Cedar Dell’s ‘Bistro Babes’ raise money for Alzheimer’s and autism

Dec 2, 2023

The “Bistro Babes” are at it again. Residents at the Residence at Cedar Dell shared their festive creations with the community on Saturday, Dec. 2, raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association and a local autism charity. 

The crew earned their title by crafting up a storm in the upstairs bistro at the assisted living facility. For the last three years, the “Babes” have sold their creations — jewelry, knitwear and baked goods — at three sales a year, raising nearly $1900 last year. 

In addition to the financial donation, most of the unsold knitwear will go to charity. 

“It keeps us out of trouble,” Cambra said. 

Cambra said supporting the Alzheimer’s group made sense, since “it is very close to” their “heart,” and a staff member has a child with autism, so the local charity was also a natural fit. 

The residents work together on preparing for the sale, at times finishing others’ projects or assisting with different parts of the piece. 

Resident Irene Bergeron said she finishes putting together some of her friend Gigi’s hats, for instance, after Gigi finishes knitting them. With Bergeron’s assistance, Gigi made over 100 hats for the sale. 

“We all work as a team,” Bergeron said. 

While all of the knitwear is fully handmade, some of the jewelry is getting a second life: the group receives donations from other residents or community members, and Cambra works to recycle some of the jewelry. 

“You take something old and you remake it,” she said. 

Some of the nice vintage jewelry donations go untouched, however, and are sold at a higher price point. 

Before Saturday’s sale, the group already raised around $1500 for the two charities. 

“Because it’s done for charity, it makes you feel good,” said resident Diane Cambra. “That’s the only reason we do it.”