Safeway Customers and Employees Join Together to Raise Record $10.7 Million to Help Find a Cure for Prostate Cancer
Funds Raised Support a Broad Range of Cancer Research Projects at Leading Research and Medical Institutions
July 16, 2007 -- Safeway shoppers and employees joined together in the month of June to raise a record $10.7 million to fund critical research programs aimed at finding a cure for prostate cancer. By making donations when shopping at local stores, the fundraising program is making a huge impact, raising $28 million since it began in 2000.
Each year the company partners with the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), the world's largest philanthropic source of support for prostate cancer research. Funds raised by Safeway support a broad range of cancer research projects at leading research and medical institutions.
"Safeway has, through this remarkable campaign, positioned itself as one of the transformational corporate funders of cancer research – in anyone's memory," said Jonathan W. Simons, MD, Chief Executive Officer and President of the PCF. "Those of us on the frontline with patients and families fighting this disease have to consider Safeway’s customers and employees among our most vital allies and the checkout counter a place of hope for cancer research."
"What began as a modest effort to raise awareness and assist the PCF with some of their research funding has become a core company initiative fully embraced by both our customers and employees," said Steve Burd, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Safeway. "We remain inspired by their generosity and enthusiasm for the cause."
Last year, the PCF and Safeway launched the PCF/Safeway Career Development Program, which supports innovative cancer research projects directed by young scientists and enables them to launch and establish careers in prostate cancer research. Award recipients came from top-tier institutions including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the University of California at San Francisco, and the University of California, Los Angeles. These institutions are at the cutting edge of prostate cancer research.
For example, Elahe A. Mostaghel, MD, PhD, a young assistant professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington, spearheaded groundbreaking work in 2006 in understanding how prostate cancer cells die or survive hormonal treatment, impacting how new drugs and clinical trials are now being designed. Isla P. Garraway, MD, PhD, an assistant professor of urology at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA, received a PCF-Safeway Career Development Award to support her work isolating prostate cancer cells, which now opens a better understanding of the genes that play key roles in why more than 220,000 U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007. Both of these "doctor-scientists" were dependent on Safeway dollars to do their experiments and conduct this internationally acclaimed work last year.
Funding from Safeway dollars has enabled projects such as these to serve as platforms from which investigators can explore new targets and therapies to help men with prostate cancer live longer and better lives. This type of research also is making great strides in finding cures for other cancers.
Nearly all of the funds raised by Safeway were the result of asking customers to add small contributions to their grocery bill. Safeway and the PCF also joined forces with supporters in the entertainment and sports world to create additional fundraising vehicles. For example, recording artist Jeff Austin Black recorded a special three-song CD sampler to give to customers who donated at Safeway stores.
Prostate cancer is just one of several important causes Safeway supports through The Safeway Foundation and corporate giving programs. Each year the company also raises money for breast cancer research and programs to help people with disabilities. The company is one of the largest corporate supporters of hunger relief efforts, donating more than $110 million to food banks and hunger relief agencies in 2006. Last year, the company supported local schools and education programs through $24 million in grants through its innovative eScrip education program.
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,755 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $40.2 billion in 2006. Safeway supports a broad range of charitable and community programs and last year donated more than $154 million to important causes, such as cancer research, education, food banks and programs focused on assisting people with disabilities. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.
About the Prostate Cancer Foundation
The Prostate Cancer Foundation is the world’s largest philanthropic source of support for prostate cancer research focused on discovering better treatments and a cure for prostate cancer. Founded in 1993, the PCF has raised more than $370 million and provided funding to more than 1,500 research projects at nearly 200 institutions worldwide. The PCF also advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more governmental research funds. PCF advocacy has helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer since 1994. More information about prostate cancer and the PCF can be found at www.pcf.org.