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A&W gears up for “Cruisin’ to End MS” event

Classic cars and A&W actor part of fundraising efforts for MS Society of Canada

A&W Food Services of Canada is putting a celebrity spin on its sixth annual fundraiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

The store that raises the most money this year through on-going MS fundraising initiatives will get a special visit on Aug. 21 from Allen Lulu, the actor best known as the store manager in A&W commercials.

His appearance is part of the burger chain’s “Cruisin’ to End MS” event. One dollar from every Teen Burger sold across the country on Aug. 21 will go to the MS Society of Canada.

Lulu will be in character at the winning store, where he’ll help out and meet customers. His participation “helps generate excitement for our restaurants and our guests,” said Tom Newitt, senior director of marketing, brand communications at A&W.

As part of the fundraiser, more than 800 A&W restaurants across the country will host Cruisin’ to End MS events, which may include Cruisin’ the Dub classic car and hot rod gatherings, A&W Root Beer chugging contests, and visits from the Great A&W Root Bear.

In addition to buying a Teen Burger, people can also purchase $1, $2 or $5 paper cutouts, give through in-store donation mugs or make online donations.

A&W will also donate $1 to the MS Society of Canada for every RSVP to the A&W Cruisin’ to End MS event on Facebook and every tweet or retweet with the hashtag #CruisinToEndMS.

In its first five years, Cruisin’ to End MS has raised $5 million to support people living with MS and MS research in Canada. Newitt said the partnership with the MS Society of Canada was driven by A&W’s franchisees. “A lot of our franchisees give back to the community and they really wanted something that they could all get together and do,” he said.

“There’s a higher percentage of Canadians who get MS than anywhere else in the world… It’s very prevalent in Canada and you either know somebody with MS or a family members knows somebody. It seems to touch everybody in the A&W world.”

The fundraising event is being promoted through PR, social media and radio spots. Strategic Objectives is handling PR and Rethink created the radio ads.

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