He took a few orders before customers began to recognize him. The celebrity came to Panera Bread as the final shot in what has been a six-week effort to raise funds for the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland. He and his parents dined at the Rocky River Panera with the winners of the Dinner with Delly raffle.
Before he sat down to eat, however, Dellavedova decided to have a little fun. With cameras capturing the 6’4” Australian’s every move, Dellavedova put on a wig, glasses and a name tag with the name “Hugh” and stood at an opening register.
“Hi. Welcome to Panera. What can I get for you?” he said to his first customer.
Without hesitation, the customer said, “Chinese chicken salad.”
The next customers were more discerning and recognized the good-humored
Dinner with Delly is one of several initiatives that Covelli Enterprises and Dellavedova launched to raise funds for the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland.
Covelli Enterprises, the nation’s largest owner and operator of Panera Bread restaurants, renamed the Sierra Turkey sandwich, Dellavedova’s favorite, to the “Delly Pick.” Every “Delly Pick” purchased in the Cleveland bakery-cafes between May 1 and June 15 netted a donation for the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland.
Covelli Enterprises also donated profits to the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland from the sale of “Delly Trey” T-Shirts, printed by the Cleveland-based Fresh Brewed Tees.
Sam Covelli, owner and chief executive officer of Covelli Enterprises, said the work with Dellavedova has been rewarding on many fronts. “Dellavedova has made conscious choices to be a real role model. He is charitable, kind, funny and outgoing and, of course, talented. We so appreciate our work with him and admire his commitment to our communities. And we so appreciate the important work of The Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland is a for-impact organization serving more than 8,000 youth at 15 locations. Boys & Girls Club provides safe, fun places for kids after school and during the summer.
In addition to the work with Panera, Dellavedova also went to Boys & Girls Club sites in Cleveland and talked with kids.
Ron Soeder, president and chief executive officer of the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland, said working with Dellavedova and Covelli Enterprises was a great experience.
“We are so grateful to Covelli and Delly for choosing Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland as the beneficiary of this promotion,” Soeder said. “Covelli has been a great partner, and adding Delly to the mix truly made this a championship team. Each kid who comes to one of our Clubs has the opportunity for a great future. Companies like Covelli make that possible.”
The amount raised from the promotions with Delly for the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland is projected to be about $15,000 and will be used to provide reading, athletics, music, art and other programs for Boys & Girls Club kids.
Bill Ready of Cleveland won the Dinner with Delly raffle and described Dellavedova and the entire experience as “awesome.”
“They were genuine, polite people and were really easy to talk to. Honestly, the best way to describe the experience is similar to a really good first date! At first it was a little awkward as we asked each other random questions and tried to start a conversation, but after about 10 minutes, once the conversation started flowing, we just had a great time and there were no awkward moments,” Ready said. “Delly is down-to-earth, fun and enjoyable to be around. We were truly impressed.”
Ready said he really wanted to win because it was a rare opportunity to actually sit and talk with a super athlete. “Autographs and memorabilia don’t mean much to me, but a chance to hang out and talk with Delly was an amazing, unique opportunity,” he said.