Alzheimer Society of Canada receives $1-million boost for research - Mother Parkers gift helps find a cure

TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Alzheimer's research received a huge boost today as one of Canada's iconic brands Mother Parkers donated $1 million to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. The donation represents the single largest contribution to the Alzheimer Society Research Program (ASRP), a peer-reviewed grant and awards program that supports Canada's top talent in bio-medical and quality-of-life research to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease and improve day-to-day care.

The $1-million gift is the culmination of Mother Parkers Remembers, a year-long campaign initiated by Co-CEOs Paul Higgins Jr. and Michael Higgins to commemorate the company's 100-year history and to honour the memory of their father, Paul Higgins Sr., who succumbed to Alzheimer's later in life.

"Dad's disease had a significant impact on the whole family and the company," says Paul Higgins Jr., Co-CEO, Mother Parkers. "It made sense that the money go to the Alzheimer Society because of their strong commitment to research. Our father would have been proud to know that this money will provide more opportunities for finding a cure."

Throughout the campaign, donations poured in from Mother Parkers' long-standing customers and suppliers from across Canada, including employees, friends and family. As part of the campaign, the Higgins restored their family's historic 1924 rail car, The Pacific, making special trips to and from key Canadian cities to raise funds, with in-kind support from CN, VIA and GO.

"The magnitude of the Higgins's generosity is a significant boost to our research efforts," says Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada. "This is a fantastic time in dementia research. This gift will help our best and brightest minds continue to explore exciting avenues in the diagnosis, prevention and a cure for this disease.  We're extremely grateful to Mother Parkers and all those who gave generously."

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. Age is the biggest risk factor but it can also occur in people in their 40s. Of the top 10 death-causing diseases today, Alzheimer's remains incurable and will affect 1.4 million Canadians by 2031. The disease is also the least funded but its social and economic impact outstrips that of any other chronic condition, including all cancers combined.

"A million dollars is a powerful gift of hope," adds Lowi-Young. "It could one day lead to the breakthrough we desperately need."

About Mother Parkers:
Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee is a family-owned Canadian company and one of the largest private label coffee and tea manufacturers in North America.  The Company also manufactures and markets its own brands under the Higgins & Burke, Mother Parkers, Brown Gold, and Martinson labels and has recently entered the single-serve market with their RealCup brand of hot beverage capsules.  Established in 1912, Mother Parkers combines technology and new product innovation with years of experience to deliver a better beverage experience in mainstream and specialty coffee, tea and complimentary beverages.  For more information, visit www.mother-parkers.com 

About the Alzheimer Society of Canada
The Alzheimer Society of Canada is Canada's leading nationwide health charity for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Active in communities right across Canada, the Society offers help for today through programs and services and hope for tomorrow by funding research to find the cause and the cure. To learn more about the disease and how you can support the Alzheimer Society Research Program, visit www.alzheimer.ca

SOURCE Alzheimer Society of Canada

Image with caption: "Left to right: Leslie Beck, President, Alzheimer Society of Canada, Paul Higgins Jr., Co-CEO, Mother Parkers, Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada, Michael Higgins, Co-CEO, Mother Parkers. (CNW Group/Alzheimer Society of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130213_C5040_PHOTO_EN_23662.jpg




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