Carnival planned end of May to benefit Maren Sanchez fund

Shawn Welch has a niece who teaches at Jonathan Law High School, and he wanted to do something for her and the rest of the school in the wake of the stabbing of 16-year-old Maren Sanchez last month.

Welch is planning a carnival for May 29, 30 and 31 at Walnut Beach, with all proceeds going to the Maren Sanchez Memorial Fund.

The family has approved the event.

Marenna Amusements of Orange will provide the carnival attractions. Company owner George Marenna is familiar with the beach: He has set up a merry-go-round at the beach in recent years.

Welch said that like many people touched by the tragedy, he wished he could do something.

The carnival is meant to bring people together for a happy occasion. Welch said he fondly remembers growing up in West Haven and attending annual church carnivals at Our Lady of Victory Church, and he wanted to bring that community feel to Milford.

“It’s all about family — and it’s a little bit hokey,” he said. “Everybody goes and you have the burgers and the fried dough.”

All proceeds, after costs, will go to the Maren Sanchez fund. He doesn’t know how much the carnival will raise, but he said if it raises some funds and manages to bring smiles to some faces that will suffice.

“It’s for Maren, and for her family and friends,” he said, “and for Maren’s smile, that smile.”

Welch never met Maren but has seen photos of her.

The carnival will run May 29 from 6 to 9 p.m.; May 30 from 6 to 10 p.m. and May 31 from 1 to 9.

Ride ticket prices haven’t been finalized: One night is expected to be a wristband night. Check the for updates.