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April 18. 2013 1:40AM

Grief of victim's stepmother inspires Bedford benefit


JEFF BAUMAN 

BEDFORD - The Bedford Village Inn will dedicate this weekend's sales of its chocolate signature dessert to Jeff Bauman, who lost his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing on Monday.


Bauman's stepmother, Concord resident Csilla Bauman, was the inn's restaurant manager for 15 years, said Jon Carnevale, general manager of the inn.

"She's a very, very strong woman, but you could tell the sadness in her voice," said Carnevale, who recounted his conversation with her shortly after the explosion. "She sounded like a mother whose son had been very badly injured." Jeff Bauman was at the Boston Marathon finish line when one of two bombs went off, killing three? people and injuring more than 170. The New York Times reported that Bauman was at the finish line to cheer for his girlfriend, Erin Hurley, who was running the race.

A news photograph of an ashen-faced, dazed Bauman being rushed away in a wheelchair has emerged as one of the defining images of the bombing. The photograph includes a bystander, later identified as Carlos Arredondo, 53, whose efforts to place a tourniquet on Bauman kept him from losing too much blood.

In the Times article, Mrs. Bauman said Arredondo's actions saved her stepson's life.

According to the Times, Arredondo had been handing American flags to runners. One of his sons died in Iraq in 2004; the other battled depression after his brother's death and killed himself in 2011, news accounts say,

Arredondo's past protests involved honoring fighting men and women while opposing the Iraq war.

Bauman's father and stepmother - Jeff and Csilla Bauman - live on Thomas Street in Concord. He lives in Chelmsford, Mass., according to his Facebook account.

Within hours of the Bedford Village Inn's Facebook post announcing the fundraising effort, more than 700 people had shared it.

Carnevale said Mrs. Bauman was a valuable part of the inn's team for a long time.

"She's a really great person, and it's terrible. It's sickening to think of what's happened to her," he said.

The Chocolate Bag dessert features layers of spongecake, chocolate mousse and berries nestled in a chocolate, bag-shaped shell. It sells for $11. Dine-in sales from today through Sunday will go toward support efforts for Bauman.

Patrons need not come in for a full meal, Carnevale said; 100 percent of the dessert proceeds will go toward Bauman's medical expenses.

With 100 of the desserts sold on an average weekend, Carnevale said his kitchen is already bustling with activity to make enough for the anticipated demand.

"I have a sneaking suspicion we'll need a lot this weekend," he said.


kremillard@newstote.com


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