Use this search box to find articles that have run in our newspapers over the last several years.

Carnival for a Cure to benefit Brielle's Brigade

Date: 7/17/2012

By Chris Maza

WILBRAHAM — Summertime is carnival time and Spec Pond will be the place to be on this weekend for a fun time dedicated to a good cause.

Carnival for a Cure, an afternoon-long event featuring music, food and entertainment to raise money for Brielle's Brigade, will take place from 1 p.m. until dusk at Spec Pond on July 22.

Brielle's Brigade is a team of riders that has taken part in the PanMass Challenge for the past six years and will participate again this year for a seventh on Aug 3 through 5. They have raising more than $600,000 for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. The Carnival for a Cure has been a huge part of the fund-raising effort over that span and organizers hope it will continue to grow as the team strives to surpass $750,000 in total monies raised.

"The Carnival for a Cure is in its sixth year," team member and carnival organizer Marina Barrett said. "It started out in a teammate's back yard and has grown so much that last year it was moved to Spec Pond. It was the first event to get liquor, food and entertainment licenses at Spec Pond, so it's the largest event ever to be held there."

She said the team has received outstanding support from the town of Wilbraham in making arrangements for the carnival.

"They are thrilled to have it here. The town is very proud to host this event," Barrett said. "They have done amazing things at Spec Pond and it is such a great place to have it."

This year's Carnival for a Cure and the upcoming ride in the PanMass Challenge has taken on even more meaning this year because Brielle Laplante, the team's namesake who had twice prior beaten cancer, learned last year that cancer had returned in the form of osteosarcoma, a rare a bone tumor that usually develops during adolescence. Since the diagnosis, she has had two surgeries to remove the tumor and also to remove cancer that had formed in her lungs.

"We learned the cancer returned at the beginning of the ride last year," Barrett said. "It's a different form of cancer and it's more aggressive, but she's hanging in there and will make an appearance at the carnival."

Admittance to the carnival is free of charge, but donations are accepted and certain attractions include fees.

This year's festivities will include live music from several local bands, a barbeque lunch, video game entertainment provided by Arcade on Wheels, a bounce house, a rock climbing wall, a jousting arena, face painting, swimming at the beach and more.

Local vendors, including Bum Drums, Competitive Edge Ski and Bike, Daisy Hoops, Jim Mitchell Lax, Spade purses, Heidi Forgette-Paul jewelry will also be on site with a portion of every purchase being donated to Brielle's Bridage's cause.

There will also be a raffle offering the chance to win a Samsung 40-inch flat screen television, four tickets to the Aug. 27 baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals Tickets at Fenway Park or a 16 GB iPad2 with Wi-Fi.

"We are thrilled with the level of support we've received," Barrett said.

For more information on Brielle's Brigade, visit or To donate directly to the team, visit their page on the PanMass Challenge website at