The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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July 18, 2013

Legendary Osmond brother performing benefit concert in Blue Earth

Legendary performer headlining scleroderma benefit in Blue Earth

So, how is it that Merrill Osmond -- the same man who helped sell more than 100 million records worldwide as the golden-voiced lead singer of the Osmond family -- comes to perform on a fairground grandstand on a Saturday night in Blue Earth?

Well, that’s a long story.

But it begins when Cara Marie was just a 12-year-old Winnebago girl who, like so many other mostly teenage girls in the United States and Europe in the early 1970s, was a devoted fan of the clean-cut and boyishly handsome Osmond brothers (Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay and Donny).

When Cara convinced her mom to take her to an Osmonds concert at Metropolitan Stadium, she was intent on meeting one of the Osmonds in person. They arrived for soundcheck and stayed through the concert. Afterward, they camped out at one of the arena's rear exits. Cara's mother actually got close enough to Donny to try and corral him by the arm, but he slipped away to the bus.

So, Cara's mother did what any other mother who had driven two hours so her daughter could see her favorite band would do: She herded her daughter into the car, stepped on the gas and followed the band's bus to the hotel.

Though they never did meet one of the brothers that day, they did happen to stop for a bite to eat a nearby restaurant -- where, as luck would have it, Marie Osmond and her mother were also dining.

Marie and Cara, who were of similar ages, struck up an instant friendship. Even after that fateful meeting, they pair continued to trade letters over the years and Marie would always invite Cara backstage when she performed in Minnesota.

"We sat and visited, and Marie and I just hit it off," Cara said. "Things just snowballed over the years."

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