Since she was a young girl, Mary Musumeci, co-owner of Pâtisserie St. Martin in Laval, always had a soft spot in her heart for others. She truly enjoys helping people and bringing a smile to their faces.

In 2015, Musumeci decided that she would take this passion for others a step further and founded an event called “Freedom Walk” to raise funds for two non-profit organizations: La Maison d’Ariane and Maison L’Esther. The mission of both of these organizations is to raise funds to assist women and children who are victims of conjugal violence. 400 people turned up for the initial walk which raised more than twelve thousand dollars: an outstanding success for Musumeci’s first fundraising endeavor.

“Making a difference, especially in children’s lives, is so important,” says Musumeci. “Children are born into a violent family life and they have no choice.” In 2016, although she had hoped to hold a second fundraising event for the same worthy cause, she needed a much-deserved break from work and spent some time in Europe. Upon her return, she made the decision to forge ahead to create a unique fundraising event for 2017: a larger event with more activities.

Musumeci, on behalf of Pâtisserie St-Martin, is organizing her second “Freedom Walk” event to take place on September 10th to benefit La Maison Le Prélude in Laval. This non-profit organization also helps women and children who are victims of conjugal violence and those who have experienced sexual aggression. Although Musumeci is the official founder of the “Freedom Walk”, her two brothers Joe and Sam (also her business partners at Pâtisserie St-Martin) are very involved in the plans. There are also approximately 30 other volunteers, which include members of Musumeci’s direct and extended family, employees and patrons of Pâtisserie St. Martin. This year, the Freedom Walk will consist of a 5 km walk along a Laval bike path.

Afterwards, participants will return to the parking lot of the pastry shop to celebrate with a huge BBQ, Italian style! Local radio stations will provide music, and there will be raffles and free inflatable games for children. Tickets to participate in the Freedom Walk and BBQ are $25.00 and $30.00.

“Every single penny that we raise will be given to the cause,” says Musumeci. A large presentation size check will be presented to La Maison Le Prélude in the very near future. “I consider myself to be lucky. I have a great family and had good support when I made the decision to go on my own,” says Musumeci. “Not all women are as lucky as I was. My son also received good support from our family and friends.” She notes that her two brothers have supported a lot of causes over the years as well. The Musumeci family not only run one of the best bakeries, but have big hearts to make their community a better place to live.

Mary and the entire Musumeci family from Pâtisserie St. Martin would like to thank all of the volunteers, helpers and participants of “The Freedom Walk”.

“There would be no walk or event without them,” says Musumeci.