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December 08, 2020

Boston Celtics and Sun Life #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes raises $105,000 for YMCA of Greater Boston diabetes program

BOSTON and WELLESLEY, Mass., Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The dunks may have been from the 2019-20 NBA season, but Celtics fans engaged in real time on social media, raising $105,000 for the Greater Boston YMCA by using the hashtag #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes. Throughout November – National Diabetes Awareness Month – fans voted on Twitter and Facebook each week for their favorite dunk, and used the hashtag when sharing the winning dunk post. Each #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes raised $21 for the YMCA of Greater Boston's Healthy Habits for Diabetes Prevention and Management program – in the United States someone is diagnosed with diabetes every 21 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The Celtics Shamrock Foundation matched donations up to $25,000.

"We have revitalized our diabetes programming with the new Healthy Habits program to accommodate a larger population of those living with diabetes, many of whom need education and management support," said James Morton, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston. "We are grateful for the support of the Boston Celtics and Sun Life every year, to help us continue important diabetes programs for so many who may not have broad access to healthcare or other health services."

"Diabetes is a major contributor to health disparities in the U.S., which is why it's so important to have accessible community programs like Healthy Habits," said Neil Haynes, CFO of Sun Life U.S., and board member of the YMCA of Greater Boston. "We are proud to continuously support the YMCA's diabetes program, which not only helps people learn how to get and stay healthy, but offers ongoing support and guidance as they put what they've learned into practice."

Usually, the #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes campaign tallies the Celtics dunks from all the games during the month of November, and donates a specific dollar amount based on dunk and hashtag totals. With no NBA game play in November this year, the campaign went digital and relied on Celtics fans to drive the fundraising via hashtags.

"We knew we had to get creative with how to reinvent this program for 2020, and it was inspiring to see our fans spring into action," said Ted Dalton, senior vice president of Partnerships and Business Development for the Boston Celtics. "Working with Sun Life and seeing how we all pulled together to make this campaign happen this year has been really rewarding. Thanks to our fans, this year's #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes was a huge success."

The YMCA of Greater Boston Healthy Habits program is a ten-week intensive course for those at risk for or living with diabetes. The program provides participants with the tools and support they need to establish and maintain the foundational habits for living a healthy lifestyle. Previously, the Y offered the Diabetes Prevention Program, a curriculum from the CDC geared toward at-risk/pre-diabetic adults.

Since the beginning of the campaign in 2014, #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes has raised over $600,000 for the YMCA of Greater Boston's diabetes education programming. Globally, Sun Life has donated more than $24 million to support diabetes programs, and has given over $2.5 million to programs in the U.S.

To learn more about the #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes campaign, visit www.nba.com/celtics/sunlifedunk4diabetes. For more information about Sun Life's diabetes programs and initiatives, visit www.sunlife.com/usdiabetes.  

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, 39 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
Sun Life is a leading international financial services organization providing insurance, wealth and asset management solutions to individual and corporate Clients. Sun Life 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, 2020, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1,122 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 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 insurance products and services in the U.S. includes disability, absence management, life, dental, vision, voluntary and medical stop-loss. Sun Life and its affiliates in asset management businesses in the U.S. employ approximately 5,500 people. Group insurance policies are issued by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, Mass.), except in New York, where policies are issued by Sun Life and Health Insurance Company (U.S.) (Lansing, Mich.). For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com/us.

About the YMCA of Greater Boston
The YMCA of Greater Boston is one of Massachusetts leading nonprofits committed to strengthening communities by improving health, empowering youth and activating people for good. Every day the Y works with thousands of men, women, and children to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has access to Y programs and services. As the nation's fifth largest charity, the Y is creating a community of caring people through meaningful memberships. For more than 165 years, the Y has been developing skills and emotional well-being through education and training, welcoming and connecting diverse populations, preventing chronic disease and building healthier communities. The YMCA of Greater Boston is America's first Y.

Media Contacts:

Devon Fernald
Sun Life U.S.

Heather Walker
Boston Celtics

Irene Collins
YMCA of Greater Boston


SOURCE Sun Life U.S.