Thanks to everyone who came out to support the NE Wolves & The Cure Starts Now Foundation last night at the Merrill Fay Arena. Collectively, we raised $32K for DIPG research and we had so much fun in the process. Thank you to all the skaters and supporters!
After two rounds and a true shoot-out, Chad Baron was able to retain his Crown as the Not So Mini One-on-One Champion! Thanks to all for your continued support and inspiration for our Family — It means the World.
Save the Date! Our 6th Annual “Not So Mini” One-on-One JBT Shootout will be on Saturday, January 22nd at 6 PM at the Merrill Fay Ice Arena, Laconia NH.
We hope you’ll come out to the arena to the enjoy the festivities and help support the fundraising efforts of our 10 skaters. Please click here to get to the skaters fundraising pages and support the talented skaters of you choice. The Shootout consists of 2 Rounds with a Championship Round. For every $1,000 raised by each skater, they get a puck for every Round. The more money raised, the more chances to shoot one in the net and take home the Trophy.
We lost John 7 1/2 years ago to DIPG. He’d be 14 today, in the middle of his freshman year in high school at Gilford. DIPG is a rare and devastating brain tumor. Through all your support to the Cure Starts Now Foundation, we have funded the best oncologists to research this type of tumor with the goal to find a Homerun Cure for all Cancers. It’s not going to happen this year and probably not next year. Yet, we believe in our hearts that it will happen. By joining us and getting involved with this event, you’re fueling this fight and pushing this educated and effective research in a positive direction.
Today is the 8th Annual JBT Regatta. Sailors are ready and the wind is picking up! It will be a fantastic day! Come out to watch if you can. Boats cross the starting line in front of the WYC at noon, and will sail around the Witches and back.
It’s not too late to support a boat! And it’s very easy to donate, just click on THIS LINK, scroll down and choose a boat / sailor to support. Thank you!
The Gunstock Ski Club has generously donated a GSC Membership (no restrictions) for the JBT Regatta! We are auctioning this off, until 7pm tonight, to the highest bidder/donation (must comment donation as a GSC high bid and/or comment on this post). Current high bid is $1500. https://www.gunstockskiclub.com/
We’re only a month away from the 8th Annual JBT Regatta… It’s very easy to donate, just click on the orange link, scroll down and choose a boat / sailor to support. This link also gives you more information on the day’s events.
All Sailors are being asked to raise money for The Cure Starts Now Foundation — The more they collect the greater their advantage on the race course. Play favorites, go with your gut, throw a dart or just help boost the boats towards the bottom.
Every year we see Grant Applications that are generating exciting breakthroughs in treatments for DIPG … Our efforts are leading to results. We are making a difference! It’s a collective effort but we’re not finished, we still need your support.
Thank you for your consideration — We appreciate your continued generosity and we’re looking forward to another special day Honoring John.
Thank you to everyone that made the New England Wolves’ Annual JBT Shoot-Out Game a huge success! Combined, the skaters raised over $15,000 in honor of John Bradley and the Cure Starts Now Foundation.
The game was so fun! The Wolves fought hard against the Avalanche and scored the winning goal in overtime. This win gives the Wolves the second seat going into their season playoffs. Good luck Wolves!!
Congratulations to Champ John McKenzie for winning in the JBT shootout!! John took the trophy following his goal in the sudden- death second round.
As always we are so honored, thankful and proud of our community. For always having us in your thoughts and joining us in our mission to find the home run cure for cancer.
Thank you to the Laconia Daily Sun for the wonderful article about this event, Johns memory, the Cure Starts Now and the dedication of the New England Wolves. Please read it below or read it HERE.
GILFORD — Jesse Thompson remembers the day his son John Bradley was diagnosed with the disease that took his young life. Knowing now what he does about the rare form of cancer, he realizes that the several doctors who sat across the table from him and his wife, Alison, must have known that there was little hope for their son, yet they had to deliver their finding in a way that would embolden the family for the fight ahead.
And fight they did, first for their son’s life, and even after that was lost, they fought for the lives of others who face the diagnosis of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.
It didn’t take long for the Thompsons to realize that they weren’t in the fight alone. Their support didn’t stop after John Bradley passed on April 9, 2014. He was seven years old, and fought for his life for ten months.
