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4/11/16 news article

Panera Bread hosts Pieces of Hope for Autism fundraiser for Dayton Children's Hospital autism diagnostic center

In honor of National Autism Awareness month, Panera Bread is hosting a “Pieces of Hope for Autism” campaign which benefits Dayton Children’s Hospital autism diagnostic center.

autism panera campaign

Today, April 11th, through April 17th, Puzzle Piece Shortbread cookies will be available in all 12 Dayton, Ohio Panera Bread bakery-cafés. 100% of proceeds from all cookie sales will be donated to Dayton Children’s Hospital autism diagnostic center. The donation will be used to help fund programs that will provide timely diagnostic assessment for families who are concerned about their child having autism as well ongoing education and support to primary care physicians to assist them in the identification and management of children with autism.

“Our Panera Bread family is thrilled to be able to support the Dayton Children’s Hospital autism diagnostic center, during National Autism Awareness month,” said Sam Covelli, Owner/Operator of Covelli Enterprises, the largest franchisee of Panera Bread. “The Covelli team of expert bakers created the specialty cookie as a way to show support for those affected by autism in our communities. That is what we strive to do at Panera Bread, make a positive difference in the community through our products and bakery-cafes.”

Puzzle Piece Shortbread cookies are unique to the area and can only be purchased in the participating Panera Bread cafés in Dayton, Ohio, or pre-ordered online at

autism campaign

“The autism diagnostic center is meeting the growing need for timely and appropriate diagnosis, treatment and service provision for autism and other developmental issues,” says Craig Boreman, MD, medical director of the autism diagnostic center. “We are so happy to be able to partner with Panera Bread on these cookie sales to help provide these important services to families in our community.”

This will be the second Pieces of Hope campaign in the Dayton area, since Covelli Enterprises, the largest franchisee of Panera Bread, acquired the market in September of 2014. Last year the Dayton stores broke records with over 16,000 cookies sold. Over the past six years, Covelli Enterprises has donated more than three quarters of a million dollars to various autism organizations in all of its Panera Bread markets.

Throughout the months of April, May and June Dayton Children’s Hospital will be the Operation Dough-Nation partner in the 12 Dayton, Ohio bakery-cafes. All of the money collected in the canisters from all cafes will be donated to the Dayton Children’s Hospital autism diagnostic center.

About Covelli Enterprises

Covelli Enterprises is the largest franchisee of Panera Bread, LLC, with more than 275 bakery-cafés in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Florida and Toronto, Canada. In 2015, Covelli Enterprises donated more than $26 million to non-profit organizations.

For more information, contact:

Stacy Porter

Public relations manager

Phone: 937-641-3666

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Craig Boreman, MD

developmental pediatrics
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