January 30, 2014

Sun Life Teams Up with Chef Ming Tsai, Boston Celtics and the YMCA of Greater Boston to Launch the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program

Celtics Forward Brandon Bass, Asst. Coach Walter McCarty, Chef Tsai lead families through cooking & fitness demonstrations at special community event designed to promote healthy lifestyles

WELLESLEY, MA (January 30, 2014) The U.S. division of Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF, TSX: SLF) furthered its commitment to preventing diabetes today, donating $100,000 to the YMCA of Greater Boston at a special community event designed to celebrate the partnership, and raise awareness of the critical risk factors associated with diabetes. Wes Thompson, President of Sun Life Financial U.S. and Kevin Washington, CEO of YMCA of Greater Boston, joined Celtics Forward Brandon Bass, Assistant Coach Walter McCarty and Chef Ming Tsai to demonstrate the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle. NESN’s Dining Playbook producer and host Jenny Johnson served as the event’s emcee.

In November, the U.S. division of Sun Life pledged $250,000 to YMCA of the USA to support the national expansion of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, a commitment that is part of Sun Life Financial’s broader, global effort to prevent the disease and mitigate its complications. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program provides participants with the tools, resources and information to reduce risk factors associated with diabetes. Sun Life’s international contributions to this initiative include a $10 million commitment in Canada over the last year.

“Sun Life Financial recognizes that diabetes poses a critical national public health crisis, and as such, it demands our immediate attention,” said Thompson. “Through our partnership with YMCA of the USA we are aiming to raise awareness of the risk factors associated with diabetes and provide the resources and information to help members of our community protect what they love most about their lives.”

The event featured a physical activity session led by the Celtics stars and a cooking demonstration by the nationally renowned chef. It also included other fitness, nutrition and wellness activities, including a free diabetes risk assessment, all designed to show the 150 area youth and adult participants how they can incorporate healthy eating and physical activity into daily routines.

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a lifestyle modification program that helps people reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes by helping them learn about eating healthier, increasing physical activity and other behavior changes. The program is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program and is currently available at 754 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia.

“The Y is a leading voice on improving the nation’s health and well-being through programs that encourage active lifestyles and prevent chronic diseases,” said YMCA of the USA's National Health Officer, Matt Longjohn, M.D. “Considering the immediate health crisis caused by diabetes, we aim to expand the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program to more than 300 communities in the next few years, with the critical help from our partners, including Sun Life Financial.”

The Celtics stars and Sun Life executives joined Chef Tsai in leading a cooking demonstration on how to cook a simple and healthy meal for the whole family. The menu lesson included a healthy take on “fried” rice, and a fruit kebob made with a low-calorie yogurt dip. Tsai also explained how he follows healthy practices at his own restaurants, Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon, and at home with his family. Following the demonstration, Tsai mingled with guests and held one-on-one discussions with the children and parents in attendance.

“I’m thrilled to be here today on behalf of the YMCA of Greater Boston to help members of our community learn about the risks of diabetes,” said Washington. “We can’t thank Sun Life enough for supporting the implementation of the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program at our Y, and helping us raise awareness by bringing the Celtics and Chef Ming here today, ensuring we educate families in our community on the importance of incorporating physical activity and healthy food choices into their daily routine."

At the clinic, Bass and McCarty demonstrated the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle by teaching youth in attendance fun basketball drills and other simple everyday exercises like jumping rope. Sun Life has been an official partner of the Boston Celtics since 2009, and both share a commitment to giving back to their local communities.

About Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Bermuda. In the United States and elsewhere, insurance products are offered by members of the Sun Life Financial group that are insurance companies. 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. In the United States, Sun Life Financial provides a range of products and services to employers and their employees, including Group and Voluntary Life, Disability, Dental, 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. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE), and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF. For more information, please visit

Media contact: 
Keith Gainsboro

SLPC 25618 (1/14) exp. 1/19