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Boston Celtics and Sun Life go digital for seventh annual #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes, supporting YMCA of Greater Boston diabetes program

BOSTON and WELLESLEY, Mass., Oct. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- With basketball season looking a bit different this year, Sun Life and the Celtics have adjusted the annual #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes fundraising program to highlight some of the best Celtics dunks from the 2019-2020 season on social media and engage fans virtually. Throughout November, National Diabetes Awareness Month, fans will vote on Twitter for the best dunks. When they share the winning dunk post and use the hashtag #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes, they will raise $21 for the YMCA of Greater Boston's Healthy Habits for Diabetes Prevention and Management program. Why $21? Because in the United States someone is diagnosed with diabetes every 21 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Sun Life Financial Logo (PRNewsfoto/Sun Life Financial)

"Diabetes continues to be a major health concern in America, which is why supporting programs like the Y's are so important," said Neil Haynes, CFO of Sun Life U.S., and board member of the YMCA of Greater Boston. "We have seen the Y's program flourish over the past several years, with more and more members graduating with a new understanding of how to manage their nutrition and live healthier lives. We're thrilled to continue supporting this effort, and grateful for the Celtics' partnership in this unexpectedly timed off-season."

Usually, the #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes campaign tallies the Celtics dunks from all the games during the month of November, and donates a specified dollar amount based on dunk and hashtag totals, with matching donations from the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation. This year the campaign will go completely digital, relying on the fans to drive the fundraising component. Each week, the Celtics will post two amazing dunks from this past season on Twitter (@Celtics) and ask fans to vote on their favorite. When fans include the hashtag #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes when sharing the winning dunk, Sun Life will donate $21 for each post, with a matching donation from the Shamrock Foundation. This year the goal is 5,000 hashtags. The Celtics will also release a series of videos over the course of the month, talking about diabetes and the importance of supporting the Y's Healthy Habits program.

"We of course wish we were watching new dunks this November, but we know the impact that Dunk for Diabetes has and we're happy with how we've adjusted it for the times," said Ted Dalton, SVP of Partnerships and Business Development for the Boston Celtics. "We look forward to collaborating with Sun Life every year to reinvigorate these programs, and really hope to see fans engage while we look forward to the start of next season."

YMCAs around the country have been conducting a diabetes prevention education program since 2014 to help at-risk adults learn how to manage their nutrition and lifestyle in order to avoid a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. This year the YMCA of Greater Boston will launch the new Healthy Habits program, a ten-week intensive course for those at risk for or living with diabetes. The program will provide participants with the tools and support they need to establish and maintain the foundational habits for living a healthy lifestyle.

"We have been fortunate to be able to keep the diabetes prevention program going, thanks to support from Sun Life, the Celtics, and the great fans in and around Boston," said James Morton, CEO of the YMCA of Greater Boston. "This year support for our diabetic community is even more important, as their risk for COVID-19 is greater. We expanded the program to reach more vulnerable people in the Boston community, and are making sure we address the issues they face each day, in order to help improve their health and day-to-day lives."

Since the beginning of the campaign in 2014, #SunLifeDunk4Diabetes has raised nearly $500,000 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.
781-800-3609
devon.portney.fernald@sunlife.com

Heather Walker
Boston Celtics
617-854-8072
hwalker@celtics.com

Irene Collins
YMCA of Greater Boston
617-927-8044
icollins@ymcaboston.org

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SOURCE Sun Life U.S.

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