'Carnival with a Cause' to be held Sunday

Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer

Beacon Correspondent

The Eel River Valley community is holding a carnival on Sunday to help the family of Sammy Colosio, a 7-year-old boy who was born with spina bifida and is now confined to a wheelchair.

Ashley McLaughlin, who suffers from spina bifida, decided she wanted to help him with his needs and created "Carnival with a Cause," which will be held on Sunday, May 19th, at Rohner Park from noon to 4 p.m.

"I was told I would never walk or be potty trained," McLaughlin said. "But I was doing both by age 2."

McLaughlin only needs a wheelchair for longer walks, and is now married and a mom -- all things the doctors told her she would not be able to do.

Sammy has already had 17 surgeries and countless medical procedures.

His parents Mark and Janell Colosio adopted him at birth. Mark works for the local timber industry and Janell has dedicated her days to caring for Sammy.

Sammy recently moved into a larger wheelchair which does not fit in the family's vehicle and they are looking for an appropriate van and access to special equipment to help their son experience the normal joys of childhood.

Sundy's event will include three bounce houses and pony ride, a cake walk, face painting, hair tinsel and lots of games.

Admission to the event is free and presale tickets are available at a discounted price. Tickets are $25 presale which will get you a voucher for 50 carnival tickets the day of the event. This presale purchase will save you $10 over the purchasing the day of the event.

Presale tickets can be purchased at Girlie Girls in Ferndale, Palco Pharmacy in Scotia, and Umpqua Bank in Fortuna and Eureka.

Food will be available for purchase and will include tri-tip sandwiches, barbecue, hot dogs, nachos, chili, chili nachos, chili dogs, and non-alcoholic drinks.

There will also be a silent and Dutch auction.

For more information or to make a raffle donation you can contact Ashley McLaughlin at 834-4579.

Photo by Heather Nyberg-Schlotzhauer/Beacon

Sam Colosio was born with spina bifida and by age 7 has had 17 surgeries and numerous medical procedures. Recently, he was placed into a more appropriate wheelchair and now accommodations are needed for transportation and medical needs. On Sunday, a carnival will be held in his honor.