Boston Celtics and Sun Life Financial donate $95,000 to fight diabetes and raise awareness with 2nd annual #SunLifeDunkforDiabetes campaign

Celtics and Sun Life teamed up during National Diabetes Awareness Month to support YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program

Dec 10, 2015, 09:01 ET from Sun Life Financial - United States

BOSTON and WELLESLEY, Mass., Dec. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On November 30, the Boston Celtics and Sun Life Financial completed the 2nd year of the #SunLifeDunkforDiabetes campaign, which raises money for the YMCA of Greater Boston's Diabetes Prevention Program.

In honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month, Sun Life donated $1,000 to the YMCA's program each time a Celtics player dunked in November. The dunk total was $28,000, with a $25,000 match from the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. Sun Life also ran a social media campaign for Celtics fans and the broader community to get involved by donating $1 each time the hashtag #SunLifeDunkforDiabetes was used on Twitter. At the end of the month, the hashtag had been posted more than 4,000 times, bringing the grand total donation for the campaign to over $57,000.

Along with active fundraising from the #SunLifeDunkForDiabetes campaign, Sun Life donated additional funds this November to the Y's program to hire bilingual instructors—bringing the total donation for 2015 to $95,000. Sun Life has donated over $367,000 to the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program since it began.

Sun Life has been working with the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program since its inception last year. The program, a year-long course that helps adults who are pre-diabetic avoid and reverse the factors that can result in type 2 diabetes, is now active in 185 Y's across 43 states, and has helped over 100 people in the Boston area and over 36,000 nationwide.

"Last year, over 100 people participated in the Y's Diabetes Prevention Program in Boston, thanks to the support of Sun Life and the Boston Celtics," said James O'S. Morton, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston. "In the coming year we plan to double the number of locations where the program is offered, and serve more communities in and around Boston."

"We're thrilled about another successful dunk campaign with the Celtics, which is a terrific way to raise awareness for diabetes prevention and support the YMCA in making a positive difference in the health of our local communities," said Dan Fishbein, MD, President of Sun Life Financial U.S. "Type 2 diabetes is preventable. By educating people about the risk factors and health consequences of type 2 diabetes as well as providing hands-on support for people to take control of their wellness, programs like the Y's Diabetes Prevention Program can help combat this disease."

The partnership with the YMCA is one of many ways Sun Life has shown ongoing commitment to helping inform Americans about diabetes risk factors and health consequences. Sun Life has donated over $500,000 to programs focused on diabetes prevention in the U.S. and over $13 million to the diabetes cause globally. 

Up next for Sun Life, the Celtics, and the YMCA is the Fit to Win program, a four-week event that helps grade school kids incorporate fitness, nutrition, and healthy living activities into their daily routine. In the coming year, the program will expand from just Greater Boston to Southern Maine as well, and kids will receive Celtics prizes and surprise Celtics player visits when their programs are completed.

"We are very excited to be teaming up with Sun Life once again in the new year for Fit to Win," said Ted Dalton, Celtics SVP of Corporate Partnerships. "With the Dunk for Diabetes program, we're able to support the adult education program at the YMCA, and now with Fit to Win we focus on the kids, helping them learn about fitness, nutrition, and overall health."

To learn more about diabetes and how Sun Life is fighting the disease, visit www.sunlife.com/usdiabetes.

To learn more about the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program, visit www.ymca.net/diabetes.

About the Boston Celtics

A charter member of the Basketball Association of America (which evolved into the National Basketball Association) since 1946, the Boston Celtics have won a record 17 NBA Championships, including eight (8) in a row from 1959-1966, winning their first title in 1957 and their most recent in 2008. The Celtics have long stood for equality, and respect, including hiring the first African American coach and starting the first all black starting five. In addition, 35 former Celtics players, management or staff have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In December 2002, the team returned to local ownership for the first time since 1963. For more information, log on to www.celtics.com.

About Sun Life Financial

Celebrating 150 years in 2015, Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth products and services to individuals and corporate customers. The Sun Life Financial group of companies operates under the "Sun Life Financial" name strictly as a marketing name and no legal significance is expressed or implied. Sun Life Financial and its partners have operations in a number of markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Bermuda. In the United States and elsewhere, insurance products are offered by members of the Sun Life Financial group that are insurance companies. In the United States, Sun Life Financial provides a range of products and services to employers and their employees, including Group and Voluntary Accident, Critical Illness, Dental, Disability, Life, and Stop-Loss insurance products. Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations. Sun Life Financial Inc., the holding company for the Sun Life Financial group of companies, is a public company. It is not an insurance company and does not offer insurance products for sale in the United States or elsewhere, and does not guarantee the obligations of its insurance company subsidiaries. Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE), and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF. For more information, visit www.sunlife.com/us.

About the YMCA of Greater Boston

Founded in 1851, the YMCA of Greater Boston is a cause-driven organization committed to developing youth to their highest potential, encouraging healthy living and promoting social responsibility in the communities we serve. We welcome men and women, boys and girls of all incomes, faiths and cultures. One of the largest urban YMCAs in the country and Boston's largest provider of social services for children and families, the Greater Boston YMCA network of services includes 75 facilities and program centers serving over 150,000 men, women and children in more than 40 eastern Massachusetts communities. For more information, visit www.ymcaboston.org.

Media Contacts:

Devon Portney Fernald
Sun Life Financial
781-416-7151
devon.portney.fernald@sunlife.com

Heather Walker
Boston Celtics
617-854-8072
hwalker@celtics.com

Taylor Kielpinski-Rogers
Boston Celtics
617-399-8430
taylor@celtics.com

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SOURCE Sun Life Financial - United States



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