“We have daily reminders of John,” Jesse said. “Our community has been incredible from the day we were diagnosed until today. We have wonderful support and that’s a testament to our community.”
Jesse responded to his family’s tragedy by founding a New Hampshire chapter for The Cure Starts Now Foundation, dedicated to raising funds for research into DIPG. If a cure can be found for DIPG, the foundation believes, it could reveal a weapon against cancer in all forms.
Since its founding, the NH chapter has raised more than $1 million, and more than $100,000 of that has come from an annual hockey game hosted by the New England Wolves, an Eastern Hockey League organization based at the Merrill Fay Ice Arena.
The 5th Annual JBT Game, hosted by the Wolves, will take place on Saturday, Feb. 20, beginning at 5:45 p.m. The New Hampshire Avalanche will be the visiting team.
Everything this year has been difficult and required adaptation, said Andrew Trimble, general manager of the Wolves, but he said it’s been worth it. Travel restrictions, combined with the closing of other junior hockey programs around the country, have benefitted programs like the Wolves, he said, as this year’s teams have rostered players that would normally be in more elite echelons. Meanwhile, the Wolves have limited their play to other teams within the state, which has meant that players have gotten to know one another very well over the course of the season.
“Every game’s a battle, it’s been really fun watching these teams compete against each other,” Trimble said. While the on-ice action has been fun, he said, the off-ice challenges have been significant. “It’s been a lot of work. We’ve changed the schedule it feels like a hundred times, but we’ve gotten through it and gotten to this point,” he said.
State guidelines allow for in-person spectators, but only one per player, and that translates to a max capacity of around 50 fans, all socially distanced and wearing masks, Trimble said. Those same precautions will be in place for the JBT game on Saturday, which is usually a raucous night at Merrill Fay Arena.
Thompson said that sports, including hockey, were important to John Bradley, and that the Wolves were eager partners to help join the Cure Starts Now effort.
The first JBT game featured information tables in the lobby and foundation merchandise for sale. It was the following year, when the shoot out event was added, that the event began to build a buzz.
Joe Spicuzza, who works with the Wolves as an assistant coach and helps with administrative duties, saw his first JBT game last year.
“It was amazing,” Spicuzza said. “Last year was so much fun, the electricity, the stands were filled with fans, we definitely had some talent, or characters, who were competing in the shootout last year. The set up was really cool,” he said.
This year, Spicuzza will be among the six competitors in the shootout, which will take place between the first and second periods. The contest includes some well-known locals, some more seasoned hockey players, and even one mystery contestant. Each contestant will have a certain amount of chances to score one-on-one against the goalie, but those who raise a little extra can gain bonus pucks. Aside from the mystery shooter, other entrants include Ron Lien, John McKenzie, Brittany Hart and Neil Ravin. The goal will be tended by one of the Wolves.
Members of the public can visit bit.ly/2M5Quh2 to contribute to one, or many, of the shooters. The site also provides links to watch the game, and the shoot-out, live. Trimble said one of this year’s challenges has been how to provide virtual access to the team’s fans, with the result that video production values this year are better than they ever have been.
Organizers are hoping to raise $15,000 with this year’s event. So far, the tally is a little more than $6,000. Spicuzza said he is hoping for a late surge in giving.
“I have three children, all boys, all involved in hockey,” Spicuzza said. “I just want to do something for the family, for the community, for this awesome cause. From what I understand, the donations are way down this year because of COVID. Cancer isn’t stopping because of COVID, we still need to raise money for pediatric cancer research. I wanted to do my part, have some fun and entertain some people along the way.”
Spicuzza said his 15-year-old has been schooling him on trick shots, and he said he might have something to pull out of his sleeve during the shoot-out. “I’m not the most skilled, I’m a 54-year-old dad, but I’m going to give it my all to entertain.”
Seeking a path to victory
Events such as the JBT game can be a mix of emotions, said Thompson. It’s nice to see his son’s memory honored, but it also serves as one more reminder of what was lost. That loss, though, serves to underscore the reason why the game is held in the first place.
DIPG, which takes between 200 and 400 children each year between the U.S. and Australia, according to The Cure Starts Now Foundation, involves tumors which are inoperable because they grow on the brain stem, which is critical to basic body mechanics. If researchers can find a way to halt DIPG, the same tools are thought to be likely to be effective against other cancers.
