Carnival for juvenile diabetes expected to attract hundreds

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By John Shindlebower

What’s better than a huge carnival? How ‘bout a huge carnival with a cause?

That’s what you’ll find in downtown Taylorsville this Saturday during the first annual Carnival for a Cure, an event that will help raise awareness and funds for the fight against Juvenile Diabetes.

Debby Cannon has worked with other families in the community with children dealing with this disease and have banded together to create the event.

“Because it’s about the kids, it’s for the kids,” said Cannon, who said her involvement in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation began five years ago when her daughter, Jaden, was diagnosed with  type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that can strike children and adults suddenly and lasts a lifetime. The condition causes the pancreas to not function and the patient needs insulin to survive.

“Jaden endures 8-10 finger pricks a day to check sugar levels and until the last six months endured 6-8 insulin shots a day,” said Cannon. “Because of JDRF and research, she now receives her insulin from an insulin pump. Without insulin, she could not survive, so we are in search for a cure!”

The Carnival for a Cure began as an idea and has grown into an event that might rival any festival downtown has ever seen. It will kick off with a parade at 10 a.m. that will include staples such as bands, emergency vehicles, horses and antique cars, and will also include various floats, various mascots and performers of all types.

Then the all-day event will provide non-stop entertainment and activities for children and their families with games, shows, music, booths and prizes.

Cannon has been amazed at the support of the community and how so many people have stepped up to take this event beyond what she could ever have imagined.

“The community support has been astounding,” she said, noting all the donations and contributions businesses, organizations and individuals have been willing to make.

She said people like John Shircliff, whom she had never met before, has stepped up to help in so many ways, people in the Mayor’s office and Judge-Executive’s office as well as downtown business owners have shared her enthusiasm for the event, as have local law enforcement agencies.

“The more people hear of the carnival, the more they want to help,” said Cannon. “The support from the entire city is astounding.”

However, Cannon’s biggest thanks has been to God, whom she credits for opening so many doors to make this the best event possible.

“It is because of Him this carnival has turned out to be so big. When we have doubts, He provides, when we have needs, He provides. When I am overwhelmed, He puts someone else in my life to show me the way.”

The blessings have been so many, that Cannon’s big concern now is where to put all the attractions.

Groups like the Salt River Antique Tractor club, the National Guard bringing in tanks and other equipment and the Wallen Productions, who will  set up a dancing horse and wild west show, have stepped forward to participate and room is being found.

For several hours on Saturday, families will be able to enjoy non-stop fun and entertainment, including but not limited to:

Carnival games, inflatables, a petting zoo, pony rides, a fire safety house, obstacle course, 10x20 remote control racing track, dunking booth, balloon entertainer, wagon rides, 25 craft vendors, photographry booths, karaoke, dancing performances and live music from area talent as well as performances in the Sanctuary.

Weather forecasts predict a near-perfect day for Saturday, which should add to the crowds to make this a fun-filled event for the whole family, and one that will raise needed awareness and money to help find a cure for juvenile diabetes.