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PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway Inc. raised $7 million for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) during a month-long campaign at the company's more than 1,600 U.S. stores. It was a record for the chain's efforts to support the fight against muscular dystrophy.
Over the Labor Day weekend just past, Safeway employees volunteered time and participated in various regional Jerry Lewis MDA telethons presenting checks and staffing phone banks.
"Raising funds for MDA has become an important late-summer tradition at Safeway and a core part of how our company gives back to the community," said Larree Renda, Safeway e.v.p. and chair of The Safeway Foundation.
Renda, along with top fundraising store managers and district managers, presented checks totaling $7 million to MDA national chairman Jerry Lewis on the MDA Labor Day Telethon in Las Vegas.
Safeway representatives in 25 other cities participated in regional MDA telethons and presented checks for funds raised locally. In addition, Safeway employees volunteered hundreds of hours in more than a dozen cities staffing phone banks and taking pledges at multiple telethon sites such as Houston, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and San Diego.
In Chicago, more than 100 employees from Safeway's Chicago-area Dominick's stores - clad in red "Dominick's" shirts -- worked on the phone banks at the telethon broadcast from the Chicago Hyatt Regency Hotel from Sunday night through the early hours of Monday morning.
Safeway said the annual fundraising drive for "Jerry's Kids" is part of a companywide initiative to assist people with neuromuscular disease. The money raised goes to MDA-funded research and treatment programs.
Over the years Safeway has raised more than $32 million for MDA through customer donations at checkout and a broad range of store fundraising events, including its participation in the long-standing Aisles of Smiles program, the chain said.
Twice each year Safeway stores nationally mobilize to raise funds and awareness for people with various physical and developmental disabilities. Along with the annual MDA campaign, Safeway also raises funds for Easter Seals to help people with autism, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and other special needs. Through these efforts the retailer has helped raise more than $110 million for people with disabilities.
Safeway operates 1,740 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $40.2 billion in 2006.