“We do what we can to raise those all-important funds so the doctors and researchers can find that home run cure against cancer. And we’re getting close, we’re getting closer with each fundraiser,” Thompson said.
Indeed, a paper published this month in Nature Communications reports startling findings by researchers in Australia, who used a combination of two drugs in animal studies, which were “spectacularly effective in eradicating the cancer cells,” according to lead researcher David Ziegler, from the Children’s Cancer Institute and Sydney Children’s Hospital. The research was funded by 23 organizations, many of which were named after individuals. The Cure Starts Now was one of the funders.
“We’re sending money out all over the world,” said Thompson. Since most of the organizations are powered by bereaved families, there’s nearly no overhead costs, meaning that the money raised goes almost entirely into scientific progress.
The progress might not have been fast enough for John Bradley, but his family, and community are doing all they can to find a cure for the next child.
“At some point, we’re going to get there. We’re going to keep fighting until we do,” Thompson said.
We are excited to announce that the 2021 Pandemic Version of the JBT Not So Mini One-on-One Shootout Competition is happening on Saturday, February 20th. The New England Wolves will take on the New Hampshire Avalanche – game starts at 5:45pm at the Merrill Fay Arena. In this Pandemic Version, the entire shootout to take place after the 1st period and the whole game will be broadcasted LIVE via YouTube.
Over the past year, funding is down since many non-profits had to “push pause” on holding their normal events. The goal of The Cure Starts Now is to find the Homerun Cure for cancer and cancer didn’t take the year off! We still have the opportunity to support this incredible foundation’s goal and maintain the collaborative efforts of research, education and trials to fight DIPG.
At 5:45pm on February 20th, CLICK HERE to WATCH the THE 5TH ANNUAL JBT SHOOTOUTAND THE Wolves take on the avalanche.
The sun was shining bright for the 7th Annual Regatta. It was a true test of perseverance by the sailors who endured some long periods of low-wind conditions. Well done sailors, you were the heroes of the day!
We are so humbled to present this years JBT Perseverance Award to Nancy Johnson. Nancy is a dedicated active WYC member. She has battled cancer over the last seven years – she is strong, she is caring and most worthy to be this years recipient.
ARGO III with Casey Nickerson and crew took 1st place – the 2020 Pandemic Champion. Congrats Casey! Team Gostosa with Conner Hayes and crew took 2nd. Our Top Fundraiser was Nancy Hesko as the elusive Captain Dearest with her Dingy (not a real boat – she was only in it for this award! Well done Dearest).
We raised just over $92,000 for the Cure Starts Now. This is an incredible feat given all the challenges we face right now. As always we are so thankful for the support of our community. Each year we get closer to the homerun cure.
The race results are:
J80 Class: 11 Boats
Argo III — Casey N.
Gostosa — Conor H.
Pressure — Guy N.
Bear Off — The Family Crosby
Point Her — Paul D.
Ninkasi — Sara L.
Claddagh — Jay N.
Shadow — Mine C.
Badfish — The Family Stevens
Sugar Mountain — Mark S.
Anticipation — Don P.
Kia Ora II — Gary B.
Thanks to all our sailors. You put on the show. You make this happen.
SUPPORT BEFORE THE RACE! Please consider supporting one of the boats here: https://events.thecurestartsnow.org/jbt-regatta/. Scroll down to the Top Fundraisers – the money each boat raises before the race helps with their overall time. Our goal is $75,000 – we are almost there!
WEAR YOUR SUPPORT! We will be selling out JBT attire on the WYC Ship Store website for one more week. Once the sailors cross the finish line, the sales are done. So get your buffs, hats and hoodies now: ttps://wycshipsstore.square.site/shop/6.
SUPPORT ON THE WATER! Sailors will have a staggered start over the starting line in Sanders Bay (out front of the WYC) beginning at 11:30. We’d love to see our supporters out on the water. If you can, drop anchor in the bay, wear your orange and bring water guns or flags to cheer on the sailors! Festivities will start around 11am – look for the orange tent. We don’t know what the wind will bring but we know it will be an amazing day! Feel free to follow the race for the afternoon.