The A&W Root Bear hams it up at the drive-thru at the A&W restaurant at the Capri Centre in Kelowna Wednesday during the ninth annual Burgers beat MS camapign kickoff.—Image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News

A&W’s burgers beat MS

Annual fundraiser to help fight MS is underway at Central Okanagan A&W restaurants.

A&W kicked off its ninth annual Burgers Beat MS campaign Thursday, selling teen burgers with $2 from every burger going to the MS Society of Canada.

The campaign—which includes A&W restaurants cross the country, including six restaurants in Kelowna, two in West Kelowna and one each in Lake Country and Peachland—has raised more than $9 million for the MS Society of Canada since it started and the the chain’s CFO, Don Leslie was on hand in Kelowna Wednesday to help celebrate.

He said when the burger chain went looking for a cause to support nine years ago, it settled on MS because Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world.

“It’s kind of like a Canadian disease,” said Leslie. “And because we’re a Canadian company, we felt it was appropriate.”

On Thursday, $2 from the sale of all Teen burgers sold was donated to the MS Society of Canada.

But Leslie said that was not the only opportunity for people to donate to the cause. Throughout the month, he said, anyone wanting to donate could do so at A&W restaurant collection points.

Tania Vrionis, president of the B.C. and Yukon division of the MS Society of Canada said the annual fundraising effort by the restaurant chain is very important to her organization.

“It means everything,” she said, adding this year, it’s hoped the campaign will raise another $2 million to aid in the fight against MS.

Vrionis said strides are being made to help treat the disease in Canada.

She said 20 years ago there were no disease modifying therapies for MS suffers. Now there are 14.

“With each year that passes there has been more progress made,” she added.