LEWISTON — For Jenna Roberts, finding Bakes for Breast Cancer was fate. Just this year, Roberts lost her best friend’s mother, someone she had known for her entire life, to the disease.

Jenna Roberts displays two of the pink macarons Saturday that she is donating to the Baking for Breast Cancer fundraiser. Roberts makes the macarons in her home-based bakery, Marvelous Macarons in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

When the baker, who owns and operates Marvelous Macarons, saw the fundraiser she “immediately knew” that it was something she had to be a part of.

Bakes for Breast Cancer is a nonprofit in New England that aims to help up-and-coming breast cancer researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute by funding the first steps of their research. Restaurants and bakeries in Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Rhode Island and Maine can register for the fundraising week, which is Aug. 2-8. This is the first year that the nonprofit is including Maine in its efforts to stop the disease that kills over 43,000 people a year.

During the week, businesses either bake one dessert where 100% of the proceeds go to the nonprofit or offer an entire dessert menu as part of the fundraising, sending 50% of the proceeds to the organization. Roberts has decided to send 100% of the proceeds of two items to Bakes for Breast Cancer, and has designed the two desserts specifically for the event. She has designed both a pink two-pack of macaroons and also pink cake pops.

“I choose macaroons mainly because that’s what I’m known for and I kind of wanted to just stick with the theme on that one,” she said. “And then the cake pops are just so fun to do. You can really get creative with them. And also, I just bought a ribbon mold that will look so cute on the cake box.”

Roberts has been “prepping it by buying everything pink (I) can find.”

The baker said the registration process was “pretty easy.” She filled out an online form and the organization got back to her “within a day or two.” The two products, which she is excited to sell, will only be available for the week of the fundraiser.

Carol Sneider, the founder and president of Bakes for Breast Cancer, is enthusiastic about the nonprofit’s move into Maine.

“Because Maine is known for having such a great food scene, it was just a natural place to go next,” she said. “The market in Maine has exceeded our expectations for support. When someplace goes beyond and then beyond again, it’s amazing.”

Pink Macarons made by Jenna Roberts of Marvelous Macrons are being sold as part of the Baking for Breast Cancer fundraiser. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Sneider has yet to try any of the desserts Roberts whips up, but says they “look amazing,” and that her organization is “just so grateful” for the effort the baker has been putting into the event.

This year, all of the funds raised will be donated to help fund Dr. Rachel Freedman’s research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Freedman conducts clinical research to understand and address disparities in breast cancer treatment and outcomes for minority patients and those of advanced age, according to the cancer center.

Roberts feels grateful for the opportunity to not only honor her best friend’s mother, but also to help those researching and fighting the disease.

“I really just love being a part of anything that gives back to organizations that really try to help people,” she said.

Though Marvelous Macarons doesn’t have a storefront yet, Roberts said she will be at the Lewiston Farmer’s Market on Aug. 8 from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and the Yarmouth Farmer’s Market on Aug. 5 from 3-6 p.m.

For a list of participating businesses, or to register to participate, visit bakesforbreastcancer.org.


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