From classic cars to teen burgers and root beer floats, A&W Cruisin’ to End M.S. offers a taste of family fun for a cause that is close to the hearts of thousands of people in Saskatchewan.
On Thursday, one dollar from every teen burger sold in Canada went to support research for multiple sclerosis. This is the seventh year of the fundraising event, but it actually began in Regina at the A&W on Avonhurst Drive and Albert Street.
“The first campaign was piloted here and is now in 840 different locations across Canada,” explained Carissa Trenton, communications coordinator for the Saskatchewan Division of the MS Society of Canada.
Amanda Matechuk is one of approximately 3,700 people living with multiple sclerosis in Saskatchewan, which has the highest rate per capita of the disease in Canada.
“I have been living with M.S. for 16 years. I was diagnosed when I was 17,” she said.
Matechuk says fun, family events like this one offer a chance to feel connected to the community.
“When you’re diagnosed with M.S., a lot of people generally feel very alone and it’s hard to find people to relate to,” she said. “You see so many people out here buying a teen burger, a root beer float, it’s just really inspiring and it really makes you feel that you’re not alone.
For Matechuk, getting involved with many different fundraisers and volunteering with the M.S. Society is a way to live better with the disease while fighting for a cure. She was not surprised at all to see the community rally behind fundraising events for M.S.
“I would be surprised if you could show me one person who doesn’t know someone, somehow with M.S. and people in Saskatchewan are just awesome,” Matechuk commented.
The Cruisin’ to End M.S. fundraising campaign raised about $1.4 million in 2014 and over the course of six years, it has raised $6.5 million for research.