Lake Mary Life: Panera Bread

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PANERA BREAD LOCATIONS IN CENTRAL FLORIDA WILL ONCE again be awash in rosy pink this October for the annual Panera Goes Pink campaign. This national campaign is intended to boost awareness of breast cancer and to encourage women to take time out to have a mammogram and protect themselves against this deadly disease.

Throughout the month of October, Panera Bread locations across the country will be offering the exclusive Pink Ribbon Bagel, a delightful concoction that includes white chocolate chips, honey, vanilla, and cherry chips. The commemorative Panera Goes Pink Day mugs will also be available for sale at local Panera Bread bakery cafes. Proceeds from The Pink Ribbon Bagel will go toward breast cancer treatment and the search for a cure.

The Covelli family, who owns all 35 Panera locations in the area including the three in Lake Mary/Sanford, has been participating in the national Panera Bread Pink Ribbon Bagel Campaign for 11 years.

The Pink Ribbon Bagel was created by a Panera baker who has been diagnosed with cancer herself. Her experiences with breast cancer inspired her to create this edible work of art to support research and treatment for this serious disease. Hers is not the only life touched by Panera’s commitment to breast cancer awareness and treatment, however.

Almost two years ago, a woman names Sharon Ball purchased a commemorative mug and a Pink Ribbon Bagel at one of the Covelli-owned Panera stores. She left with a certificate for a free mammogram as part of that year’s promotion. That mammogram may have saved Sharon’s life. “They found breast cancer,” Sharon remembers. “If it wasn’t for Panera, there’s no telling what could have happened.” The free mammogram allowed Sharon to receive early treatment for her condition and to make a full recovery.

This year’s Panera Goes Pink campaign will surely create its own stories of hope and recovery. Last year, the Covelli group of Panera Break bakery cafes raised $30,483 for breast cancer research and treatment. This year, the campaign goal is an even $35,000 for this worthy cause. All money raised by the local campaign is put into an account at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando for the treatment and care-of people diagnosed with breast cancer. The funds raised to date have helped numerous local women manage the costs of breast cancer treatment at this prestigious medical facility. Over the past 11 years, the Covelli Panera Bread group has donated more than $170 to the MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide help and support to people fighting breast cancer.

On the official Panera Goes Pink Day – October 12 – 100 percent of all sales of the commemorative Pink Ribbon Bagels will go to the treatment and support fund. As in previous years, the goal will be to “spread the word, raise awareness, and, at the end of the day, hopefully help or even save someone,” says Eryn Catter, director of public relations and sales for Panera Bread.

Throughout the month, the Panera Bread bakery cafes will match funds collected from the Operation Doughnation fundraising boxes one-for-one to double the impact of these in-store giving opportunities.

As in previous years, this event is expected to raised a significant amount of money for breast cancer treatment in the Central Florida area. Panera Bread has long been a suporter of women’s health causes, and the Panera Goes Pink Day is an outstanding example of the company’s commitment to helping women locally and across the country. The Cevelli group of Panera Bread bakery cafes shares this vision and is committed to helping women like Sharon live happy, healthy lives. Stop in, enjoy a delicious Pink Ribbon Bagel and help save lives this fall with a little help from Panera Bread.

–Ashley Cisneros
Ashley Cisneros is a co-founder of Chatter Buzz Media, an Orlando Internet marketing firm that helps companies and organizations engage with their target markets through inbound marketing via the Internet. Chatter Buzz Media, which won the Social Madness competition for the Orlando small business market, is a full-service digital marketing firm specializing in website design, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content creation. Prior to founding Chatter Buzz, Ashley worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, technical writer, marketing manager, public relations practitioner and freelance journalist. To see Ashley’s content writing, visit You can also reach Ashley on her Google profile.

About the Author:

Ashley Cisneros Mejia is a journalist, entrepreneur and marketer. She began her career as a newspaper reporter and later as an editor at Florida Trend business magazine. Ashley has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2009, as a technical writer, marketing manager, and public relations practitioner. She also founded two digital marketing agencies in Orlando. Named one of Orlando’s 40 Under 40 and honored by the Women’s Executive Council of Orlando for achievements in media and communications, Ashley earned a B.S. in Journalism and an M.S. in Entrepreneurship at the University of Florida.

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