For 13 days, Covelli Enterprises will donate 25 cents for every cookie purchase to tornado relief.

JUST IN: Panera Bread & its customers team up to donate $50K to tornado relief

***UPDATE (June 20, 2019)***

Panera Bread customers across the state showed their love for Dayton and its storm victims by purchasing more than 100,000 cookies at Panera cafes during the first two full weeks of June. Their sweet tooth and generosity, combined with a Panera franchisee’s generosity, resulted in a $50,000 contribution to the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund of The Dayton Foundation, Panera officials announced today, June 20.

>> Mysterious bright, white dot in Dayton skies may be part of government program

Nearly 100 Dayton, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, and Central Ohio Panera Bread bakery-cafés operated by Warren, Ohio-based Covelli Enterprises, the largest franchisee of Panera Bread, participated in The “Chip In for Dayton” fundraising campaign that was held from June 3 through June 16. 

During that time, Covelli committed to donating to tornado relief 25 cents for every cookie it sold; in addition, a “round-up” fundraising program at the cafes’ checkouts also generated money to benefit victims of the Memorial Day tornadoes. The “round-up” program will continue through the end of the month.

>> Former TGI Fridays gets a $350K makeover by El Toro — and here’s what it looks like inside

“Our goal is to give the people in the region as many ways to get involved in the relief effort as possible,” Sam Covelli, owner of Covelli Enterprises, said in a release. “We want the families affected to know they have our support, and they are not alone in this.” 

Covelli officials suggested the cookie fundraising idea was a hit with diners.

“Our customers’ response to our ‘Chip In For Dayton’ fundraiser was a powerful example of the strength of a community coming together to support one another. Our bakers and café teams worked overtime to meet the demand for cookies,” Jessica Vogel, regional marketing manager for Covelli Enterprises, told this news outlet in an email today.

>> Tornado Recovery: Family dog ‘Zeus’ survives storm, recovering from leg injury

 The Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund, was created by The Dayton Foundation to quickly respond to the most urgent needs within the community including food, water, clothing, and shelter for families affected by the storms, as well as to assist in long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts in the affected areas. The Foundation will distribute funds among several organizations including the local chapter of the American Red Cross and the Dayton Foodbank. 

***ORIGINAL STORY (June 3, 2019)***

The Dayton area’s Panera Bread franchisee announced this morning the launch of an emergency fundraising campaign it is calling “Chip in for Dayton” in its Dayton, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, and Central Ohio Panera bakery-cafés.

>> TORNADO RELIEF: How you can help

For every cookie sold starting today, June 3, through June 16,  Covelli Enterprises, Panera’s largest franchisee, will donate 25 cents to the Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund of The Dayton Foundation to support relief efforts for local victims of the region’s Memorial Day tornadoes. 

>> Stories of Survival: Dayton gives back to restaurant owner after loss of son, home

In addition to the “Chip in for Dayton” fundraiser, Covelli Enterprises also committed all Panera bakery-cafes in Dayton and Central Ohio to raising additional funds for the cause during the month of June through its “Change Roll-up” program at the registers.

Warren, Ohio-based Covelli Enterprises owns and operates 13 Panera Bread bakery-cafe locations in the Dayton region, and 315 in eight states. 

>> Rob Lowe came home to eat burgers and pie at an iconic Dayton-area diner that his grandpa owned for 30 years 

In the last four years, Covelli and Panera have opened new restaurants in Huber Heights, Englewood and Butler County. It also opened a bakery facility in West Chester in 2015. 

Sam Covelli, owner and operator of Covelli Enterprises, began working with vendors to source urgent donations for victims shortly after the tornadoes struck. Covelli and his company arranged the donation of 35,000 bottles of water that was delivered late last week to the Dayton Foodbank. The delivery was made possible thanks to the help of Covelli Enterprises’ partners Pink Ribbon Girls and United Building Materials, according to a Covelli Enterprises release. 

>> Panera Bread expanding its delivery service to more locations (March 2018)

“We’re doing all we can to help the situation in our Dayton-area neighborhoods, and we invite all other community stakeholders to do the same,” Covelli said. “Our goal is to give the people in the region as many ways to get involved in the relief effort as possible. We want the families affected to know they have our support and they are not alone in this.” 

 All cookies are baked fresh daily by Panera bakers, and the purchase of any cookie of any kind within participating Panera cafes in the region at any price point will benefit the “Chip in for Dayton” fundraiser, Covelli officials said.