Safeway Teams up with Melissa Etheridge to Fight Breast Cancer

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Safeway Teams up with Melissa Etheridge to Fight Breast Cancer

PLEASANTON, Calif. - Safeway, Inc. yesterday launched a monthlong public service campaign to help find a cure for breast cancer and encourage mammogram screenings and examinations for women.

The company is teaming up with Grammy and Oscar award winner Melissa Etheridge, a breast cancer survivor, to encourage women to join the fight against breast cancer by taking action through preventive screenings and self-examinations.

"This public service campaign will reach millions of women, families, and loved ones, and make a positive difference by encouraging breast cancer screenings and funding critical research to prevent this disease and find a cure for breast cancer," said Etheridge in a statement.

The public service campaign during October coincides with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is the largest breast cancer event of its kind by a grocery retailer, according to Safeway. The initiative combines store fundraising with a broad-based information and outreach campaign designed to encourage women to receive regular mammogram screenings and examinations.

The retailer will reach out to shoppers during October to raise money through a number of in-store activities. Shoppers can make a donation at checkstands at each of Safeway's 1,740 stores. Etheridge's new CD, "The Awakening," will also be sold at every checkstand, with a portion of the proceeds going to support critical breast cancer research and awareness programs. Additionally, Safeway and vendor partners will contribute to the breast cancer fundraising campaign when customers purchase products with a specially marked pink ribbon.

"Thanks to the generosity of our customers and employees, this campaign will raise millions of dollars to fund groundbreaking research programs that will lead to a cure for this devastating disease," said Larree Renda, Safeway e.v.p. and chair of the Safeway Foundation.

For the educational component of the campaign, public service messages will appear during October in a range of different media, including radio commercials, the company's in-store communications network, electronic point-of-sale screens at checkout, in-store signage, weekly print sales circulars, and Safeway's Web site.

Employees will sponsor various events throughout the country, including breast cancer walks, breast cancer screening events, and volunteer activities. This includes sponsoring the Komen Foundation "Race for the Cure" events in multiple major U.S. cities and funding mobile mammogram screening services.

During the past six years, Safeway's annual breast cancer campaign has raised over $25 million -- $8.3 million in 2006 alone -- to fund major cancer research programs at major research institutions and hospitals in the North America, including the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the University of California at San Francisco, and the University of California at Los Angeles. The company also supports information and awareness-raising organizations such as Susan G. Komen Foundation and the breast cancer information Web site

Safeway operates 1,740 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $40.2 billion in 2006. Last year the retailer donated more than $154 million to important causes, such as cancer research, education, food banks, and programs focused on assisting people with disabilities.