Eat a bagel, help support breast cancer research

Panera Bread’s Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign to support UMass Memorial Comprehensive Breast Center

By Kristen O’Reilly

UMass Medical School Communications

October 12, 2011

pink bagel
Pink Ribbon Bagel 

Patrons hungry for a delicious bagel can also help support breast cancer research at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care if they choose the Pink Ribbon Bagel at one of 30 local Panera Bread cafes during the month of October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

For the past 10 years, Panera Bread has donated 10 cents of every Pink Ribbon Bagel sold to support breast cancer research organizations around the country. For the first time, local Panera Bread franchisee owners Mitch Roberts and David Peterman will direct the money raised from their stores to Pink—Lighting the Way to a Cure, an annual event held on the Worcester campus that celebrates the lives of those touched by breast cancer while raising money for breast cancer research and patient care at the Cancer Center of Excellence.

“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,” said Roberts, operating partner of RP Restaurants, LLC. “Panera Bread is proud to work with the communities we serve to help raise money for such a worthy cause. In our market, we are fortunate to be able to support the UMass Memorial Comprehensive Breast Center.”

Pink—Lighting the Way to a Cure will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 6 p.m. in the Blais Pavillion of the Lazare Research Building. The emotional and inspirational evening includes talks from researchers about the potential of the research under way at UMMS. The highlight of the event is the candle-lighting ceremony, in which participants light candles honoring or memorializing a friend or loved one.

“This event celebrates the lives of those touched by breast cancer,” said organizer Audrey Kurlan-Marcy. “It’s also a forum where survivors and physicians share their insights about living with the disease, their journey through treatment and the latest advances in breast cancer research and care.”

The Pink Ribbon Bagel designation is just the latest effort in a growing collaboration between the UMMS/UMass Memorial and Panera Bread. The local franchisees also donated $10,000 to the Cancer Center at the 13th annual UMass Medicine Cancer Walk held on Sept. 25. The five-mile walk attracted thousands of participants to help raise essential funds to benefit cancer research.

Money raised from the Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign will support research initiatives such as breast computed tomography (CT). UMass Medical School is one of five institutions in the country investigating new techniques for producing three-dimensional images of breast cancer tissue using dedicated breast CT. These high-resolution 3D images, which are more accurate than traditional two-dimensional mammography, could allow for earlier detection and treatment of breast cancer.

Both the Panera Bread in the White City Plaza in Shrewsbury and the Gold Star Boulevard store in Worcester are participating in the campaign. Other Massachusetts stores are located in Beverly, Chelmsford, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Framingham, Hadley , Leominster, Marlborough, Natick, Newburyport, North Andover, Pittsfield, Westborough, West Springfield and Woburn. New Hampshire stores include those in Bedford, Concord, Dover, Keene, Manchester, Nashua, North Nashua, Portsmouth and West Lebanon; Maine stores are in South Portland, Augusta, Westbrook and Biddeford.

For more information about Pink—Lighting the Way to a Cure, visit www.umassmed.edu/development/pink2011.aspx.

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3D imaging could improve breast cancer detection
Pink illuminates breast cancer stories of hope and inspiration