Cancer didn’t take a break, and neither will JBT Game

The 2021 JBT Not So Mini One-on-One Shootout Competition is two days away!

Consider supporting a skater in their fundraising efforts by clicking here: At 5:45 PM this Saturday (the 20th)CLICK HERE  to watch the Wolves take on the Avalanche and the 5th Annual JBT Shootout.

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.

02-18 John Bradley Thompson
John Bradley Thompson, who passed away when he was 7, inspired his family and community to raise funds to propel cancer research. (Courtesy photo). Laconia Daily Sun, February 18, 2021.

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.

JBT Game

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 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.

02-18 JBT Game shoot out
From a shoot out during a previous JBT Tribute Game. The shoot out challenges members of the community to try and get one past a New England Wolves goalkeeper – and raises thousands of dollars for cancer research in the process. (Courtesy photo). Laconia Daily Sun, February 18, 2021.

You can donate to the event by clicking here:

To watch the game at 5:45 PM this Saturday (the 20th),  CLICK HERE.

JBT Not So Mini One-on-One Shootout Competition (Pandemic Version)

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.

Please consider supporting a skater in their fundraising efforts by clicking here:

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 SHOOTOUT AND THE Wolves take on the avalanche.

WATCH: JBT Charity Game: New England Wolves vs. New Hampshire Avalanche.

We got this!

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).

  • Cody James provided the tunes onboard the Lake Life Services barge – thanks Cody!
  • Ruth rocked it as master of the Race Committee – thanks Ruth!
  • Carter and Molly White with You-Regatta for the JBT Buffs!
  • Thanks to Tari for organizing the JBT apparel on the WYC Ship Store!

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.




See you next year!

One Week Away!

The 7th Annual JBT Regatta is one week away.

SUPPORT BEFORE THE RACE! Please consider supporting one of the boats here: 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:// 

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.

JBT Cure Starts Now Regatta 2015

See you next Saturday!

JBT Regatta goodies for sale

Just three weeks away from the 7th Annual JBT Regatta!

Go to if you’d like to register your Vessel … Or if you’d like to support one of the Sailing Teams.

If you prefer to make a straight donation to the NH Chapter, you can do so by clicking HERE 

If you are worried that you won’t be able to get your 7th Annual JBT Apparel, breathe easy — Go to: to shop for Hats, Buffs, Long Sleeve Wicking Shirts and JBT Hoodies. Sizes & quantities are limited and all proceeds will go directly to this Event — So make your order today and we will deliver / ship for free! Thanks to the WYC for hosting JBT items on the Ship Store.

We’ll send more information about the Day’s Festivities on the Water, as we get closer. Thank you for your continued support and pushing us closer and closer to finding that Homerun Cure. Together we are making a difference, The Cure Starts Now!

7th Annual JBT Regatta – July 18, 2020

GOOD NEWS:  There will be a 7th Annual JBT Regatta on Saturday July 18th!  Please see this NOR: JBT Regatta – 7th Annual Notice of Race.

BAD NEWS:  We won’t be able to have our Huge Party & Auctions at WYC following racing, which hurts — There will be no congregating at the Winnipesaukee Yacht Club (WYC).

Many of us are excited to get out on the lake & do some racing .. And if we can’t bring the party to WYC then we’ll ask all our supporters and the greater Community to bring the party out to us!   I know we can all figure out creative ways to make this year’s JBT the most memorable to date.

It’ll certainly be a challenge … Many are feeling the economic burden and fundraising, even for a very worthy cause, is not a comfortable task right now.   That said, the JBT Regatta has raised almost $500,000 in the last six years, which is simply remarkable.  What’s even more impressive … We have only spent about $10,000 to raise that half a million.

We are strong and this event is all about fighting, perseverance and not giving up  —  So please join us.   We will not let this pandemic keep us from doing the things we love the most, albeit safely and responsibly.   We will all be outside, in the breeze, on our boats, enjoying our beautiful Lake with our dearest friends and family … Fighting for the hardware!


SAILORS:  In light of the current circumstances, WYC has waived the $40 entry fee this year.  However, in return, we are asking that all boats sign up as a ‘Fundraiser’ in order to compete in the event.   It’s easy and we need all the support we can get. Since the auctions raise almost half the money every year. Please see this attached: JBT Regatta – 7th Annual Notice of Race.

Please click on this link and follow the instructions to sign up:

1)   Click on ‘Sign Up’ button.

2)   Enter your email then click continue.

3)   Fill out your personal information (name, address etc.)

4)   Add a picture of your boat and customize the content of your fundraising page, if you’d like.

5)   Make a donation of at least $20 to get yourself registered and on the board.

6)   Share the link to your personal page with friends and family  —  You’ll get a notification via email every a donation is made to your boat.

It doesn’t matter if you only raise $20 … We’re just asking all sailors to get involved and help make an impact for The Cure Starts Now Foundation.    Please don’t let this requirement discourage you from participating  —  We need you on the water and I know you’ll be amazed to see the impact we can make, collectively.

SUPPORTERS:  Click on that same link to help out the boat of your choice … However, they must be signed up to get your donation.  So encourage your sailor friends to sign up and help us out, if you can.

If you prefer to make a straight donation you can do so by clicking HERE.   

If anyone any issues getting registered on this website, please just call me at 603-387-5513 and I can walk you through it … It takes about 5 minutes and the more you raise the bigger the advantage you’ll have out on the course.

