TORONTO, June 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The tremendous fundraising efforts of UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers union) members and Local Unions  over the past year have once again reaffirmed the UFCW Canada family as Canada’s largest annual fundraising organization supporting the life-changing work of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (LLSC).

At a special event in Toronto, UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema presented a donation of $2,512,929.05 to LLSC President Alicia Talarico, on behalf of the combined fundraising efforts of UFCW Canada members and Local Unions from across the country. 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 presentation, Dr. Rena Buckstein of Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences centre was also introduced as the 2018 recipient of the UFCW Canada Award for Leukemia Research for her work to improve therapies for blood cancers, specifically myelodysplastic syndromes and lymphoma. This annual grant goes to the LLSC’s top scoring operating research grant applicant.

“We are grateful that the efforts of UFCW Canada members and Local Unions have made such a difference to the vital work and research of the LLSC in the development of better treatments and therapies,” said National President Meinema. “For three decades, the UFCW Canada family has stood with families across this country in their battle with blood cancers and we will be there until the battle against all blood cancers is won.”

Every year, UFCW Canada members, Local Unions, and allies organize and participate in numerous fundraising activities such as 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 cancers. The Returns for Leukemia bottle drive is another pillar of the overall fundraising effort, through an Ontario-wide co-operative fundraiser between UFCW members and The Beer Store that converts deposits on bottles into donations to the LLSC. This season, the campaign contributed an incredible $1,785,712.24 to the overall campaign.

“UFCW Canada and its members have proven time and again their compassion for patients and determination to find cures for blood cancers,” says LLSC President Alicia Talarico.  “We are grateful for their on-going and overwhelming support that has led to safer, more personalized and effective treatments for those affected by blood cancers.”

Since 1985, UFCW Canada members and Local Unions have fundraised over $41.4 million in support of the vital work of the LLSC.

About UFCW Canada: As Canada's leading union for retail and food workers, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW Canada) represents over 250,000 workers across the country working in the food retail and processing, agriculture, health care, security, and hospitality industries, as well as other sectors of the economy. UFCW Canada is the country's most innovative organization dedicated to building fairness in workplaces and communities. Since 1985, UFCW Canada members and Local Unions have also fundraised over $41.4 million in support of the life-changing work of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. To find out more about UFCW Canada, visit

About the LLSC: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada is the country's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLSC mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. To learn more, or to support blood cancer research taking place in cancer centres across Canada, visit


Michael Forman, Communications Director
UFCW Canada
416.675.1104 extension 2249

Ashley Warner, Marketing Campaign Manager
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at