Panera Bread to Host 6th Annual "Pieces of Hope for Autism" Fundraiser for Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism

04/03/17 06:00 AM EDT

Panera Bread to Host 6th Annual "Pieces of Hope for Autism" Fundraiser for Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism

CLEVELAND, OH --(Marketwired - April 03, 2017) - In honor of National Autism Awareness month, the 45 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Northeast Ohio are hosting its sixth annual "Pieces of Hope for Autism" campaign. Beginning today through Sunday, April 9th, 100% of proceeds from each puzzle piece cookie sold will be donated to Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism. Puzzle Piece Shortbread cookies are unique to the area and can be purchased in the Northeast Ohio Panera Bread bakery-cafés or pre-ordered online at www.covelli.com/Autism.

Over the last five years, Panera Bread/Covelli Enterprises has donated over $300,000 to Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism through the "Pieces of Hope for Autism" fundraiser. The funds raised benefit the scholarship program, research, and the behavioral treatment program at Cleveland Clinic Children's. The behavioral treatment program provides community outreach and behavioral treatment to high need children with autism that have difficulty accessing services. The program focuses on both parent training and direct child therapy to improve social and communication skills.

Each student receives individualized support to help nurture their success at school, at home and in their community.This year's fundraiser features Ellie who is thriving after a year and a half of treatment at Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism. When she first started attending the school, she was verbal; however, she struggled with holding conversations because she didn't have the words to say. Today, that's no longer the case. Ellie enjoys holding mini conversations with family and friends. As the new face of the fundraiser, her community refers to her as a superstar to which she excitedly exclaims, "That's me and I'm a superstar." Her parents are truly proud of the progress she has made and credits Cleveland Clinic Children's Center Autism for her positive outcome.

"Our Panera Bread family is thrilled to support Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism 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."

"We are so grateful for Panera's continued support and commitment to raising awareness for autism," said Allison Benedict, School Administrator at Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism. "Funds raised from the campaign this year will support scholarships for children to attend our Center for Autism."

Throughout the months of March and April, Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism is also the Operation Dough-Nation partner in the 45 Northeast Ohio area bakery-cafes. All of the money collected in the canisters will be donated to the cause.

More about Covelli Enterprises

Covelli Enterprises is the largest franchisee of Panera Bread, LLC with more than 300 bakery-cafés in six states. In 2016, the company donated more than $28 million to charity through unsold bread products for local hunger relief agencies and monetary donations to other non-profit organizations. www.covelli.com

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Contact:
Stephanie Terrill
Covelli Enterprises
Panera Bread Franchisee
216-314-4776
Email contact