4/2/2014 2:21 PM
by Karen Franklin
BECKLEY - Employees at a new Raleigh County restaurant chain are asking for your help to beat Ohio in a campaign for autism.
Panera Bread launched Pieces of Hope Tuesday in hopes of raising money for West Virginia University's Intensive Autism Service Delivery Clinic in Morgantown. All proceeds from shortbread sugar cookies will help the clinic reach more patients.
Autism is increasing, and one in every 68 children are diagnosed with the disease, according to the Center for Disease Control. Parents spend as much as $40,000 a year to care for an autistic child.
"You don't really know how great the need is until you have a friend who has a child with autism, or you have a child yourself that's diagnosed at the age of 2 or later in life," Christina Price told WOAY. "You just don't realize it until it comes to light yourself as a patient."
The puzzle-piece cookies will be sold through April 5. Employees said they sold hundreds Tuesday before closing.