Friday, March 30, 2012

A Touchdown for Autism

Dan Marino Foundation teams up
with Panera Bread to support
National Autism Awareness Month

South Florida’s own Dan Marino Foundation is teaming with Panera Bread to raise autism awareness and funding  for the Foundation and its planned Vocational College  to serve teens and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.

In support of National Autism Awareness Month in April, Panera has created an exclusive “football” cookie that will be sold individually or by the “Marino Dozen,” which will contain 13 cookies. Football cookies will be available at 33 Panera bakery-cafés throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties during the entire month of April 2012.

These one-of-a kind cookies will be sold through the “Touchdown for Autism” campaign, and $1 from every cookie sold will benefit the Dan Marino Foundation’s Vocational College, which is slated to open Fall of 2014.

Located in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale, the Dan Marino Foundation Vocational College will serve the academic and vocational needs of young adults with disabilities, ages 18 to 28.  The campus will include academic and functional education classrooms, an employability skills center, virtual computer-based career lab, student union, visual/performing arts studio, health and wellness center, music studio, and job placement service.  Micro-enterprising will play a key role, allowing students who wish to run their own business a venue to achieve this goal.  The campus will be environmentally sound with eco-friendly outdoor spaces and green technology throughout.  A supported residential component will be available for students who wish to learn to live independently in area apartments.  The campus will be powered by advanced technologies connecting students to the world and improving their abilities to engage. 

 “We invite everyone to join us in this fantastic, month-long campaign that will benefit many individuals and families touched by autism,” said Michael Crisp, operations manager for Panera Bread, who oversees eight Panera bakery-cafés in the Miami area. “The cookie sale was held last year at Panera bakery-cafés in Palm Beach and Broward counties, and nearly 25,000 cookies were sold. This will be the first year they will be sold at Panera bakery-cafés in Miami-Dade County. “We want to encourage everyone in Miami-Dade to learn more about autism, and to do what they can to help support the Dan Marino Foundation in their mission to open doors towards independence for children and young adults with autism and special needs by creating awareness and opportunities. It’s a great cause.”

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