FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Panera Bread and The Dan Marino Foundation have partnered for the 8th consecutive year to celebrate inclusion and empowerment during April, National Autism Awareness Month. Starting March 29 th through April 15th when customers purchase an exclusive “Marino cookie” menu item at any of the thirty-one (31) Panera Bread bakery-cafés throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties (excludes Hallandale Beach) a donation will be made to The Dan Marino Foundation. Customers will be supporting the Foundation’s programs for teens and young adults transitioning from school to career at the North and South Marino
Campuses. The Dan Marino Foundation has been helping change the lives of children and young adults with autism for 26 years.
Panera Bread will bake these one-of- a-kind Marino cookies daily at their bakery-cafés. They can be purchased by the “Marino Dozen,” 13 cookies, or individually. Proceeds from sales of the Marino cookies will go a long way to help Panera Bread score a Touchdown for South Florida’s Autism community. As a result of this unique fundraising partnership, and with the generous support of its customers, Panera Bread has been able to raise $403,039.29 over the last seven years in support of the Foundation’s mission of "empowering individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.”
In addition to the “Touchdown for Autism” campaign, Panera Bread will be collecting funds in all thirty-one (31) bakery- café locations through their Operation Doughnation boxes located next to the registers at each café. Operation Doughnation boxes will give Panera Bread customers an opportunity to further support The Dan Marino Foundation every time they visit a Panera Bread bakery-café across Broward and Palm Beach Counties now through May 31, 2018.
Panera Bread customers are encouraged to help promote these efforts during March 29th through April 15th by taking a picture with their cookie and posting it on social media using hashtags: #MarinoCookie, and #TouchdownForAutism.
“Claire and I are proud to be partnering with Panera Bread for the 8th year. The Foundation appreciates this amazing campaign. Every cookie purchased makes a difference, in giving a child or young adult with autism, the opportunity for a brighter future. The “Touchdown for Autism” Marino cookies are the best, just like the Panera Bread team that bake them,” said DanMarino, Chairman of The Dan Marino Foundation. “It’s incredible to be starting the eighth year of this amazing program – The Dan Marino Foundation is leading the way in innovation for those with developmental disabilities and Covelli Enterprises is proud to be their partner,” said Sam Covelli, owner and operator of Covelli Enterprises.
ABOUT THE DAN MARINO FOUNDATION: The Dan Marino Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization was established by Dan and Claire Marino, motivated by their experiences in raising their son, Michael, who is diagnosed with autism. For over 26 years, the Foundation has been a leader in innovation and change, "empowering individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.” The Foundation has raised more than $71 million to create unique and impactful initiatives in the community. Among these first-of- their-kind initiatives are the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Dan Marino Outpatient Center, the Marino Autism Research Institute, Marino Adapted Aquatics, Summer STEPS Employment Programs, Virtual Interactive Training Agent Program (ViTA-DMF), and now post-secondary programs at both Marino Campus in Broward and at FIU in Miami-Dade. For more information, please visit danmarinofoundation.org, marinocampus.org or ViTADMF.org.
ABOUT COVELLI ENTERPRISES: Covelli Enterprises operates more than 300 Panera Bread bakery-cafés in seven states. Headquartered in Warren, Ohio, Covelli Enterprises is the single largest franchisee of Panera Bread, LLC. In 2016, Covelli Enterprises donated more than $28 million to hunger relief agencies and non-profit organizations. www.covelli.com