Sales of Panera’s Pink Ribbon Bagel benefit Rockford Health System’s Women’s Health Center

Online Staff Report

Panera Bread is celebrating 10 years of fighting breast cancer by baking bagels. This October, the signature Pink Ribbon Bagel will be sold at all of Panera’s bakery-cafés, with a portion of the proceeds from each bagel sold going to a variety of breast cancer causes throughout the country.

A staple each October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, donations from the sale of the Pink Ribbon Bagel have now raised more than $1 million for breast cancer charities. Panera Bread and its franchisees hope to make 2011 the largest year for donations ever.

Panera Bread Area Director Robyn Lippert said: “The Pink Ribbon Bagel is a customer favorite, in part because it’s a delicious way to start the day and because each bagel sold helps bring us one step closer to finding a cure for breast cancer. Panera Bread is proud to work with the communities we serve to help raise money for such a worthy cause. In our market, The Women’s Center at Rockford Health System will receive the funds we raise to help enhance services for patients.”

Shaped in the form of the iconic pink ribbon, Pink Ribbon Bagels feature cherry chips, dried cherries and cranberries, vanilla, honey and brown sugar, and are baked fresh early each morning by Panera’s bakers at each bakery-café. For each bagel sold, at least 10 cents will be donated to support breast cancer awareness and research. Nearly 2 million Pink Ribbon Bagels were sold in 2010.

This year, Panera Bread is making it even easier to help fight breast cancer locally with the Power of Pink Baker’s Dozen. Throughout the month of October at participating bakery-cafés, $1 from each baker’s dozen of bagels sold will be donated to The Women’s Center at Rockford Health System.

Oct. 1-31, individuals can further help the cause by visiting the Panera Bread Facebook page ( and clicking the “Like” button for the Panera Bread Virtual Pink Ribbon Bagel. Each time the bagel is “liked,” 10 cents (up to $25,000) will be donated to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and its mission to move breast cancer beyond a cure.

The Pink Ribbon Bagel concept began in 2001 when Sue Stees, franchise co-owner of 18 Panera Bread bakery-cafés and a breast cancer survivor, began searching for ways to help other women fighting the same disease. Her search led her to the kitchen, where she developed the Pink Ribbon Bagel. She sold 27,000 bagels in her bakery-cafés that first year and was awarded the “You Can Make a Difference Award” from Susan G. Komen for the Cure. To date, more than 7 million Pink Ribbon Bagels have been sold.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this simple bagel concept — created in my Tulsa bakery-café — would grow to where it is today, educating the community on breast cancer and inspiring those who are fighting this disease,” Stees said. “I’m extremely blessed to have survived to see the Pink Ribbon Bagel make such an impact over the last 10 years.”

For more about Panera Bread, visit

The Women’s Center at Rockford Health System

The center, at 7180 Spring Brook Road, opened in May 2011 and is designed specifically to care for women’s health. Whether a woman comes to the center for a digital mammogram, breast ultrasound, stereotactic biopsy or osteoporosis testing, she’ll find respectful care through every step of her experience.

Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation

The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, an accredited 501 (c) (3) public charity, was founded in 1983 to eradicate breast cancer and improve the quality of women’s health through innovative research, education and advocacy. While advances have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, it is the foundation’s mission to discover the causes of breast cancer and how to prevent its development. In 2008, the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation launched the innovative Army of Women campaign to recruit a much-needed 1 million women to participate in preventive breast cancer research studies. For more about the foundation, visit

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