Oak Bluffs restaurants join Boston fundraiser

Proceeds from the Pineapple Coconut Cream Cake at Mediterranean this coming week benefits breast cancer research. — File photo by Steve Myrick

This week, Leslie Hewson is baking for a cause. Co-owner (with husband Doug) and pastry chef of Mediterranean Restaurant in Oak Bluffs, Ms. Hewson participates in Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer for her fourth year in honor of her mother. Mediterranean joins another Island restaurant, The Sweet Life Cafe, in the effort to raise money.

In its 11th year, Boston Bakes is a fundraiser held on Mother’s Day week, when regional restaurants make a special dessert of which all proceeds from the desserts are donated to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Last year, Boston Bakes raised $59,000.

“They solicited me,” Ms. Hewson says. “Having recently moved from Boston in 1998, I thought it was a great idea. I just thought it was such a cool thing to make a cake and raise money that way. It is so effortless.”

Ms. Hewson’s mother, Ruth “Pat” Francis Nasson of Winchester, died at age 70, after being diagnosed at age 51.

“She was diagnosed in the early 80s when it was just kind of coming to everyone’s attention…We were thankful it was caught early enough. But after six months she went back into remission.”

After repeated remissions, Mrs. Nasson stayed strong through many breakthrough treatments at the time.

“The last bout, her body was really tired…She just passed away quietly one night. It was a relief. I was sad for me, but happy for her.”

Ms. Hewson’s mother’s favorite dessert was pineapple ice cream sundaes, so in memory of her mom, Ms. Hewson is making mini pineapple coconut cream cakes, for $8 each. All proceeds from this dessert, from May 3 through May 9, will benefit breast cancer research and care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Reservations are appreciated, but Ms. Hewson says she’ll be glad if people stop by for just dessert, or get take-out.

Mediterranean joins hundreds of Boston area restaurants, 12 on the Cape, and the Sweet Life Café, also in Oak Bluffs. The Sweet Life will donate all proceeds from any dessert on their menu, since they are currently open Thursdays through Sundays. “We figure it’s better to make any dessert a donation,” says co-owner Susan Guerin. Their desserts include Lavender Creme Brule, Chocolate Molten Cake with peaut butter ice cream and peanut brittle, and Carrot Cake, and are $12.

For more information about the organization and a list of participating restaurants, visit bostonbakesforbreastcancer.org.