will reach consumers through a series of radio, print, and in-store advertisements that will run during June. The retailer will hold media events to raise awareness, particularly surrounding Father's Day celebrations, in a number of their geographies throughout North America.
As they have done in years past during June, Safeway's U.S. and Canadian stores will provide customers with an opportunity to make donations at the checkstand when shopping at their local Safeway, Dominicks, Randalls/Tom Thumb, Genuardi's, Vons/Pavilions, Carrs or Pak n' Save stores. In addition, many stores will conduct their own special fundraising events. The money raised is donated directly to the PCF, which provides grants to teaching hospitals and cancer centers doing leading-edge research. PCF has made grants in Safeway's name to comprehensive cancer centers in the company's operating areas, including Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the University of California at San Francisco, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the University of British Columbia, and Translational Genomics in Phoenix
Last November a PCF/Safeway-funded partnership yielded a research project that brought together a team of the most prominent cancer research centers in the nation to explore the role of targeted heat in cancer therapy to treat prostate cancer. The STAR Program (for Special Team Amplification of Research) was funded with a $3 million grant from Safeway's 2007 Prostate Cancer Awareness fundraiser, and $3 million from PCF.
"Through the overwhelming support of our employees and customers, we are helping fund critical research that will ultimately lead to a cure for prostate cancer," said Safeway e.v.p. and Safeway Foundation chair Larree Renda. "We are helping make a difference, and we hope through public awareness that families and friends can encourage loved ones to get their prostate cancer screening."
In other news, Safeway has joined with Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes brand in a licensing deal aimed at promoting healthy eating among kids.
Under the exclusive agreement, Safeway's Eating Right Kids packaging will feature WB characters such as Bugs Bunny, Tweety, Taz, Sylvester, Wile E. Coyote, Roadrunner, Marvin the Martian, and Daffy Duck, making it easier for parents to find.
The product line will include more than 100 items across 30 categories, including breakfast foods, portable meals, dairy, snacks, and beverages.
Safeway operates 1,740 stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $42.3 billion in 2007.