Panera Bread announces a new partnership with Rebecca Lobo that will support the Connecticut Sports Foundation and a new RuthAnn Lobo Award in Social Work at UConn, two areas that complement the life and work of Rebecca’s late mother, RuthAnn Lobo. The partnership kicks off in October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Panera Bread’s Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign, now marking its 12th 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 pay their household bills, including rent, mortgage and car payments.
Rebecca Lobo is a television basketball analyst and former women’s basketball player in the Women’s National Basketball Association from 1997 to 2003, and UConn’s 1995 national championship team. She is the daughter of RuthAnn Lobo, a long-time breast cancer survivor who lost her battle after 18 years.”
A Simsbury resident and a retired school counselor at Granby Memorial Middle School, RuthAnn Lobo emerged as a tireless advocate and inspiration for women whose lives had been interrupted by breast cancer. She was the Title IX compliance coordinator for the Granby school district and served on the State Advisory Board for Equity. In 1990, RuthAnn Lobo was named teacher of the year in Granby and was a finalist for Connecticut teacher of the Year. 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.
Rebecca Lobo commented, “My mother’s nurses were so important to her. They were the ones who held her hand and were by her side for so many years.” In 2001, Rebecca launched the RuthAnn and Rebecca Lobo Scholarship for Hispanic students admitted to the UConn School of Allied Health. Amy Chesmer, Senior Director of Development for the UConn Foundation, was instrumental in the creation of that fund and to the founding of the new RuthAnn Lobo Award in Social Work.
“This new fund will support educating the next generation of hospital-based social workers working with cancer patients,” said Chesmer.