Panera, Rebecca Lobo team up to fight breast cancer

Panera Bread will partner with Rebecca Lobo to support the Connecticut Sports Foundation and the RuthAnn Lobo Award in Social Work at the University of Connecticut, two areas that complement the life and work of Rebecca’s late mother, RuthAnn Lobo. The partnership, now in its second year, will take place during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, when Panera Bread will conduct its annual Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign for the 13th consecutive year. Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Connecticut* will donate 25 cents from each Pink Ribbon Bagel purchased during the month of October to the Connecticut Sports Foundation, which provides funds to families battling cancer to help with daily living expenses.

“I am excited to continue this partnership spearheaded by Panera Bread to benefit multiple charities near and dear to my heart,” said Lobo in a press release. “We look forward to Connecticut residents joining in and helping others throughout the State.”

Rebecca Lobo is an American television basketball analyst and played in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) from 1997 to 2003, after leading UCONN’s 1995 undefeated national championship team and the 1996 US Olympic team. She is the daughter of RuthAnn Lobo, a long-time breast cancer survivor who lost her battle after 18 years.

A former Simsbury resident and school counselor at Granby Memorial Middle School, RuthAnn Lobo emerged as an advocate and inspiration for women whose lives had been interrupted by breast cancer. In 1996, RuthAnn and Rebecca Lobo wrote the book “The Home Team,” in which they chronicled how they dealt with RuthAnn’s cancer diagnosis. RuthAnn Lobo eventually underwent a mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapy. In 2001, Rebecca launched the RuthAnn and Rebecca Lobo Scholarship for Hispanic students admitted to the UConn School of Allied Health. A new RuthAnn Lobo Award in Social Work was then established in 2013 to support educating the next generation of hospital-based social workers working with cancer patients.

“We are extremely grateful to Panera Bread for its continued generosity and partnership,” said Amy Chesmer, Senior Director of Development for the UCONN Foundation, in a press release. “As UCONN leads the way in personalized medicine, social workers are playing a critical role as members of the health care team to ensure that each patient’s personal needs are addressed,” Chesmer added.

The Connecticut Sports Foundation, inspired by the RuthAnn Lobo Award in Social Work, presented a new “Social Worker of the Year Award” at its 27th Annual Celebrity Dinner and Memorabilia Auction on February 7, 2014. This award was granted to Hillary Keller and Charmain Ali, Hartford Hospital social workers who stood out for their advocacy, passion and dedication to their patients. CSF’s signature event raises over a half-million dollars annually to support Connecticut cancer patients and their families. The 2015 Celebrity Dinner and Memorabilia Auction will be held on Friday, February 6, 2015 at Mohegan Sun. For more information, please visit,

The Pink Ribbon Bagel is baked fresh daily in each of Panera Bread’s bakery-cafes and features dried cherries and cranberries, vanilla, honey and brown sugar.

Participating Connecticut locations for the Rebecca Lobo Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign are located in Bristol, Canton, Enfield, Farmington, Foxwoods Resort & Casino, Glastonbury, Groton, Hartford, Lisbon, Manchester, Newington, Southington, Waterford, West Hartford, and Wethersfield.

Rebecca Lobo is part of Panera Bread's campaign to fight breast cancer.

Rebecca Lobo is part of Panera Bread’s campaign to fight breast cancer.