For Immediate Release:
April 27, 2012

Media Contact:
Olga Vega

Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz joins Dan Marino Foundation and Panera Bread "Touchdown for Autism" fundraiser

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 

Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz (center) with staff from Panera Bread in Doral.

Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz tried his hand at baking for a good cause. On Friday, April 27, 2012, Commissioner Diaz joined officials of the Dan Marino Foundation and Panera Bread, located at 9717 NW 41st Street in Doral, to bake special football-shaped cookies sold to raise funds for autism awareness. The tri-county effort, known as “Touchdown for Autism,” will use proceeds from the sale of the cookies for the Dan Marino Vocational College, which will serve young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Panera created the exclusive cookie to sell during Autism Awareness Month. The football cookies are sold individually or by the “Marino Dozen,” which will contain 13 cookies. The cookies are available at 33 Panera bakery-cafés throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties during the entire month of April. For every cookie sold, $1 will benefit the foundation’s planned vocational college.

Autism Awareness Month came to fruition in Miami-Dade in 2009 as the result of legislation sponsored by Commissioner Diaz. The specially-designated month is designed to increase awareness about autism and treatment, as well as promote research to fight the disorder. According to non-profit Autism Speaks, autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that impairs communication skills and social abilities. There is no known cause or cure for autism, which is estimated to affect 1 out of every 88 children born in the United States.

“I think the prevalence of autism cases in this country is motivating families to learn more about the disorder and raise the money needed for better research and treatment,” said Commissioner Diaz. “The Dan Marino Foundation and Panera have taken a tremendous step in addressing those needs within our own community.”

The “Touchdown for Autism” cookies will be available for purchase until April 30. For more information, please contact Commissioner Diaz’s office at 305-599-1200.

Commissioner Diaz (left) ices special football-shaped cookies being sold at Panera Bread to raise money for autism treatment.

Commissioner Diaz purchases some freshly-baked “Touchdown for Autism” cookies to benefit the creation of the Dan Marino Vocational College.


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