Fundraiser at Monticello-Somers draws over 400 business and community leaders.
A local Pan-Mass Challenge team raising money in memory of Brielle Laplante of East Longmeadow raised over $50,000 on June 12 at a fundraiser held at the Thomas Jefferson mansion replica, Monticello.
More than 400 individuals, including Monticello owner S. Prestley Blake, co-founder of the Friendly’s Ice Cream Corporation, and his wife, Helen, attended the festive gala, and organizers are thrilled that 100 percent of the proceeds raised will go to the Jimmy Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event was held to mark 10 years’ worth of Pan-Mass rides by Brielle’s team, Brielle’s Brigade, and funds raised through the gala put 10-year donations over the team’s $1 million goal.
Tammy Laplante, Brielle’s mother, wrote on Facebook the day of the event, “Brielle, tonight’s party is for you and all those other children and families who have been haunted with cancer. I can't wait to present this year's check to your oncologist.”
The Brielle’s Brigade bicycling team was formed in 2006 to ride the Pan-Mass Challenge, inspired by Brielle Laplante, the team’s namesake, who passed away in 2012 after she lost her battle with Osteosarcoma a few months before her 14th birthday. Brielle is the daughter of Tammy and Bill Laplante; Bill Laplante is president of Laplante Construction of East Longmeadow, which built the Monticello mansion at 732 Hall Hill Road in 2014.
“This event is beyond what I could have dreamed—for the team, for the community and for the money we have raised for the Jimmy Fund in memory of my daughter Brielle,” said Bill Laplante. “The generosity of the presenting sponsors, the room sponsors and the contributors is remarkable, let alone the hundreds of people who attended.”
Monticello is owned by the Blakes, and they were the main presenting sponsors for the evening’s event. Additional Presenting Sponsors for the gala were: Max Catering and Events; Vartanian Custom Cabinets; Monson Savings Bank; Clarke Sub-Zero Wolf; Peter Novak-Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services Company; and Keady, Foard and Montemagni Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services.
The Brielle’s Brigade Pan-Mass Challenge team of 10 dedicated riders includes Brielle’s mother and father, Tammy and Bill Laplante; her uncles and cousins, Ed, Rebecca and Michael Moses; and family friends Peter Grocott, Paul Cicco, Andy Ede, Robert Lupacchino, and Peter Pessalano.
Over the past nine years, riders on the team have logged over 19,000 event miles. This year will mark members’ 10th 200-mile ride, which will take place on the first weekend of August; the team will ride 111 miles on the first day, from Sturbridge to Bourne, and will finish the ride from Bourne to Provincetown on Sunday.
To make a donation to the team online, visit www.pmc.org, select make a donation, enter team egift number TBO 117, and select “Brielle’s Brigade.”