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Panera Bread to Host 4th Annual Pieces of Hope for Autism Fundraiser for Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism

CLEVELAND, OH -- (Marketwired) -- 04/09/15 -- In honor of National Autism Awareness month, the 43 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Northeast Ohio are hosting their fourth annual "Pieces of Hope for Autism" campaign. From Monday, April 13th through Sunday, April 19th 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 bakery-cafés or pre-ordered online at www.covelli.com/AutismCLE.

Over the last three years Panera Bread/Covelli Enterprises has donated over $175,000 to Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism through the fundraiser. The funds raised benefit the "Panera Bread Outpatient Behavioral Treatment Program." This program provides community outreach and behavioral treatment to high need children with autism that have difficulty accessing services.

The students at Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism, such as 5-year-old former student Samantha So, receive care specific to their needs. When Samantha first arrived, she was unable to put words together to express herself or translate different emotions. Within two years, she was speaking at her age level and learned a range of emotions such as what happy, sad, and angry look like. Not only did the therapists and teachers work with Samantha at school, they worked with her to carry over these skills at home and in the community through the Panera Bread Outpatient Behavioral Treatment Program.

"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 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 happy to continue our partnership with Panera Bread again this year to raise awareness for Autism," said Dr. Tom Frazier, Director of Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism. "The Panera Bread Pieces of Hope campaign educates the public and brings awareness to our local communities about autism."

Throughout March and April, Cleveland Clinic Children's Center for Autism is also the Operation Dough-Nation recipient in the bakery-cafes.

Stephanie Terrill
Covelli Enterprises, LLC
Panera Bread Franchisee

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