Our 2013 Boston Bakes 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.
Our 2012 Boston Bakes Honoree
The 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.
Our 2011 Boston Bakes Honoree
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.
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.