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Safeway Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., kicked off its annual prostate cancer fundraising and awareness campaign yesterday, making this year the ninth consecutive year that the grocer has dedicated an entire month to supporting prostate cancer research.
Since the effort began, the company has raised nearly $42 million to fund research at some of North America’s top cancer centers, including the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), to identify research projects and institutes for grants.
“We are committed to funding research and making a meaningful impact in the quest for new treatments and, ultimately, a cure,” said Safeway chairman, president and CEO Steve Burd. “Our company-wide public service campaign will raise money and spread the word about the importance of early detection and treatment to the millions of consumers that we are fortunate to reach each day.”
Safeway will reach consumers through a series of radio, print and in-store advertisements that will run during the month of June. In addition, more prostate cancer facts will be available on Safeway’s Web site (www.safeway.com).
Each June, Safeway’s U.S. and Canadian stores give customers the chance to make donations at the checkstand when shopping at their local Safeway, Dominick’s, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Genuardi’s, Vons, Pavilions, Carrs, or Pak n’ Save stores. Past recipients of grants include the following teaching and research hospitals in North America:
• Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle
• Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
• The University of California, San Francisco
• M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
• The University of British Columbia
• Translational Genomics, Phoenix
"The Safeway program supporting prostate cancer research is one of the nation's most successful consumer retail programs, having raised nearly $42 million for discovery in prostate cancer in just eight years," said Jonathan Simons, MD, president and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. "So much of the progress we have made is directly attributable to the annual Safeway campaign and we are extremely grateful for their ongoing efforts."
Safeway’s support of PCF research programs is also helping to make important advances in other areas. Two examples are immunotherapy (the science of stimulating a patient’s own immune system to destroy cancer cells) and new blood- and urine-based diagnostic tools. These “liquid biopsies,” that are cancer-specific and can also help measure patient response to treatment, are now on the horizon.
While Safeway is one of the largest corporate supporters of cancer causes, having raised more than $100 million for breast and prostate cancer research and treatment since 2001, cancer research is just one of the many causes that the company supports each year. Safeway contributes to a broad range of charitable and community programs and in 2008 donated more than $248 million to education, hunger relief, health and human services, and programs focused on assisting people with disabilities.
Safeway operates 1,739 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $44.1 billion in 2008.