By Alisha McDarris
For Hometown News
MARTIN COUNTY -- This month local Panera restaurants, along with bakery-cafes across the country, are going pink for breast cancer awareness.
Pink buttons, pink hats, pink decorations, and most importantly, pink ribbon bagels.
The special bagels that are only on sale for about two months out of the year from mid-September to mid-November are especially popular in October, breast cancer awareness month.
It's in October that customers flock to Panera in droves to get their hands on the limited edition bagel that is not only delicious, but helps a good cause.
During breast cancer awareness month .25 from the sale of every bagel flavored with dried cherries, cranberries, vanilla, honey and brown sugar goes straight to MD Anderson in their effort to Strike out Breast Cancer.
The funds will ultimately be used help women with breast cancer with the cost of after care.
But during one energetic and awareness-raising day on October 18, 100 percent of all pink ribbon bagels sold will go to MD Anderson.
"It's such a great campaign," said Dana Trabulsy, Director of Marketing for Panera. "It's for such a good cause."
Since the "Panera goes Pink" campaign started 12 years ago the company has raised over $1.3 million and sold 9.5 million pink bagels. At the East Coast stores from Martin to Flagler County, including the Jensen Beach location, over $6,000 was brought in just from the sale of pink ribbon bagels.
This year Ms. Trabulsy hopes the stores sell at least 10,000 bagels with the addition of the new Stuart restaurant.
"We're going to rock it this year," Ms. Trabulsy said.
In addition, during October all money collected in Panera's Operation Donation boxes in the cafes will go to Breast Friends of Florida out of Brevard County. The organization reaches out to help improve the quality of life for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
"It's a great grass roots organization," Ms. Trabulsy said.
But none of it is possible without the customers who purchase the bagels, stock up, even use them for bread pudding and bagel French toast, glad for a tasty treat in exchange for supporting a good cause.
"It's a win-win," Ms. Trabulsy said.
While the Panera bakers will be hard at work keeping the bagels in stock throughout the day on the 18th, the bagels fly off the shelves every year and Ms. Trabulsy recommends ordering in advance at a local restaurant or online at www.paneraeastcoast.com.