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2nd Annual Panera Bread/Ryan’s Hope Foundation Pal-apalooza
Wicked Local North Attleboro
October 24, 2014

The Ryan’s Hope Pal-apalooza, sponsored by Panera Bread Plainville, raised $10,000 for its charitable cause last month.

The money will go to the Ryan’s Hope Foundation, which was founded by the Hastings family of Plainville. The foundation is focused on raising awareness and finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a rare disease that 13-year-old Ryan Hastings was diagnosed with 11 years ago.

The event, hosted by the Plainville Athletic League at its Everett Skinner Road complex, was open to the public and featured the Ryan’s 5K Color Dash and Splash where more than 100 adults and children walked, ran and skipped their way to the finish line while being splashed with color.

Other highlights of the event included a DJ dance party, a sports bouncy house, face painting, a photo booth, touch-a-truck and a free breakfast and prize wheel courtesy of Panera Catering.

The event also featured a Panera vs. Plainville Athletic League softball game with team Panera squeaking out a win in extra innings.

Plainville’s Linda and Scott Hastings formed the Ryan’s Hope Foundation in 2003 after their young son, Ryan, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive muscular disease that strikes approximately one in every 3,500 young boys.

The Foundation was formed to speed the rate of scientific research that will lead to a cure for the disease.

Some of the funds will also go to the Ryan Hastings Trust, which helps the Hastings family with their medical expenses related to supporting the needs of their son. “We have always felt fortunate to be part of such an amazing community,” Ryan’s mom Linda Hastings said.

“Plainville is a small, close-knit community, and everyone looks out for one another. Not only are we supported in our fundraising initiatives, but Ryan has many Guardian Angels in town, who watch out for him, and ensure that he has the opportunities that all kids his age have. They make him feel just like all the other boys, which is what he really wants.”

In addition to Panera and the Plainville Athletic League, other sponsors of the event included Dodge Associates, Lawns by Fran, Cedars Family Dental, Mansfield Bank, The Chieftain Pub, Brackett Landscaping, Lewicki Sons & Excavating, 98.1 Cat Country, Karma Water, Aqua Ball and Osbourne Nursery.

“The day was better than we could have ever anticipated,” Linda Hastings said. “We are blessed to be part of such a wonderful, caring small-knit community. We will be forever grateful for the tremendous show of support from all who made the day so very special - especially Panera Bread/Howley Bread Group and the Plainville Athletic League - but also the many sponsors, friends and strangers who rallied to help our family and raise awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. To have an incredible village of supporters behind us makes us realize that we are not alone, and the support that has been shown to our family means the world to us."

Hastings said her other two children – Kaitlyn, 16, and Hunter, 10 – have also been inspirational.

“Kaitlyn completed a 900-mile bike trip [two summers ago] (from Ohio to NJ) to raise money and awareness for Duschenne, and raised over $5,000,” she said. “Hunter is also an amazing sibling. Very supportive of his brother.”

More Information about the Ryan’s Hope Foundation, a non-profit, 501c3 organization, can be found at www.HopeForRyan.com.

 “We were amazed with the generosity of the Plainville community and beyond who came out to support Ryan and his family alongside us and the Plainville Athletic League,” said Amanda daCunha, Marketing Coordinator for Panera Bread/Howley Bread Group.

“Our franchise is extremely grateful to sponsor an event like this that raises funds for such a deserving cause. The Hastings have always been very near and dear to our hearts at Panera. Ryan is really an incredible kid and is part of an incredible family.”

6 Maple Terrace
Plainville, MA 02762
E-mail: info@HopeForRyan.com