Although she's just 16 years old, Samantha Stautz is staging her seventh fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation just outside Gurnee.
Her Kids Carnival will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Grandwood Park baseball diamond at 36753 N. Hutchins Road in unincorporated Lake County. Shirley Stautz said her daughter's carnivals have raised more than $12,000 for the juvenile diabetes organization.
"I am very, very proud," Shirley Stautz said Friday.
Games, a bake sale, petting zoo, silent auction and more will be part of the day. Samantha Stautz has promoted the carnival in a variety of ways, even writing her previous teachers in an effort to boost Sunday's crowd.
"I can't believe that this is my seventh year organizing my carnival," she said in an email.
Samantha, a Warren Township High School junior, was inspired to start the carnival after her cousin, Grace Reblin, was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at an early age. All donations from Sunday's festivities will go to JDRF in honor of the Gracie's Angels team that's participated in the Ron Santo Walk for a Cure.
Illinois lawmakers recognized Samantha's efforts in a House resolution in 2009. In part, the resolution lauded "her hard work and dedication to others through Grace's Angels and her annual Kids Carnival."