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Panera Bread Donates $6,000 to VIA for New Playground - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Panera Bread Donates $6,000 to VIA for New Playground

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Children at the Virginia Institute of Autism are a little closer to getting a new special needs playground - $6,000 closer.

Local Panera Bread presented a check for $6,000 to VIA on Wednesday.

"It's going to have play equipment, including swings, slides, merry-go-round, that are sort of physical-needs-accessible. We'll also have lots of areas for the students to get out and enjoy," said Ethan Long, director of VIA.

Long says movement and exercise are beneficial to children with autism.

He hopes to combine the playground with learning.


Panera Bread at Barracks Road
Press Release

The local Panera Bread franchise, comprised of 11 bakery-cafés along the Blue Ridge Mountains, partnered with the Virginia Institute of Autism for National Autism Awareness Month in the four locally owned bakery-cafés of Charlottesville, VA, Harrisonburg, VA & Warrenton, VA. With the sale of Survival Paracord Awareness bracelets, Wildberry Smoothies & Blueberry bagels, Panera Bread donated net proceeds for the entire month of April to the Virginia Institute of Autism to benefit their organization located in Charlottesville, VA.

The Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) is dedicated to helping people overcome the challenges of autism through innovative, evidence-based programs in education, outreach and adult services. Over the past three years VIA has more than doubled the number of families served annually, and programs continue to expand to help families from more than 12 cities and counties, including Albemarle, Augusta, Buckingham, Charlottesville, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Orange, Rockingham and Waynesboro.

"Panera Bread is committed to serving the members of the local community, many of whom have had their lives touched by autism," said Rick Postle, Panera Bread Franchise owner. "We are honored to support Virginia Institute of Autism and all that it does for those of our community."

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