Panera Bread Presents 'Spook-a-Thon' Sat Oct 24 at Dodd Stadium to Support Backus Hospital

Panera Bread will present the 5th annual SPOOK-A-THON family fundraiser on Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Connecticut, home of the Connecticut Tigers. People of all ages (and their pets) are invited to “Dress Up to Scare Cancer” at this Halloween-themed event, which will feature the Halloween Costume Parade and costume contest, as well as a haunted locker room and dugout, face and pumpkin painting, cookie decorating, a bouncy house, free breakfast by Panera Catering, and lunch provided by local vendors for purchase. 
School groups, families, clubs and local businesses are invited to form their own costumed teams and generate local support on the official fundraising website,  Teams that register on the website will be automatically signed up for the Halloween Costume Parade to honor or support loved ones battling cancer.  Prizes sponsored by Atlantic Broadband will be awarded for Best Group, Individual, Spookiest, Most Creative, Doggie, and more.
General admission to SPOOK-A-THON is a $5 donation per person. All proceeds will benefit local families that are served by the Backus Hospital Cancer Center through the Connecticut Sports Foundation.  In addition, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Daniel’s Courage to support 2015 SPOOK-A-THON Ambassador, 13-year-old Daniel Walsh of Griswold and his family in their fight against cancer.  Participating sponsors include Atlantic Broadband, Backus Hospital, Connecticut Sports Foundation, Connecticut Tigers, WCTY Radio Country 97.7FM, and WFSB-TV Channel 3. 
“SPOOK-A-THON is a great way to celebrate Halloween and other fall family fun activities, while supporting local residents battling cancer,” said Wendy Kopp, Panera Bread/HBG Director of Marketing.  “We are grateful to our customers who donated funds enabling us to present Connecticut Sports Foundation with a $20,000 check last year, which was redirected to local families to help pay mortgage and rent payments, and utility bills,” Kopp added.
“Over the years, our valued partnership with Panera Bread has helped make it possible to help thousands of Connecticut families with daily living expenses, allowing them to focus on recovery,” said Connecticut Sports Foundation Executive Director Jane Ellis.  We are extremely grateful to Panera Bread for their continued generosity,” Ellis added.
Founded in 1987, Connecticut Sports Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to financially assist Connecticut cancer patients and their families, as well as to fund cancer research.  Patients are referred to CSF via a network of oncology social workers at Connecticut hospitals and cancer centers. Resources are provided with dignity and privacy, helping patients maintain self-respect, while lessening the stress that may inhibit their recovery.
“We’re so grateful to Panera Bread and Connecticut Sports Foundation for inviting us to partner on this event and for all that they do on behalf of local cancer patients,” said Genevieve Schies, Program Manager, Backus Office of Philanthropy and Development.  “SPOOK-A-THON is going to be a great way for families to get involved in helping make their community healthier,” Schies continued.
Panera Bread’s mission is to offer high-quality food in an inviting and comfortable environment, while making a difference in the communities it serves. The company carries out its purpose-driven philosophy to “Live Consciously” by participating in charitable events and by donating all unsold bread and baked goods at the end of each day to local hunger-relief agencies and charities through its “Day-End Dough-Nation” program.  Over the past 10 years, with their customers’ support, Panera Bread/HBG has donated over $7 million in food and funds to local charities within its communities. Panera Bread/HBG also has a Donations Department where organizations can request food donations for various non-profit fundraisers and events.  Please visit and click on “Donations, Partnerships and Charities” to request a donation.
Panera Bread/Howley Bread Group owns and operates a total of 28 bakery-cafes in the Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and Eastern Connecticut markets.  Panera caters and delivers, too; visit for a list of catering cafes.