Charity has sweet appeal

Danielle De Souza

MOUNT KISCO – Mary Wilson, member of the megahit ’60s Motown group The Supremes, came out yesterday to celebrate the three-year anniversary of a socially conscious bakery.Wilson is the spokeswoman for the Humpty Dumpty Institute, an organization that pairs public and private entities to work on worldwide humanitarian issues, such as hunger and land-mine removal. Humpty Dumpty was founded by Constance Milstein, who opened Connie’s Bakery and General Store on the South Moger Avenue walkway in February 2005. “I like the work that I am doing,” said Wilson, 64, as she took pictures and signed autographs. “The type of work that Humpty Dumpty does improves the lives of others, and this is really needed. It feels wonderful to be here,” said Milstein, who donates the bakery’s profits to charity. “It feels even better to have Wilson here because she is an inspiration.”

People swarmed around the two women while others helped themselves to a free buffet of pastries from the shop.”I was feeling that I needed to bring a little sunshine to Mount Kisco,” said Milstein of why she opened the shop. Milstein, an attorney and member of a prominent New York City real estate family who sits on multiple boards, has a home in South Salem.”We wanted to do something that would be sweet,” she laughed.

Sweet indeed for the six non-profit organizations from Westchester and the Hudson Valley that Connie’s picks each year, donating to them equally. The bakery also chooses eight underprivileged young people interested in the food industry and trains them to be pastry chefs while preparing them for the work force. Connie’s items also are sold at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, where the institute took over the hospital gift shop a year ago.

Milstein created the Humpty Dumpty Institute in 1998 which does much of its work with the United Nations. As spokeswoman, Wilson, the only Supreme who remained in the group from the time it formed in the Detroit projects in 1959 until it disbanded in 1977, traveled to Sri Lanka and Laos last year to raise awareness of unexploded land mines around the world.

According to its Web site, Humpty Dumpty continues to remove unexploded bombs in Laos while providing a daily nutritional snack to more than 10,000 kids and in Sri Lanka, its land-mine-removal program is coupled with teaching more than 1,200 farmers new and modern farming techniques and revitalizing the region’s dairy industry.

Back in Mount Kisco, Milstein said that she is glad she is able to make a difference.”I think that doing good is the reason that we are put on this Earth,” she said. “The more good we do, the better the world will be.”

Reach Danielle De Souza at or 914-666-6120.