Panera Bread donates $20,000 to CHKD

Published 10:36 pm Friday, April 16, 2010

Most new neighbors bring a plate of cookies, but Panera Bread brought a $20,000 check to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, its new neighbors in north Suffolk.

Fueled by the generous contributions of its customers and by matching them in part, Panera Bread wrote a check for $20,102.64 to CHKD and delivered it at the Marriott Courtyard, Panera’s new location.

“This is a very significant gift for CHKD and we are thrilled to continue our wonderful partnership with Panera,” said CHKD Development Officer Ashley Dorey. “Their donation increased significantly this year due to their overwhelming commitment and we are truly thankful for all of their support.”

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For the past 17 years, Panera and its franchisees have helped dozens of charitable organizations through Operation Dough-Nation, a program that allows Panera Bread and its customers to make a positive impact in the community in several ways.

A portion of all customer donations made in Community Breadbox containers near the registers are matched with cash by participating Panera Bread locations for distribution to local charities, such as CHKD.

“In the past, we’ve donated funds to the blood bank, but we talked about a year and a half ago and it was almost unanimous consent among the 14 or 15 of us that we’d like to support CHKD,” said Panera District Manager Smith Trent. “CHKD is like an icon in this community. I think you could say almost everyone has somehow been touched by what they do. We wanted to be able to support such an important part of the community.”

Panera Bread’s newest location at the Marriott Courtyard in north Suffolk will open on May 6.

“We wanted to get on the other side of Chesapeake to the College Drive area,” Trent said. “It’s certainly an emerging market and a lot of residential and business growth is going on. We’re certainly excited.”