Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Breaking Records for a Cure From humble beginnings, the M&M Meat Shops Charity BBQ Day has grown into CCFC's largest annual fundraising activity by any single supporter. To date, M&M Meat Shops has raised more than $10 million for medical research dedicated to finding a cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, two similar yet distinct conditions also known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Canada has the highest incidence of Crohn's disease in the world and the incidence of ulcerative colitis is also among the highest, yet the public profile of this "taboo" disease continues to be low. There are more than 175,000 Canadians suffering from this painful and unpredictable disorder, there is no known cause or cure, and the number of cases continues to grow. The funds raised through events such as Charity BBQ Day have allowed CCFC to fund more than $40 million in medical research projects. Charity BBQ Day began in 1988, when Mac Voisin, Co-Founder of M&M Meat Shops, learned that Canadians suffer from IBD at an unusually high rate. He quickly realized that he had the unique opportunity to help raise awareness and funds for a little known, and even less spoken about condition and Canadian charity. Charity BBQ Day was born and the CCFC gained both a corporate sponsor and a public voice. Over the past 18 years, Charity BBQ Day has grown rapidly. Last year, $1.55 million was raised and this year the goal is set at $1.75 million. "What began in 1988 with just a handful of stores has evolved into a national event at more than 400 M&M Meat Shops locations across Canada. It's definitely become an expression of who we are as a company and the commitment of our franchisees and volunteers in communities from coast to coast," says Mac Voisin. "Our goal is to help find a cure so that our event can become an annual celebration of the cure for IBD." The success of Charity BBQ Day depends on the generous contributions of several partners including Schneider Foods, Dutch Mill, Frito-Lay and Humpty Dumpty, who donate products for this event. Shining Stars M&M Meat Shops customers can contribute to the fundraising efforts by participating in the Charity BBQ on Saturday, May 13th and through the Superstars for CCFC program, now in its fourth year. Running in stores from April 8 to May 13, 2006, customers can show their support by making a minimum donation of $2.00 and having their name printed on a CCFC Star, which is displayed in their local M&M Meat Shops store. $2.00 Hamburgers Help Find a Cure "We are extremely grateful to those that support M&M Meat Shops Charity BBQ Day," says CCFC National President Randy Sabourin. "Our partnership with M&M Meat Shops has made an enormous difference in our effort to find a cure for IBD and the generous donations, combined with the hard work of thousands of volunteers, raise a significant portion of our annual research funds in just one day." Much of the money raised through Charity BBQ Day is used to help fund the IBD Research Institute, which studies all aspects of the disease. With this support, CCFC is: Investing in the most talented researchers Launching a study to establish the incidence and prevalence of IBD in Canada and the real "burden" of this disease on patients, their families and Canadian health care Using the research findings from this study to communicate with governments and other funding bodies to increase their awareness and support of IBD research Investing in Canada's first Clinical Trials Consortium, a network of the best clinical trial specialists in Canada who will work together to test new approaches to understanding the causes and treatments of IBD Funding collaborations involving various researchers and research centres to find the cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis on the calendar, minimum of once a week Proud Partners A Kitchener-based business, M&M Meat Shops opened its first store in 1980. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the chain has grown to more than 400 locations across Canada. M&M Meat Shops offers hundreds of meal ideas for today's busy families in just one aisle, with products ranging from succulent steaks to delicious desserts and convenient meal ideas. For more information on M&M Meat Shops or for tips on hundreds of meal ideas visit www.mmmeatshops.com. The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) is a voluntary, not-for-profit, medical research foundation dedicated to finding the cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The Foundation is also committed to educating IBD patients, their families, health professionals and the general public about the diseases. For more information about the CCFC, please visit www.ccfc.ca.
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