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Community Comes Out To Support Team Zoey

Team Zoey Carnival helps Verona child with rare, fatal disease.


Under blue skies and warm weather Saturday, Verona residents came out in full force to raise funds at a carnival to support a Verona child suffering from a rare, fatal disease.

The carnival, held at the Calvary Lutheran Church of Verona, helped raise funds for 2½-year-old Zoey Penny, a local child fighting Progeria, a little-known disease that causes rapid aging at about seven to 10 times the normal rate in children.

The Team Zoey Carnival was organized to help Penny, who received the diagnosis at the age of five months. Her family has been working to find a cure since that time.

The family formed Team Zoey and has held about 30 events to support the Progeria Research Foundation, which seeks 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. It also included a dunk tank.

The church’s pastor, Gregg Ramirez, volunteered to be one of the dunk tank’s victims, and he was not spared as participants, including Klutzy the Clown, had no mercy on the pastor. Klutzy threw a ball that plunged Ramirez into the frigid water.

The bouncy house at the carnival drew a crowd, as did the sand art booth and the visitors from the Turtle Back Zoo.

The carnival also included a food court with fare provided by Hobcaw Café, Jack’s Café and Domino’s Pizza. A special Zoey cookie was even available at the event baked by Hobcaw Café.

For people unable to attend the carnival who would like to support Team Zoey, visit the website.

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