PHOENIX, Ariz. March 4, 2009 Despite a down economy, Safeway Inc. presented a $685,236 check this week for breast cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).
Dan Valenzuela, President of Safeway's Phoenix Division, which includes 116 stores throughout Arizona, thanked the grocery chain's customers and employees for stepping up for scientific research.
"We're very proud to donate to such an organization as TGen. I think everybody recognizes that, with the economy the way it is, it gets tougher to ask people for donations,'' Valenzuela told about 50 TGen employees gathered Tuesday for the announcement. "Because of your research, and the things that you do, we're honored to present you with a check.''
Safeway's donation represents a 37 percent increase from the $500,000 the company gave TGen last year. The contributions both years were based on month-long campaigns at Arizona's Safeway stores in October 2007 and October 2008.
"You can't give enough credit to our customers and employees,'' Valenzuela said, adding that a major reason Safeway chose to support Phoenix-based TGen was that the research dollars would stay in Arizona.
"The benefit (of TGen's research) is far-reaching. The big thing is, where do the funds go? It (TGen) is local,'' Valenzuela said.
Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen's President and Scientific Director, said the significant and timely contribution by Safeway is an example of the generosity repeatedly shown by local businesses and the people of Arizona.
"This donation will be put to immediate use to help develop treatments and, eventually, find a cure for breast cancer, a major priority for us at TGen and a goal that would benefit everyone,'' Dr. Trent said.
Michael Bassoff, President of the TGen Foundation, the fundraising arm of the non-profit biomedical research institute, described Safeway's contribution as a special tribute to TGen researchers
|Contact: Steve Yozwiak|
The Translational Genomics Research Institute