January 22nd, 2021

Pumpkin Festival aims to connect family with Disney World magic

By Mo Cranker on October 11, 2016.

Laura, Dave and Noah Ashton pose for a photo with Children's Wish chairperson Donna Serr Friday at the Windmill Garden Centre, where the annual Pumpkin Festival takes place on Oct. 15. This year's festival will be raising funds for the family to make Noah's wish of travelling to Disney World come true. --NEWS PHOTO MO CRANKER


mcranker@medicinehatnews.com
@MHNmocranker

Medicine Hat’s fourth annual Pumpkin Festival will be focused on getting a local boy to Disney World.

The event is being held on Oct. 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Windmill Garden Centre and is hosted by the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Four-year-old Noah Ashton was born with CHARGE syndrome, which affects him physically and mentally.

His parents John and Laura said that this trip to Disney World in late November will be their first-ever vacation as a family and they said they hope to have Noah walking on his own to meet Mickey Mouse.

“We’ve taken time off of work to attend CHARGE conferences in Phoenix and Chicago, but we’ve never gotten to actually go on vacation as a family, so this is going to be pretty special for us,” said John.

According to John, one in every 10,000 children are affected by CHARGE, with varying degrees of impact. Noah was the first child born in the city with CHARGE and is one of two affected by it. John said Noah is severely impacted by the syndrome and is non-verbal, fed through a tube, has limited hearing and vision and will only walk when one of his parents is holding his hand. John said the support from Children’s Wish and the community has been amazing.

“Medicine Hat has really come together for our family,” he said. “We held a fundraiser to get Noah a new hearing aid and the community stepped up, now with this, the support is incredible.”

Chairperson for Children’s Wish in Medicine Hat Donna Serr said she hopes to see over 500 people at the event which will feature live music, face painting, an auction with more than 80 items, scarecrow stuff and more.

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