Burger King raises $200,000 for cancer research

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC public affairs | August 29, 2006

picture disc.
Natalie Simmonds, left, marketing manager, Simmonds Restaurant Management, Inc., presents a $200,000 check to Ken Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center, along with Megan Bratetic, marketing coordinator, Simmonds Restaurant Management, Inc.
Burger KingĀ® customers, employees and staff provided hope to pediatric cancer patients, raising an unprecedented $200,000 for pediatric cancer research through its third annual "BK Beat Cancer for Kids" campaign. All proceeds benefit the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center.

Each July, the month-long campaign raises money for pediatric cancer research at Simmonds Restaurant Management (SRM) Burger King locations. The campaign has grown to include more than 70 Burger King locations in the greater Omaha and Des Moines areas.

"BK Beat Cancer for Kids is such a great way to get the community involved in raising awareness and funds for cancer research and treatment," said Natalie Simmonds, marketing manager, Simmonds Restaurant Management, Inc. "Our Burger King staff and customers are so committed to this program and its success."

Since the campaign's start in 2004, BK Beat Cancer for Kids has raised $340,000 to help researchers at UNMC discover better ways to diagnose and treat pediatric cancer.

Ken Cowan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center, praised the partnership with Burger King. "In discovering new cancer treatments, it's critical that we have partners like Burger King to help raise funds for cancer research," he said. "Their commitment to Beat Cancer for Kids continues to grow. We couldn't be more appreciative of the investment of time and resources they put into the campaign and to helping reach people with an important message."

picture disc.
From left: K. Paul Jensen of Southwest Airlines in Omaha, presents the grand prize to winner Candice Wolfe of Cheyenne, Wyo., along with Natalie Simmonds, marketing manager, Simmonds Restaurant Management, Inc., and Megan Bratetic, marketing coordinator, Simmonds Restaurant Management, Inc.
For only $1, Burger King customers received a winning scratch card, helping kids beat cancer one dollar at a time. Every card was a winner, containing a prize with at least a $1 value in Burger King food. Other prizes included sporting event tickets and retail gift certificates. This year's grand prize was a roundtrip vacation for four including airfare, entertainment and hotel accommodations to Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor in Los Angeles. Southwest Airlines and Six Flags sponsored the grand prize.

Candice Wolfe of Cheyenne, Wyo., was the 2006 grand prizewinner. Wolfe initially thought redeeming an Omaha-based prize seemed unlikely and then discovered she'd won after purchasing the ticket at the Cornhusker Burger King in Bellevue.

Wolfe said her mother didn't believe she'd won the trip. "My mom said I was lying and hung up the phone," Wolfe said. "Finally, my grandmother and brother believed me."

In addition to Burger King and Southwest Airlines, other sponsors in Omaha include KPTM Fox 42 television, Star 104.5, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Creighton University, Lozier IMAX Theatre, Scooters Coffeehouse, Best Buy, Bozell & Jacobs and ArtFac Graphics. Des Moines sponsors include KPWB television and Jordan Creek Century 20 Theatres.