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Dan Marino Foundation and Panera Bread Team Up and Score a "Touchdown for Autism!"

PITTSBURGH, PA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/27/14 -- The Dan Marino Foundation and Panera Bread will team up to celebrate Autism Awareness Month and score a "Touchdown for Autism!" The Touchdown for Autism campaign will be hosted at 29 Pittsburgh, PA Panera Bread Cafés.

Panera Bread will feature an exclusive shortbread "Football" cookie that will only be available in cafés from April 1st-April 7th, 2014. These one-of-a kind cookies will represent the colors of Dan's college alma mater, The University of Pittsburgh. The cookies will be sold individually or by the "Marino Dozen," (13 cookies). Proceeds from each cookie will benefit the Dan Marino Foundation and Wesley Spectrum Services.

"We are very appreciative of Panera Bread's commitment to our community and The Dan Marino Foundation. Partnering with businesses, like Panera, makes all the difference in creating positive awareness and support." said Dan Marino, Chairman of the Dan Marino Foundation.

Over the last three years, with the support of the community, Panera Bread Pittsburgh cafes have raised nearly $100,000 for autism and other developmental disabilities.

"This year is a new partnership, but still an opportunity to impact the people of Pittsburgh," said Sam Covelli, Owner Operator, Covelli Enterprises/Panera Bread. "We are very excited about being able to raise awareness and make a difference in the Pittsburgh community through our partnership with the Dan Marino Foundation."

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 $19 million to charity in 2013 through food and monetary donations.

The Dan Marino Foundation, Inc., a 501(c) 3 organization was established in 1992 by Dan and Claire Marino, motivated by their experiences in raising their son, Michael, who is diagnosed with autism. The Foundation's mission is "empowering individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities." For over 22 years, the Foundation has served individuals with disabilities in South Florida through therapies, research, education, and employment, and raised more than $47 million to create unique and impactful initiatives in the community. Among these "first-of-their-kind" initiatives were the Miami Children's Hospital Dan Marino Center, Childnett.tv, the Marino Autism Research Institute, Marino Adapted Aquatics, Summer STEPS Employment Programs, and now, Marino Campus, opening Fall 2014.

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Bernadette Santucci
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