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4/13/15news article

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

specialty cookie sales will raise awareness and funds

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

Today, April 13th, through April 19th, Puzzle Piece Shortbread cookies will be available in all 11 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 Panera Bread cafés or pre-ordered online at

“The new autism diagnostic center will meet a 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 first Pieces of Hope campaign in the Dayton area, since Covelli Enterprises acquired the market in September of 2014. Over the last five years, Panera Bread has donated almost a half a million dollars to various autism organizations in all of their franchise territories.

Throughout the months of April and May, Dayton Children’s Hospital will be the Operation Dough-Nation partner in the 11 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 and Panera Bread

Covelli Enterprises operates more than 250 Panera Bread bakery-cafés in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Florida and Ontario, Canada. Headquartered in Warren, Ohio, Covelli Enterprises is the nation's largest franchisee of Panera, LLC. Covelli Enterprises donated over $23 million to charity in 2014 through food and monetary donations to local food banks and non-profit organizations. To learn more about Covelli Enterprises, visit

For more information, contact:
Stacy Porter
Communications specialist
Phone: 937-641-3666