Press releases

September 29, 2017

Royals Charities and Sun Life Financial raise $20,000 for JDRF Kansas City through “Strikeout Diabetes” campaign

SLPC 28691 09/17 (Exp 09/19)

WELLESLEY, Mass. (September 29, 2017)—Sun Life Financial and Royals Charities presented JDRF Kansas City with a $20,000 check just before last night’s first pitch in a successful first-annual “Strikeout Diabetes” fundraising campaign. Every 23 seconds, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes. #StrikeoutDiabetes, a season-long endeavor, raised $23 from Sun Life every time a Royals pitcher got a strikeout, up to $20,000.

Starting pitcher, Jason Hammel led the team this year with 135 strikeouts, while Nathan Karns achieved a season-high twelve strikeouts in five innings during the May 13 game vs. Baltimore.

Strikeout Diabetes supports JDRF’s Bag of Hope program, which provides a backpack of supplies, educational materials and support tools for children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and their families.

“Our son Evan was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 8 and we were thrust into a world where every moment is spent thinking of, worrying about, and actually keeping him safe, healthy and alive,” said Ashley Taber, who along with son, Evan, accepted the check on behalf of JDRF at yesterday’s game. “In a time when it felt like our world was being turned upside down, the Bag of Hope provided practical items, knowledge and comfort.”

“In our first year of the partnership with the Royals, our goal was to promote diabetes awareness and support organizations that are committed to helping families like the Tabers and addressing community health in the Greater Kansas City area,” said Dan Fishbein, M.D., President of Sun Life Financial U.S. “The Royals have been an incredible organization to work with, and we’re thrilled to help them close out the season with a donation to a worthy JDRF program.”

“Some of Royals Charities’ best partnerships are those supported by corporate partners of the Royals, like Sun Life Financial,” said Marie Dispenza, Director of Royals Charities. “Strikeout Diabetes was a success because of Sun Life’s support, a great strikeout record by Royals pitchers, and a strong nonprofit partner like JDRF Kansas City that is committed to education, family support, and ultimately, striking out diabetes.”

Sun Life and the Kansas City Royals also hold the P.L.A.Y. (Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth) Youth Clinic, titled “Home Run to Health,” each spring to help Kansas City children learn about healthy eating and exercise. Sun Life employees have even been involved in the partnership this year, helping support the youth clinic, and volunteering with the Royals’ recycling efforts through their Green Team initiative.

Sun Life’s diabetes-focused programs also includes the Team Up Against Diabetes grant program, which supports community organizations around the country who support diabetes education, management, awareness, and health and wellness. To learn more, please visit  

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of insurance, wealth, and asset management solutions to individuals and corporate Clients. 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 June 30, 2017, Sun Life Financial had total assets under management of C$944 billion. For more information, please visit

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. For more information, please visit

About Royals Charities

Created in 2001, Royals Charities, the charitable foundation of the Kansas City Royals, strives to support children, education, youth baseball/softball, and military families in and around the Kansas City area through financial grants. Under the leadership of the Glass family, Royals Charities has donated more than $12.5 million dollars in grants since its inception and in 2016 donated $2 million to 135 Kansas City area organizations. For more information visit

About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF.


Devon Portney Fernald, 
Sun Life Financial, 

Amanda Turk, 
Kansas City Royals,