Karen Gerry - 2017's Honoree

The 18th Annual Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer is dedicated to the memory of Karen Mammola; mother and mother-in-law of Daniel and Daniella Mammola long time Boston Bakes participants with their restaurant Pellana Prime Steakhouse and Daniella’s Café & Market.  It is most fitting that the 18th year is dedicated to Karen since she was just 18 years old when she first met and worked with Carol Sneider in Carol’s family’s business. It is where Karen met and fell in love with Daniel’s father.  Karen was always a beautiful, strong and independent woman whose devotion to her two children and family always came first. In 2006, Karen was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer which she fought head-on.  For 8 years, Karen’s breast cancer was in remission. Her cancer returned in the spring of 2014; the breast cancer had metastasized and was moving very quickly.  Four months later, Karen lost her battle to cancer and never had the opportunity to meet her first grandchild. She left behind her son Daniel Mammola, his wife Daniella and her daughter Alyssa Gerry. Her legacy and memory lives on within her family.  Karen’s family is devoted to making a difference in the fight against breast cancer in any way possible.


Linda Wheaton - 2016's Honoree

Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer and Cape & the Islands Bakes for Breast Cancer 2016 is dedicated to the memory of Linda Wheaton. Linda was the mother of Susan Wheaton Guerin, our Director of Development & Communications, and Michelle Wheaton Stafford, herself a six-year breast cancer survivor.

Linda grew up in New York State, right over the border with Connecticut where her grandparents owned the Bulls Bridge Inn in Kent. Much of Linda’s childhood was shaped by spending days and evenings at the Inn, entertaining the guests with her antics as a child and eventually working when she was old enough. Linda’s time spent at the Inn surely contributed to her love of cooking and baking. She could always be found whipping up new recipes or taking cooking classes to learn something new to share at her next dinner party.

While Linda spent much of her adult life in Connecticut, she eventually moved to Martha’s Vineyard in her early 50’s after having been seduced by the Island. Unfortunately, only a few months after having moved, she was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. At that time, Linda was told by her oncologist that she had about 6 months to live. Having two daughters to raise, she took the experimental drugs available, and lived for another 25 years. Sadly, lung cancer finally overcame her at home in Falmouth, MA this past November. Linda surely had embodied the phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Linda loved to laugh and have a good time. It is in that spirit that we honor her this year, hoping that others will join Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer in our sweet events that bring a smile to those who participate and funds to help find a cure for breast cancer.

The Breast Oncology Center at The Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at DFCI -2015 Honorees - 2015's Honoree

other dfcimage001 resizedAs we celebrate our Sweet 16, Boston Bakes 2015 is dedicated to the many faces we know and don’t know at the Breast Cancer Oncology Center at the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

We thank and honor the researchers, doctors, nurses, staff, social workers, and nutritionists to name a few who dedicate countless hours every day to make a difference in finding a cure for breast cancer, for working on clinical trials to help patients, and for treating patients in all aspects of the treatment and prevention for this indiscriminate disease that touches so many women and men we know and love.

Their dedication is what we celebrate this year for it is because of them that we have come so far. Yet the work of Bakes for Breast Cancer must continue, as does the work at the Breast Oncology Center until there is the cure. There is still so much more work to be done. We are grateful for those who make their lives work and mission to making a difference.

It is with sincere gratitude that we honor Dr. Eric Winer, Director of the Breast Oncology Center at DFCI and his dedicated team of doctors, researchers, nurses, social workers along with the many other people in his department for their commitment and dedication.

We thank them and celebrate them this year. Thank you Dr. Eric Winer for the seventeen years you have been at Dana-Farber and for the incredible team that serves with you day in and day out.


Ella Mermelstein - 2014's Honoree

Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer 2014 is dedicated to the memory of Ella Mermelstein.

Ella Mermelstein made life sweet for those she loved, despite the bitter hardships she braved. Born in Lvov, Poland during World War II, Ella survived the Holocaust and was reunited with her parents in Germany before emigrating to Buffalo, NY. Ella graduated High School in 1959, meeting her future husband, Steve, in her senior year. Steve and Ella eventually settled down with four daughters in Los Angeles.

A devoted wife and mother, Ella provided her children with happy childhoods, making the most of life with every school play attended, every holiday celebrated, and every dessert baked. Daughter Suzanne, owner of Mariposa Bakery in Cambridge and a longtime Boston Bakes contributor, particularly recalls enjoying her mother’s specialties: Hollywood cheesecake and Hungarian butter cookies. Through her welcoming spirit, Ella managed a house always full of relatives and friends, and created a warm home for her family for many years.

Ella was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 29. A survivor through and through, she battled the disease for five years before passing at 34, choosing to spend more and more time with family as the years went by. Ella made certain her recipes were passed down to her daughters, despite how young they were at the time.

Ella Mermelstein made the very most of the short time she had, her loving spirit living on to this day in the memories of her four daughters, and now through our charity. Boston Bakes 2014 is dedicated to Ella, and we are proud to honor her.

Anna Roffo Guarino - 2013's Honoree

Anna Roffo Guarino was born in central Italy in the region of Lazio in 1949. Anna and her five siblings immigrated to Boston in May of 1961. Quickly adapting to her new country, Anna made friends in Brighton very quickly and mastered English in three months.

