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27th Annual Leukemia Gala raises hope and funds for blood cancer research, education, and outreach

Toronto – June 20, 2016 – The combined fundraising efforts of UFCW Canada activists, family members, and Local Unions were once again highlighted at the 27th Annual UFCW Canada Leukemia Gala, held on June 17 in Toronto.

UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema announced that the fundraising efforts of Canada's leading union in support of the lifesaving research efforts of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC) have raised $2,472,013 dollars over the past year.

The money raised goes toward supporting LLSC research, raising awareness of leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, and other blood cancers, and reaching out to those suffering from blood cancers.

At the Gala, representatives from the LLSC presented Dr. Aaron Schimmer of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre with the UFCW Canada Award for Leukemia Research for his cutting-edge work on finding new therapies for blood cancer.

"Once again, UFCW Canada members, their families, and our community partners have proven their commitment to the thousands of Canadians affected by leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood cancers," UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema told the Gala audience. "Each year we renew our commitment to fight these diseases, and the money that we raise for research, education, and outreach continues to save many lives,” he added.

For nearly three decades, UFCW Canada members and community allies have organized and participated in numerous fundraising activities – including raffles, community picnics, 50-50 draws, car washes, sports tournaments, ride-a-thons, marathons, relays, and Light the Night walks – to raise money for the fight against blood cancer, and this past year was no different.

Another pillar of the union's fundraising efforts is the highly successful "Returns for Leukemia" bottle drive, whereby UFCW Canada activists collect deposits on bottle returns at Beer Stores across Ontario and donate the proceeds to the LLSC. At the Leukemia Gala, UFCW Canada Local 12R24 President Robert Edwards announced that this year's "Returns for Leukemia" bottle drive raised an incredible $1,652,012 dollars.

The overall total raised by UFCW Canada's Leukemia efforts has now reached $36,390,299 dollars, making our union the LLSC's most valued partner. UFCW Canada is and will continue to be the largest annual supporter of the Society's life-saving efforts in the ongoing fight against blood cancers.