Press releases

December 05, 2016

Boston Celtics and Sun Life’s annual #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes campaign raises $75k for the YMCA of Greater Boston’s Diabetes Prevention Program

SLPC 28001 11/16 (exp. 11/21)

BOSTON and WELLESLEY, MA – (December 5, 2016) On November 30, the Boston Celtics and Sun Life Financial completed the third annual #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes campaign, raising $75,000 for the YMCA of Greater Boston’s Diabetes Prevention Program, an education course that helps at risk adults avoid and reverse the lifestyle and nutrition factors that can cause type 2 diabetes.

Throughout the month of November, National Diabetes Awareness Month, each Celtics dunk raised $1,000 for the YMCA’s program. This year’s dunk total was 40, with an additional $25,000 matched from the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. Sun Life also ran a widespread social media campaign, which resulted in an additional $1 for every #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. At the end of the month, the hashtag had been posted more than 10,000 times, which brought the grand total donation for the campaign to $75,000.

Some of the month’s top dunkers were Amir Johnson, Avery Bradley, and Tyler Zeller, with Al Horford delivering four dunks in a single game against the San Antonio Spurs on November 25.

“With our friends and partners at Sun Life and the YMCA we are excited to wrap up another successful Sun Life Dunk for Diabetes program,” said Ted Dalton, Senior VP of Corporate Partnerships and Business Development for the Boston Celtics. “It is great to see our players play an active role on the court to raise money for the YMCA of Greater Boston’s Diabetes Prevention program.”

“The Celtics have delivered on dunks once again,” said Dan Fishbein, MD, President of Sun Life Financial U.S. “Our partnership continues to focus on the health and wellness of communities in and around Boston. Type 2 diabetes is preventable, and we’ve seen that the best way to combat it is through educational resources like the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program. We are eager to continue our support of the program nationally.”

Along with the #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes campaign, Sun Life is expanding support of the YMCA on a national level to bring the Y’s Diabetes Prevention Program to more communities around the country. Currently, the program is available at 1,500 sites in 45 states throughout the U.S. and has served over 44,000 people. Since 2013, Sun Life has donated over $700,000 to the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, including local support to launch the program in both Boston and Kansas City in 2014.

“The YMCA of Greater Boston is fortunate to have such wonderful partners in the Boston Celtics and Sun Life as we work together to reduce the number of individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,” said James Morton, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston. “We are so grateful for the support of Sun Life, the Boston Celtics and all the many Celtics fans who joined the #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes campaign through social media.” 

Partnerships with the YMCA and the Boston Celtics are part of Sun Life’s global commitment to fighting diabetes and advocating for health and wellness. Later this month, Sun Life will announce the launch of its diabetes grant program, which supports community organizations that address diabetes care, prevention, and education.  Sun Life has donated over $17 million to programs focused on diabetes prevention in the U.S. and globally. 

Up next for Sun Life, the Celtics, and the YMCA in New England 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 routines. In the coming year the program will expand throughout New England, including Greater Boston, Southern Maine, and Hartford, Connecticut.

To learn more about type 2 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-prevention.  

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

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. Sun Life Financial has 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. As of September 30, 2016, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of $908 billion. For more information please visit www.sunlife.com.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

In the United States, Sun Life Financial is one of the largest group benefits providers, serving more than 60,000 employers in small, medium, and large workplaces across the country. Sun Life’s broad portfolio of products and services in the U.S. includes Disability and Absence Management, Life, Dental and Vision, Voluntary, and Stop-Loss insurance. This includes the acquisition of Assurant Employee Benefits in Q1 2016. For more information, please 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

Alexa Marsh
Teak Media
617-269-7171
alexa@teakmedia.com