The month of October signifies yet another time for restaurant chains Hooters, Panera Bread and Caribou Coffee to get involved and try to make a difference in society as they do their annual campaign for the Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They do this as they remember their team members who were diagnosed with the illness and raise money through their various fundraising campaigns.
Caribou Coffee’s employees in their quality restaurant aprons will once again honor the memory of their “roastmaster,” Amy Erickson by selling Amy’s Blend coffee, coffeehouse accessories and tea collection. Amy died in 1995 at the age of 33 after diagnosed with breast cancer. The Minneapolis-based brand donates 10% of Amy’s Blend sales to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, one of America’s largest breast cancer movements.
The brand also remembers their former teammate’s love for tulips, and has spread out its Amy’s Garden program to their Facebook page. They offered Caribou Coffee fans a chance to honor their friends or loved ones who are in a fight against breast cancer by sharing a virtual tulip on Facebook. For every tulip that is shared on their page, a pink tulip will be planted in Amy’s National Garden of Hope in Brookside Gardens in Washington, DC.
Panera Bread is also as involved. Now on its tenth year, the chain will once again promote its Pink Ribbon Bagel fundraising campaign and give a portion of its proceeds to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and other local charities on breast cancer. The Pink Ribbon Bagel, stacked with cherry chips and real bits of Bing cranberries and cherries, was created in 2001 when one of the chain’s franchisees, Sue Stees, began putting them up for sale to raise funds for breast cancer research. Sue Stees then co-owned 18 franchises and was suffering from breast cancer herself. She was able to sell 27,000 bagels that year. Now, ten years later, Sue has survived the ordeal and still actively participates in the campaign to help out other victims. Two million pieces were sold last year, making the total number of bagels sold to date reach more than 7 million.
For each bagel that is sold, at least 10 cents is donated to various breast cancer charities in support of breast cancer awareness and research; some of which includes the Center for Young Women’s Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, the UMass Memorial Comprehensive Breast Cancer and the South Shore Hospital.
Hooters has also been joining the campaign for six years now, raising awareness and funds to help fight the spread of the illness. The restaurant presented a check of $200,000 earlier this month to the V Foundation for Cancer Research, the amount that their staff in cool restaurant aprons have raised from various local fundraisers that their 430 restaurants have done this year. They do their fundraising to remember Kelly Jo Dowd, their 1995 Calendar Cover Girl and one of their managers who were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 and fought the battle until May 2007. Hooters restaurants all over the country raise money each year since, in support of the Kelly Jo Breast Cancer Research Grant.