Press releases

November 02, 2015

Boston Celtics and Sun Life Financial team up to fight diabetes with 2nd annual #SunLifeDunkforDiabetes campaign

SLPC 26840 10/15 (Exp. 10/20)

Celtics and Sun Life will raise money during National Diabetes Awareness Month to support YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program

BOSTON and WELLESLEY, MA – (November 2, 2015) – The Boston Celtics and Sun Life Financial have announced the 2nd year of the #SunLifeDunkforDiabetes campaign, which raises money for the YMCA of Greater Boston’s Diabetes Prevention Program.

During the month of November, National Diabetes Awareness Month, Sun Life will donate $1,000 each time a Celtics player dunks, which the Celtics Shamrock Foundation will match up to an additional $25,000. Sun Life is also encouraging Celtics fans and the broader community to get involved by donating $1 each time someone uses the hashtag #SunLifeDunkforDiabetes on Twitter.

In 2014, #SunLifeDunkforDiabetes raised $75,000 for the YMCA of Greater Boston’s Diabetes Prevention Program, which has helped over 100 people in the area participate in a year-long program that helps adults who are pre-diabetic avoid and reverse the factors that can result in type 2 diabetes. The Dunk for Diabetes campaign is part of Sun Life’s growing support of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program nationally, which Sun Life also helped to launch in Kansas City in 2014, as well as its ongoing commitment to helping inform Americans about diabetes risk factors and health consequences. Sun Life has donated $495,000 to programs focused on diabetes prevention in the U.S. and over $13 million to the diabetes cause globally.

“In our employee benefits business we see how the type 2 diabetes epidemic hits home for so many people, and it’s important for us to bring much needed attention to the cause,” says Dan Fishbein, MD, President of Sun Life Financial U.S. “We are thrilled to again team up with the Celtics in an exciting way to raise awareness and funds for diabetes prevention in the greater Boston area, and through our support of programs like the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program, help Americans lead healthier lives.”

Sun Life, the Celtics, and the YMCA of Greater Boston have teamed up to fight diabetes in multiple ways. In addition to #SunLifeDunkforDiabetes, they will expand the Fit to Win program, which this year helped grade school kids in three Boston area YMCAs incorporate fitness, nutrition and healthy living activities into their daily routine, and awarded them with Celtics prizes and visits from players including Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley.

“The importance of a healthy lifestyle is an essential lesson to teach our children,” says Ted Dalton, Celtics SVP of Corporate Partnerships. “Teaming up with Sun Life to create awareness on this issue we hope will help to reduce type 2 diabetes in the years to come.”

According to the 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report, nearly 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes, about 90% of whom have type 2*. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program aims to help people lose five to seven percent of their body weight through healthy eating, physical activity, and other lifestyle changes. These changes can reduce type 2 diabetes in adults by 58% and in adults over age 60 by 71%, according to the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“We are so grateful to Sun Life and the Boston Celtics who share our commitment to fighting the devastating impacts of Type 2 diabetes. The Y is dedicated to creating healthier communities, and to working with those who need support and guidance to take charge of their own well-being,” noted James O’S. Morton, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston.

To learn more about the Dunk for Diabetes campaign visit www.celtics.com/SunLifeDunkForDiabetes, or www.Facebook.com/SLFUnitedStates.

And to get involved in Sun Life’s fundraising, tweet or retweet the hashtag #SunLifeDunkForDiabetes during the month of November.

*Source: National Diabetes Statistics Report 2014 (2009–2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimates applied to 2012 U.S. Census data).

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