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AMUSEMENTS, RIDES AT CARNIVAL ARE GOING LONG WAY IN AIDING MAKE-A-WISH CHARITY

Hundreds of children and their parents slid, flipped and whirled Saturday inside the Buffalo Convention Center.

For them, boarding amusement rides and jumping inside inflatable bubble tents made for some nice memories.

Good memories, Linda Herr says, are what count.

Mrs. Herr treasures the time she and her daughter spent in a festival atmosphere.

Her daughter, Rebecca, and the rest of the Lancaster family went to Walt Disney World in July 1995 courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charitable organization that helps make dreams come true for terminally ill children.

Rebecca, whose dream was to ride on a float in the Disney World parade, was delighted when she was selected to serve as the parade's grand marshal, Mrs. Herr said.

In March 1994, Rebecca had a brain tumor removed in Children's Hospital and then received chemotherapy treatment in Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Rebecca died in November 1995.

The memory of Rebecca's smile at Walt Disney World motivated Mrs. Herr to volunteer to help make this weekend's carnival a success.

"This is Buffalo's Disney," Mrs. Herr said.

The carnival continues from noon to 7 p.m. today. The admission price of $6 for children 2 years of age and older gains them entry all day to a dozen amusement rides, including the Ferris Wheel. The admission price for adults is $2.

The proceeds of the carnival will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western New York, making it possible for other terminally ill children and their parents to share good times and memories, Mrs. Herr said.

"What makes this so neat is there are a lot of moms and dads and kids having fun, and at the same time they're helping other kids who aren't so fortunate," Mrs. Herr said.

Hammerl Amusements set up the amusement rides, and other companies provided booths and games.

Lynn Hammerl Ritchie, who handles Hammerl's promotions, said the company's employees were impressed with Make-A-Wish Foundation's work on behalf of a colleague.

"We decided it was time for us to step up and help out the community, and we wanted to help Make-A-Wish," she said.

Hammerl will turn over all the profits of the weekend carnival, after paying employees and advertising costs.

The amusements rides left Timothy Reed, 8, and his brother, Emanuel, 6, staggering.

They were dizzy.

And a little scared at first, said their mother, Valerie Reed of Buffalo.

The carnival was a nice way to spend the day, she said.

"You've got to keep them busy," she said. "I made them bring home school books to read over the holiday break, but you have to give them some fun, too.

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