Toronto – June 17, 2022 – Another year of pandemic restrictions presented unique challenges for UFCW Canada’s fundraising efforts on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC). However, despite these difficulties, UFCW Canada members and Local Unions managed to raise more than $1.86 million dollars in our latest annual campaign to support the lifesaving work of the LLSC.
Since adopting the LLSC as our charity of choice 37 years ago, the UFCW family of members, Local Unions, and activists have raised over $49 million in support of the Society’s impactful work. UFCW Canada members are your neighbours who work in grocery stores, the security industry, food processing plants, the hospitality sector, health care facilities, warehousing, and at The Beer Store, with many serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our UFCW family continues to be the largest annual fundraising organization for the LLSC, and we are proud of the fact that UFCW Canada members and Local Unions were able to overcome obstacles to raise more than $1.86 million dollars for blood cancer research and support,” says Paul Meinema, the National President of UFCW Canada. “United in our purpose, we know that UFCW fundraising continues to make a major difference in the lives of blood cancer patients and their families, and that is why we engage in this work,” Meinema adds.
Normally, the union organizes various fundraising activities, such as Light the Night walks, to raise money for the fight against blood cancers. But the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the modification and cancellation of many of these events, including the Leukemia Bottle Drive – an annual Ontario-wide, May-weekend fundraiser involving UFCW members and The Beer Store – that converts deposits on bottles into donations to the LLSC. But even with the bottle drive modified to a year-round event, with no May-weekend fundraiser for 2021-2022, bottle donations still raised an impressive $1.2 million.
The money raised annually by UFCW Canada activists and Local Unions across Canada is used to support lifechanging research and programs to find a cure, provide better therapies and patient support, and raise public awareness of leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood cancers.
In addition to UFCW’s fundraising efforts for the LLSC, our union also collaborates with the Society to award an annual grant – known as the UFCW Canada Award for Leukemia Research – that funds ground-breaking research into finding a cure and better treatments for blood cancers. This year’s award recipient is Dr. Steven Chan from the Prince Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto. The prestigious grant will help support Dr. Chan’s cutting-edge research on the role of TPO receptor signaling in TET2 mutation-driven clonal hematopoiesis.