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September 27, 2019

Royals and Sun Life celebrate a season of fighting diabetes with Strikeout Diabetes and Home Run to Health youth fitness program

WELLESLEY, Mass. and KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Before the Royals took the field against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, Sun Life U.S. and Royals Charities celebrated the success of their two diabetes awareness and prevention programs – Strikeout Diabetes and Home Run to Health.

Royals fielder Brett Phillips mentors a local youth at bat in Kaufman Standium. (PRNewsfoto/Sun Life U.S.)

Sun Life and Royals Charities presented the YMCA with a giant-sized check for $21,000 to support its Diabetes Prevention Program. Sun Life and Royals Charities' Strikeout Diabetes campaign is a season-long effort that raises $21 every time a Royals pitcher gets a strikeout – the amount representing that, in the U.S., someone is diagnosed with diabetes every 21 seconds. The YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program is based on a Centers for Disease Control curriculum that helps at-risk adults learn nutrition and healthy lifestyle habits with the goal of preventing type 2 diabetes.

"Sun Life helped us launch our Diabetes Prevention Program in 2014 and they have been a great partner in our efforts to continue supporting people who need help and intervention in preventing type 2 diabetes," said Julie Solomon, Senior Vice President of Community Integrated Health for the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. "Since we started the program, we have worked with over 500 people in Greater Kansas City to help them avoid a diabetes diagnosis and live healthier lives. We are so grateful for the support of Sun Life and the Royals in continuing this important program."

Prior to the game, Royals players McBroom and Phillips joined 125 students from local school Eastwood Hills Elementary for a private tour of Kauffman Stadium and some fun in the Little K to mark the end of Home Run to Health, a four-week fitness program that encourages children to embrace health and fitness as they track their activities. This year the children racked up 54,000 sit-ups, 9,000 servings of fruits and vegetables and 1,800 times they chose water over soda or juice.

"We have been fortunate to have a partner like Sun Life who shows continued commitment to the Kansas City community," said Amanda Grosdidier, Director of Royals Charities. "We love to see all these kids embracing healthy activities at the stadium and supporting their team. And we're thrilled that our pitchers delivered a great season that allows us to support the YMCA of Greater Kansas City."

Starting pitchers Jakob Junis and Brad Keller tallied a combined 286 strikeouts this season. Both pitchers established career-highs this year, with Keller getting ten strikeouts in six innings during the Royals' April 12 victory over Cleveland, and Junis achieving ten strikeouts in the July 15 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

"It has been wonderful working with the Royals in these efforts to support the Kansas City community," said Dan Fishbein, M.D., president of Sun Life U.S. "Home Run to Health shows children that it's never too early to embrace health and fitness, and we hope this will help them embrace a healthy lifestyle as adults. We are proud to support local organizations that are working to improve health outcomes in their communities. We look forward to working with the Royals next year and seeing what the pitching rotation can achieve in 2020 for Strikeout Diabetes."

Sun Life has given over $19 million to the diabetes cause globally. Sun Life U.S. is a partner of the American Diabetes Association and also offers an annual grant program called Team Up Against Diabetes, which grants funding to community organizations around the country that support diabetes education, management, awareness, and health and wellness. To learn more about Sun Life's diabetes efforts, including community activities, fundraising, and advocacy, please visit www.sunlife.com/usdiabetes.  

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, 2019, Sun Life had total assets under management of C$1,025 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 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 $14.8 million dollars in grants since its inception and in 2017 donated $2.3 million to 143 Kansas City area organizations. For more information, visit www.royals.com/royalscharities.

About YMCA of Greater Kansas City
With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the YMCA of Greater Kansas City is a not-for-profit, charitable organization committed to strengthening communities. The Y engages men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation's health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Serving the Kansas City area since 1860, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. Visit KansasCityYMCA.org for more information. 

Media Contacts:
Devon Fernald
Sun Life U.S.

Amanda Turk
Kansas City Royals

Sun Life and Royals Charities present YMCA of Greater Kansas City with $21K from Strikeout Diabetes campaign. (PRNewsfoto/Sun Life U.S.)

(PRNewsfoto/Sun Life U.S.)

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SOURCE Sun Life U.S.