Anna worked after graduating from high school at the Italian Consulate in Boston, but her passion were her three beautiful daughters, five grandchildren and her husband Mario.

Cooking was Anna’s specialty and her lasagna and marinara sauce was so delicious they were featured in the Boston Globe. It was Anna’s fantastic tiramisu that was the jewel of all her recipes.

Anna had heart so big but her smile was even bigger. She touched everyone around her. She was so warm, loving and the kindest woman you could ever meet with a heart of gold. Especially at Christmas time when she and her husband Mario would decorate their entire house with Christmas lights, not leaving a single space unlit. Every year, Anna’s husband Mario would dress as Santa and all the neighborhood children would come over and tell Santa what they wanted. Together Anna and Santa would give out tons and tons of toys along with hot chocolate. While Anna was alive it was a tradition that their neighborhood enjoyed and looked forward to each and every year.

Anna was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 and passed away in 2009 at the age of 60 leaving behind a family whose hearts she is always in.

Eleanor Howarth Wilcox - 2012's Honoree

Screen shot 2012-02-10 at 4.56.34 PMThe 2012 Boston Bakes honoree is Eleanor Howarth Wilcox.

Eleanor was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1979, a time when the disease was much

less in the public eye. Originally from Saugus, MA, she attended Eastern Nazarene
College in Quincy, MA.

Cape Cod became her home soon after she was married in 1941, and she went on to raise
three children. During the years that Eleanor lived on the Cape she studied the harp at the Cape Cod Conservatory, was an active member of the Osterville Baptist Church, and was the curator of the Osterville Historical Society for a number of years. Her connection to her community was constant.

The battle against breast cancer did not begin for Eleanor until she was 65 years old. She fought the disease for ten years and died in 1989 when she was 75. Her life was full of love and she devoted herself to her family.

We learned the life and story of Eleanor from her granddaughter, Heidi Parent. Along with her husband, Ian and Heidi Parent run a café on Cape Cod. La Petit France Café can be found on Main Street in Hyannis. 2012 will be the forth year that La Petite France is a Boston Bakes participant.

Each year Heidi and La Petite France Café have chosen a loved one from their own community who has been affected by breast cancer to honor and recognize. 2009 was dedicated to Eleanor with her lemon poppy-seed sugar cookies. Heidi’s effort to spread awareness through her community has helped Boston Bakes to grow on a new level.

Today, the Cape has become an area of interest, where the rate of breast cancer is the highest in the state and 20% higher than the national average. Heidi and La Petite France Café have done amazing work creating awareness for a disease that affects so many in their community.

Heidi remembers her grandmother as a great cook and baker who loved to make breads and candy, fudge, jams and jelly. The joy of baking and the concern for a better future has brought Boston Bakes together with La Petite France Café. We are happy to recognize two very special women, Heidi Parent and her grandmother Eleanor.

Boston Bakes 2012 is dedicated to the memory of Eleanor Howarth Wilcox, which lives on through those who knew and loved her.

Colleen O’ Farrell - 2011's Honoree

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This year’s honoree is Colleen O’ Farrell.  It was Kim Carrigan, our spokesperson and anchor at Fox 25 Morning News, who first brought us the news of Colleen’s struggle.  Kim has been a supporter of Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer for many years and so has the entire team at Fox 25.  News of Colleen first came to us at a kick-off celebration being held at Finale for Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer 2008. We were celebrating Executive Pastry Chef Nicole Coady, her mother and her late grandmother, when we learned the story.

Kim shared with us that breast cancer had touched our very good friends at Fox 25. They were deeply affected and heartbroken that one of their own “family” members was fighting the disease.

Every year, during the week of Boston Bakes For Breast Cancer, the Fox 25 Dedham studio recorded a promotional segment for us. And we would see and work with Colleen O’Farrell, who was the floor director for the Fox 25 Morning News.

It seemed that in 2007, at the age of 36, Colleen was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. At the time that we learned of her illness, she had already been struggling for over a year and for the next two years continued to fight.  Unfortunately, in early 2010, Colleen lost the her final battle, leaving behind her husband Pete and two young children.

Last year was the first year we did our Boston Bakes segment at the Fox studio that Colleen was not present. Being at the studio you could feel the loss.  But Colleen was in everyone thoughts.

It is only fitting that we dedicate Boston Bakes 2011 to the memory of Colleen O’Farrell-a special young woman who touched the hearts of all she knew, including ours.

Past Honorees 2005-2010 - 2005's Honoree

In 2010, Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer was dedicated to the memory of Patsy Nasson, mother of Pastry Chef and Owner of the Mediterranean, Leslie Hewson.

Boston Bakes 2009 was dedicated to breast cancer survivor and 92 year- old grandmother of Tim Fonseca, Executive Pastry Chef Four Seasons Boston Hotel.
Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer 2008 was dedicated to breast cancer survivor’s Dianna Ryan and Lucille Messenger, mother and grandmother of Finale’s Executive Pastry Chef, Nicole Coady.

In 2007, Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer was dedicated to the memory of Wendy English, sister of our friend and Boston Bakes participant, Todd English. Wendy lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 42.

In 2005, the first honoree became Mary Klein, Stacy’s mother. What a memorable year Boston Bakes 2005 was! And what a pleasure it was to work with Stacy and hear the stories about her mom.