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Constellation Brands and Corona wholesalers and retailers across North Carolina raised a record $340,778 for the Comprehensive Cancer Support Program at the North Carolina Basnight Cancer Hospital.

When many come together, you can achieve much.

This is certainly the case when Constellation Brands and Corona wholesalers and retailers across North Carolina come together each year for the Corona Cares program, which raises funds for the Comprehensive Cancer Support Program (CCSP) at the North Carolina Basnight Cancer Hospital. This past August, they raised a record $340,778.

Since its launch in North Carolina in 2010, the Corona Cares program has raised nearly $3 million, including more than $1 million during the past four years alone. Apart from 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was unfolding, the program has raised more than the prior year. This continued growth speaks to the commitment of Constellation Brands wholesalers like Long Beverage and retailers like Han-Dee Hugo’s.

Constellation Brands’ Bill Marren said the program’s success is based on a strong, multilevel partnership. “It’s a grassroots program that has three tiers. When you have folks like Han-Dee Hugo’s, and what they’ve done for this program – that’s the first line. Rodney (Long of Long Beverage) and our wholesalers in North Carolina have done a great job. And then of course our brewery. It just truly brings everybody together,” he said.

Corona Cares benefits CCSP. 25 cents per case and 100% of paper lime sales in North Carolina benefits the CCSP at the N.C. Cancer Hospital.The Corona Cares program donates 25 cents of every case of Corona Extra, Corona Light and Corona Premier sold during August, as well as 100 percent of all donations from paper limes purchased at cash register checkouts, to the CCSP, a multidisciplinary program dedicated to helping patients, caregivers and families with cancer treatment, recovery, and survivorship. This includes offering services to minimize challenges cancer patients may face while undergoing treatment, including changing nutritional needs, mental health and emotional support, financial and legal assistance, integrative therapies and health coaching.

UNC Lineberger has also leveraged the Corona Cares monies to receive additional private and federal funds to support the development of a cancer survivorship program throughout North Carolina.

“In 2014, we applied for a grant to the Duke Endowment Foundation, and they have a requirement that you provide matching funds. We had the ability to use some matching funds [from Corona Cares] for that first grant, and we trained people throughout North Carolina to provide guidance and counseling when people come to the end of their active treatment,” said CCSP Director Donald Rosenstein, MD.

That grant provided enabled UNC Lineberger to set up a network throughout North Carolina that is still very active, and it served as the foundation for a multi-year National Cancer Institute grant.

“Initially it was a cancer transitions program, then it became financial navigation – that’s the NCI grant,” Rosenstein said. “The latest proposal is to bring our Get Real and Heel exercise program, which is homegrown here in Chapel Hill, and teach people throughout North Carolina within that network because that’s what our partners told us they wanted.”

Rosenstein said the magnification of the money raised demonstrates that Corona Cares’ impact is far greater than anyone might have imagined when the program was established nearly 15 years ago, and he is excited to see how it will continue to grow.

“This has been a remarkable partnership, and it gets better and better every year.”