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Safeway Inc. Named Year’s Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation

(Arlington, Va. - March 29, 2011) - The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has honored Safeway Inc. as the year’s most exemplary philanthropic company with the 2011 Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation.

The award honors a corporation that demonstrates outstanding commitment to important causes through financial support and encouragement, as well as the company’s ability to motivate others to take on leadership roles in their communities. The award was presented to Larree Renda, executive vice president of Safeway Inc. and Chair of the Safeway Foundation, on March 21, 2011 at the Awards for Philanthropy Banquet in Chicago, Ill. during AFP’s 48th International Conference on Fundraising.

“Safeway is a model of corporate citizenship, not only taking the lead on a broad range of issues, but also working closely with local employees to ensure that community needs are addressed through its philanthropy,” said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. “Safeway is a shining light of innovation and dedication to the charities it supports, and all of us at AFP are honored to be able to recognize the company for its philanthropic efforts.”

Nominated by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and the AFP Vancouver Chapter, Safeway has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to philanthropy and community, raising and donating more than $200 million annually to causes such as cancer research, education, food banks and organizations helping people with disabilities.  However, what has made Safeway stand out as the epitome of corporate philanthropy is its innovative and long-standing partnerships with charities.

Safeway is one of the largest corporate funders of cancer research, supporting leading-edge breast cancer research at some of North America’s top cancer centers including the University of California at San Francisco, the University of Colorado Anschutz Cancer Center, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center as well as the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.  Over the last ten years, it has raised more than $94 million for breast cancer research, funding programs such as mobile screening units that bring free or low-cost digital mammograms to women in low-income neighborhoods. In Canada, the company funded the Tour for the Cure, a moving education exhibit that brought awareness about breast cancer to remote locations and ethno-cultural audiences. 

Since 2001 Safeway has raised more than $65 million for prostate cancer research through a wide range of in-store events, forming partnerships with the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Prostate Cancer Canada. The company’s funding has paved the way for a range of leading edge research initiatives, including ground-breaking ideas exploring the use of targeted heat therapy to treat prostate cancer.

“We are pleased to count our company among the past recipients of the Freeman Award,” said Renda. “These honorees share Safeway’s passion and commitment to creating community partnerships that produce meaningful and visible results. The success of our programs lies squarely with the dedication of our employees and the generosity of our customers.”

Over the last 25 years, Safeway has raised more than $100 million for Easter Seals in the U.S. and Canada and other organizations that assist people and families with a wide range of intellectual and physical disabilities.  Safeway is also one of the top corporate fundraisers of the Muscular Dystrophy Association in the U.S. and Muscular Dystrophy Canada. It raised more than $11 million last year, helping thousands of individuals and families. Safeway is also one the largest supporters of food banks and other hunger relief programs in North America.

“There is a tremendous need for corporations to not only become more involved in philanthropy, but also to lead by example,” said Gail Freeman, president of Freeman Philanthropic Services. “Safeway has shown incredible leadership and supported so many causes in effective, impactful partnerships that involve so many of their employees and people in the community. The recognition for Safeway as this year’s Outstanding Corporation is wholeheartedly deserved.”

Safeway was honored at the AFP Awards for Philanthropy Banquet on Monday, March 21, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. More information can be obtained by contacting Michael Nilsen, AFP vice president, public affairs, at or (425) 890-6628.


The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) represents 30,000 members in 213 chapters throughout the world, working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research, education and certification programs.  The association fosters development and growth of fundraising professionals and promotes high ethical standards in the fundraising profession.  For more information, go to


Freeman Philanthropic Services, LLC (FPS) with offices in New York City and Boston, is a full-service retained executive recruitment firm specializing in recruitment for not-for-profit institutions and organizations.  FPS has a distinguished history of successful partnerships with a variety of clients including hospitals, academic medical centers, universities, cultural organizations, advocacy and social service agencies, and relief aid organizations. For more information about FPS, please visit its website at

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