This Saturday the entire town turned out to raise funds for one of their own: A Verona child fighting a rare, fatal disease. Hosted by Calvary Lutheran Church, attended by community members and helped by area businesses, the Team Zoey Carnival had the community’s full support.
Not yet three-years-old Zoey Penny has been battling Progeria, a little-known disease that causes rapid aging in young children at about 7 to 10 times the normal rate, nearly her whole life. She received the diagnosis at just five months of age, and ever since her family has been working to find a cure. They formed Team Zoey and so far have held 30 events to provide funding for the Progeria Research Foundation, an organization seeking to develop treatments and find a cure for the devastating disease.
Saturday’s event provided a little something for everyone with games, prizes, face painting, food and zoo animals. Not to mention the ever-popular dunk tank. The church’s Pastor, Gregg Ramirez, volunteered as one of the dunk tank’s victims, and he was not spared. Klutzy the Clown took no mercy as he threw a speed ball at the target, plunging Pastor Ramirez into the frigid water.
The bouncy house also drew a crowd as did sand art station and the visitors from the Turtle Back Zoo.
When fair-goers tired they could take a rest and reenergize at the food court with fare provided by Hobcaw Café, Jack’s Café and Domino’s Pizza. A special Zoey cookie was even available for purchase baked up by the wholesome Hobcaw Café.
Dani Lahrs, one of four co-chairs who worked tirelessly to arrange the event, said the cause is especially meaningful to her.
“This one is close to my heart because [Zoey’s mother] is one of my best friends.”