, Muskogee, OK

June 13, 2013

Optimist club offers carnival as scholarship fundraiser

By Travis Sloat
Phoenix Staff Writer

— The Muskogee Morning Optimist Club and Great Plains Amusements have teamed up to bring a spring carnival to town.

Charles Bowman, a member of the Optimist Club, said the event would help replenish the money the group gives out as scholarships to Muskogee teens.

“We give approximately $2,500 to $3,000 a year in scholarships,” he said. “We have a Mr. and Mrs. Teenager from both Muskogee High and Hilldale, as well as an English award. We give all of our money exclusively to youth because we are friends of the youth.”

The carnival, which started Wednesday, will run through Saturday, with rides, games and concessions.

Bowman said past carnivals have been held in the Kmart parking lot, but “We decided to have it at the Bacone Student Center this year.

“As a thank you, we are giving the children at the Murrow Home free tickets for the carnival.”

 The Optimist Club, which meets at 6:30 a.m. every Wednesday, has a laundry list of events it sponsors each year. They include a fishing derby at Honor Heights Park and several other youth-centered activities that help the youth of Muskogee by providing not only scholarship money, but money for trips to state competitions.

The club also provides the security for the carnival and offers a place to recycle items.

Bowman said every member has enough work to do in the carnival.

“We all work,” he said. “We all switch roles. I’ve been in the club for 37 years, and I’ve been the president, the treasurer/

secretary and just a member. The money we raise from the carnival will go into our coffers for whatever comes up next. We have to have money for the kids’ awards and activities.”

Reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2908 or

If you go

WHAT: Great Plains Spring Carnival

WHEN: 5:30 to 9 p.m. through Saturday.

WHERE: Bacone College Student Center, northwest corner at York and Shawnee streets.