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Reaffirming its dedication to combating a deadly and invasive disease, Verano, our parent company, announced a donation of $150,000 to the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation on December 7. This is among the most significant charitable donations in the history of the company, which was founded in Chicago in 2014.
The $150,000 donation from Verano is not only the most sizable charitable donation in the company’s history, but it also represents the largest donation ever made to the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation by a company whose primary business is cannabis. Verano operates a large portfolio of retail and medicinal dispensaries across the United States. Their loyal customer base and trusted branding were key in putting together the donation.
Verano hosted a small ceremony at their Chicago headquarters to commemorate the donation on December 6. Verano’s Chief People Officer Destiny Thompson presided over the affairs, where she presented a $150,000 check to Tara Cruise and Gret Luhrs, The Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation’s Director of Marketing and Engagement and Director of Development and Operations, respectively.
The story of this generous donation begins prior to October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With about 1 in 8 American women experiencing breast cancer in their lifetime, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a big deal in the US. Thousands of individuals, businesses, and groups work hard throughout October (and year-round) to spread the message of breast cancer awareness and to raise money for breast cancer research, screenings, and patient care. Everyone ranging from local, small-town breast cancer charities to the National Football League finds a way to participate and make a difference.
Throughout the entire month of October, a portion of any purchase made at a Zen Leaf dispensary nationwide was collected. That includes the quick-stop pre-roll pickup in Chicago West Loop, the topical purchase at Germantown in Pennsylvania, and the eighth of flower in Las Vegas at Flamingo. Zen Leaf patients and consumers showed their dedication to the cause throughout the month, powering one of the largest donations from Verano to date.
The Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation began as many other charities focused on disease do. The friends and family of Lynn Sage, a breast cancer patient, got together and decided they would do whatever they could to help not only their friend but the world, in the fight against breast cancer. Today, over 30 years later, their important work continues in her name, with a board of around 75 supporters working diligently to raise money and awareness.
The Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation raises money in a variety of innovative ways besides partnerships with corporate donors. Throughout the year they hold a variety of fundraising benefits, events, and merchandise sales. The foundation has shown a remarkable aptitude for increasing its reach by working with many great partners.
Assistance with the foundation’s fundraising projects in recent years has come from a variety of places. Everyone from author Glennon Doyle and beloved Chicago TV host Val Warner to popular retail brands like Ulta and Neiman Marcus have partnered with The Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation’s fundraising, in addition to dozens of generous individual and family contributions.
While there are many fine charities working in the field of breast cancer research, education, awareness, and support, the partnership between Verano and The Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation was a natural fit for a number of reasons. Not the least of these reasons is the fact that Verano and The Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation are both headquartered in Chicago.
With a combined half-century of presence in the Windy City, Verano and The Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation embraced the classic Midwestern tradition of being good neighbors to bring this partnership to life for the benefit of patients, survivors, and families throughout the greater Chicago area and beyond.
The Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation has a straightforward mission: “funding research and education to prevent breast cancer and improve outcomes for individuals with breast cancer.” The mission statement goes on to note that the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation’s investments “are directed locally in Chicago, but drive impact globally,” and they have a long history of impressive fundraising to back it up. Sizable donations like Verano’s, as well as creating partnerships with other groups and businesses throughout Chicago and beyond, allow the foundation to continue all of this crucial work.
The foundation’s co-chair and founder, Laura Sage, enthusiastically endorsed the relationship with Verano, stating in a press release, “The Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation is so proud to partner with Verano to fund life-changing breakthroughs in breast cancer research and education. Through Verano’s generous commitment to our mission, we will continue working to eradicate breast cancer. We are honored to have Verano on Team Lynn Sage as we forge ahead working to prevent breast cancer and improve outcomes for individuals with breast cancer.”
George Archos, Verano’s CEO and co-founder, was in enthusiastic agreement with Sage’s positive sentiments about the donation punch card project. “This donation underscores our commitment to support organizations that provide assistance to those in need,” he said.
“I’d like to thank our partners at the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation, our wonderful patients and customers who supported this campaign, and our Verano team members who orchestrated this exceptional effort. I’m tremendously proud of what we accomplished together to continue the fight against breast cancer and look forward to executing similar initiatives in the future.”
Since its inception in the mid-1980s, The Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation has become one of the US’s most visible and trusted charities in the areas of breast cancer research and education. In that time, they have raised over $40 million towards these goals, and thanks to partnerships like the one with Verano, they’re not going to be done until a cure is found.
The outpouring of support from businesses and individuals allowed for an expansion of Lynn Sage’s reach – the Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Center was opened in 1991, offering exams and imaging such as mammography, ultrasounds, and MRI. Providing care at multiple locations, the center is the largest of its kind in the Midwest and was named by the American College of Radiology as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.
While many people are aware of breast cancer and its dangers, the need for a Breast Cancer Awareness Month and vigorous fundraising projects remains as important as ever. Millions of people are affected directly and indirectly by this dreaded disease.
Consider these breast cancer statistics:
There are close to four million women living in the US today who have been directly affected by breast cancer (i.e., either patients or survivors). Breast cancer is the most common cancer for American women (30% of newly diagnosed cancer cases) and, as of 2021, also became the most common cancer globally (12% of all new cancer diagnoses worldwide).
It is estimated that over a quarter-million new cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed in the US this year, with nearly an additional 50,000 cases of non-invasive types of breast cancer.
When looking at women under 45, black women are more at risk of breast cancer than white women. Another notable demographic discrepancy involves Ashkenazi Jewish women, who are believed to be at a higher risk for breast cancer naturally due to BRCA mutations commonly associated with that ethnic group.
About 2,500 cases of invasive breast cancer each year are diagnosed in men. Men have a lifetime breast cancer risk of around 1 in 800, which is not insignificant but means men are about 100 times less likely than women to experience breast cancer (1 in 8). Unfortunately, men don’t always screen for this dangerous disease.
The overall mortality rate for breast cancer cases has dropped by around 1% every year from 2013 to 2018, pointing to the effectiveness of campaigns like Breast Cancer Awareness Month and groups like The Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation. The key factor to reductions in the death rate is believed to be early screening programs (which continue to improve thanks to research and dedication from organizations such as Lynn Sage) and advancements in medical treatment. Death rates remain higher for women than any other type of cancer besides lung cancer, however.
Verano is a leading US cannabis company operating in 12 states and fully invested in the overall health and wellness of its customers and their communities. Verano pursues this goal by providing responsible, well-regulated access to legal, lab-tested products for both the medicinal and adult-use markets. Verano’s brands are some of the most visible and include Verano™, Avexia™, Encore™, and MÜV™ products as well as their Zen Leaf™ dispensaries operating in several states.For more information about Verano and our parent company portfolio of brands and products, please visit our corporate website: https://www.verano.com/
Content Manager for MÜV Florida and Contributor for Zen Leaf Dispensaries. A cannabis connoisseur with a passion for explaining the miraculous possibility of the plant, Swan began her journey with cannabis as a recreational user and quickly realized its positive impact on her depression and severe anxiety. She joined the cannabis industry as Receptionist and MedTender and witnessed first-hand the immense potential of the plant for a wide variety of ailments, deepening her passion for alternative medicine. Swan is dedicated to self-education on the plant and sharing its potential with all. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Iowa.
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