‘Bistro Babes’ sell jewelry to benefit autism charity

Jan 31, 2023

A quartet of residents at Dartmouth’s Cedar Dell assisted living community, known as the “Bistro Babes,” is making a difference in the area one bracelet at a time.

The women have been spending their free time this past year making and refurbishing jewelry to raise money for local charities.

So far, they have held three such jewelry sales, with the most recent one raising $600 for Community Autism Resources, based in Swansea.

The generous jewelers said that they chose the charity based on the recommendation of the chef at Cedar Dell, Anthony Deltano, whose son has autism.

“There’s a lot of contact in here with autism,” said Diane Cambra, a member of the Bistro Babes, who added that many of the residents also have grandchildren with autism.

Cambra said that after donating the proceeds from the first two sales to Alzheimer's charities, they wanted to do something different this time, and didn’t have to look far to find a worthy cause.

“This is the first time we’ve done it for autism,” she said, explaining that Deltano was happy to recommend a charity that he and his family have worked with in the past. “We wanted to keep it in the family.”

Deltano thanked the kind-hearted crafters for their caring and assured them that the money would be put to good use.

“I really appreciate it,” he said. “This is a great organization, so it will go to a good cause.”

Another of the Bistro Babes, Irene Bergeron, said the group was just happy to know their donation would benefit South Coast communities.

“As far as the money, it feels good to be donating but it feels even better to know it will be used in this area,” she said.

The Bistro Babes said they make all kinds of jewelry from necklaces to bracelets to earrings using broken, damaged, and used accessories and “a lot of beads.”

They added that most of the materials are donated and that they are always happy to accept jewelry donations in any condition.

Carolyn Nolan, one of the members, said that their main contribution is the time they spend refurbishing the pieces, but added that they are glad to be able to do something to help the community.

“We have a lot of time on our hands and we’d rather do something good for someone,” she said, adding that she and her fellow “babes” are inspired by Cambra’s commitment. “[Cambra] does it daily, we can’t stop her.”

Cambra responded that she was happy to have the support of her fellow residents, including many who aren’t part of the core membership of the Bistro Babes, but still stop in occasionally to help.

“Anyone that wants to work just has to stop in,” she said.

The Babes’ next jewelry sale is scheduled to be held on May 6 and 7, “just in time for Mother’s Day,” at the Residences at Cedar Dell.