Students Bake Cookies for National Autism Awareness Month

Students with autism and developmental disabilities made football cookies at Panera Bread.

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    Students from the Dan Marino Foundation baked cookies at Panera Bread in honor of National Autism Awareness Day. Laura Rodriguz reports. (Published Wednesday, April 2, 2014)

    Students from the Dan Marino Foundation's Job Development Program put their baking skills to the test Wednesday to kick-off National Autism Awareness Month.

    Panera Bread customers watched while the students with autism and developmental disabilities made one-of-a kind football cookies.

    "Well it proved to me I do not belong in a kitchen because I [made] the worst cookie! I can prove that!" said Greg Poplak, a student at the Dan Marino Foundation.

    Others said their cookies weren't all that bad.

    "I was figuring I was going to give it my all and I did pretty good," said Chris Turk.

    Participating Panera Bread stores in Broward County and Palm Beach County are selling the cookies for $1.99 each. A "Marino Dozen" containing 13 cookies costs $20.99.

    The Dean of Academic & Student Affairs for the Dan Marino Foundation says this event is a great venue for students to showcase their abilities rather than their disabilities.

    One hundred percent of the cookie sale proceeds will be donated to the Dan Marino Foundation. The "Touchdown for Autism" campaign runs through April 7th.

    "Through their customers and the community over the last three years, we've raised over $117,000," said Pamela Baynes, Director of Development for the Dan Marino Foundation.