In addition, please complete the entry form and sign the waiver (2nd page of the attached)  —  Just email it back to   Deadline to register for the race is July 17th at 5PM … No last minute entries will be accepted (that morning), so please sign up early and try to raise as much money and awareness as you can.   I will be in touch once we get closer to July 18th to provide information relating to a virtual Skipper’s Meeting, a complete list of competitor’s, classes, awards and the overall game plan for this special day.

Last, we are accepting nominations for the JBT Spirit Award, which annually honors a special person who has battled adversity, persevered and embodies the strength and courage that our son John possessed during his battle with DIPG.

He was a very special Boy and we miss him every single day.  Words cannot express our appreciation for everyone’s continue support … It’s been a tough seven years and we will continue to fight until we find that Homerun Cure for Cancer.


No excuses …. What else do you have planned for July 18th?   We hope to see everyone out there and please feel free to forward this along to any friends or family that might be interested.

Thanks again, from the bottom of our hearts.

Jesse Thompson

The Cure Starts Now FoundationNH Chapter


The champion is…

It was a fun night at the Merrill Fay Ice Arena for the 4th Annual Not So Mini One-on-One Shootout competition.  Chad Baron took the championship as the only skater to score in round 2. Congrats Chad!

With all the support and donations from last nights event, the New Hampshire Chapter of the Cure Starts Now has raised One Million Dollars for Cancer Research since we started this Cure Starts Now Crusade at Gunstock back in October 2013.


Thank you for your continued support, together, we are making a difference.   Together, we get closer to finding the Homerun Cure.

JBT Tribute Game with the NE Wolves

Please join us at the Merrill Fay Ice Arena in Laconia on Saturday January 25th  –  Puck drops at 4:30 PM.

We are hopeful that this event will bring a major milestone for the New Hampshire Chapter of the Cure Starts Now. If we reach our goal of raising $30,000 for this event, we will surpass One Million Dollars raised for Cancer Research since we started this Cure Starts Now Crusade at Gunstock back in October 2013.  John was battling DIPG at that time … and we’ve been fighting for hundreds of other kids ever since.  The progress that has been made over the last 6+ years is extraordinary and this Foundation has made incredible strides, each getting us closer to finding the Homerun Cure for Cancer.

The 4th Annual Not So Mini One-on-One Shootout competition has already started, with eight brave participants currently fundraising at —  Please support the skater of your choice to help give them an advantage.   The more money they raise, the more pucks they’ll get in the shootout.  This year’s competitors include:

  • Defending Champion Jeff D’Arcy  —  Only Foxboro Champ that’s still in the game.
  • Cody James Kretschmer
  • Kyle Mignanelli 
  • Kevin Lee 
  • Chad Baron 
  • Mark Talamo 
  • Lance Kelty 
  • CJ LaPlante   


Hope to see everyone at the Rink on Saturday the 25th  —  Thank you for your continued support, we are so lucky to be part of such an amazing community.

Together, we are making a difference.   Together, we will find the Cure.  

The Cure Starts Now  –   The Game is in Two Weeks.


A Wonderful Day.

A Wonderful Day.

The 6th Annual JBT Regatta was an overwhelming success!   We were graced with perfect weather and WYC was packed with hundreds of beautiful people to celebrate John and help raise over $106,000 for the Cure Starts Now Foundation!

We finally had some wind …  A nice Westerly breeze aided Guy Nickerson and his crew of “Pressure” to defeat 20 other boats and earn the top honor  —  Great work Guy!

The Party at WYC was immaculate … Almost 300 smiles graced the grounds of WYC to enjoy the music, food, JBT Store, awards, auction and to most importantly, to celebrate the memory of John Bradley Thompson —  The most awesome kid that ever was.

This year’s JBT Perseverance Award was presented to Allan Beetle, a fixture in our community who battled & defeated cancer a decade ago and acts as an advocate to others who are facing health or life challenges.   His philanthropy & involvement in our community is 2nd to none and we are proud to Honor Allan with the 2019 JBT Perseverance Award.

In the end, it was a perfect day and we are so thankful to everyone who helped out with the event, showed up to party, donated auction items & money for the cause and a huge thanks to the WYC for hosting such a great event … Your support is appreciated.

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See you guys next year!


Tomorrow is the Big Day…

The 6th Annual JBT Regatta Party starts at 4pm at WYC. It’s going to be a perfect day in the Lakes Region, so end it with style!

This years auction is the best yet! Check out some of the amazing items we have lined up:

Gunstock Ski Club Year Membership
Lobster Bake for 20 on Welch Island
K2 Powder Skis
Paddle boards
Sox / Bruins / Pats / Nascar tickets
Golf Tournament for 20 @ Nippo / RCC
Parafunalia Lily Pad
Golf at LCC & Hanover CC
Texas Hog Hunt
Indoor Golf Membership to Patrick’s
Fay’s Pontoon Rental
LWSA Sailing School Sessions
Silver Sands Surf Session
Fjallravan Bags

Gift Certificates Gallore
American Cottage Specialty
InnSeason Vacation
Custom Shot Ski

The Big One: 30 Minute MDB Firework Show

….And soooo much more!

Nevermind free food, great people and a keg!

Still time to make a donation:

Or you can support your favorite crew @

See you tomorrow!