PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Several area Valvoline Instant Oil Change service centers are not only changing the oil in cars, but they're also asking customers to consider changing the way they contribute to the fight against prostate cancer. Since August 10 and continuing through October 31, customers visiting Valvoline stores in Oregon City, Tualatin, Tigard, and Hillsboro, Oregon; and in Vancouver, Washington, will have the opportunity to make a donation to Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network (www.ustoo.org).
"Overall, the response from our customers has been very positive," noted Michael Hughes, co-owner of the Valvoline stores. "More than half of the customers have made a donation ranging from one dollar on up, totaling more than $5,000 so far." One hundred percent of all proceeds will be donated to Us TOO International, which was founded 20 years ago by prostate cancer survivors and their families "who recognized that cancer affects us, too." The non-profit organization works with volunteers in 325 affiliated support group chapters worldwide to provide peer-to-peer support and free materials for men and their families to make informed choices on prostate cancer detection and treatment options.
Timing for the promotion was scheduled around September, which is prostate cancer awareness month. Hughes hopes to expand the fundraising promotion next year to include more Valvoline locations. "We appreciate our customers being so supportive of our affiliation and making a charitable donation," he continued. "And the timing works well so we are only approaching customers with a charity tie-in one time during the year."
Hughes paid for all start-up expenses for the program to produce banners and donation post-it notes with the prostate cancer blue ribbon. A donation post-it note is added to the wall of the Valvoline shop every time a customer makes a donation. To help encourage the employees at each location to invite customers to contribute, Hughes is offering free tickets to a Portland Trailblazers basketball game to the employees at the shop that collects the most donations relative to the volume of business over the promotional time period. He hopes to expand the program for next year through the Valvoline franchise community as well as the corporate stores.
According to estimates for 2010 based on National Cancer Institute data, prostate cancer deaths are expected to increase by 17 percent to more than 32,000, and 217,000 new cases will be diagnosed, which is an increase of 13 percent compared to 2009. This exceeds the 192,000 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer and it marks the greatest percentage increase for prostate cancer deaths and diagnosis of new cases since the mid-1990s.
"Many customers tell us that they're happy to see a promotion that supports prostate cancer and helps men with the disease," said Valvoline Instant Oil Change Area Manager Ken Pomerinke. "The fight against breast cancer is very well known but it's surprising to see the number of people who still aren't aware of the battle against prostate cancer."
Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network has 12 support group chapters in various cities throughout the state of Washington and six chapters throughout Oregon. The chapter in McMinnville, Oregon is the location that's closest to the Valvoline stores currently participating in the fundraising promotion for Us TOO.
SOURCE Us TOO International