Broken Arrow Restaurant Stops Kid Camp Fundraiser With Conflicting Beliefs
By Elizabeth Stidham
The heat is on Oklahoma Joe's BBQ for stopping a fundraiser that was going on in their restaurant. The fundraiser was for "Camp Quest Oklahoma", a kids camp focused on science, free-thinking and humanistic values. The restaurant says they didn't know what the camp was promoting.Camp Quest Oklahoma distributed fliers, directing people to eat at Oklahoma Joe's. The restaurant had agreed to give 10% of the proceeds that evening to the camp.Joe Davidson, owner of Oklahoma Joe's said, "When we were approached about hosting the fundraiser, we were informed that this was a children's camp, oriented towards scientific learning."Davidson said Camp Quest officials had brochures at the restaurant promoting the camp for kids of atheist, agnostic, humanist and free-thinking families."We were told 'Oklahoma Joe's is a Christian based organization and cannot promote your camp'," said Camp Quest Oklahoma. "Therefore you will not be receiving the 10% this evening."Oklahoma Joe's told guests they were welcome to stay and eat. They posted a sign on the door to let customers know the fundraiser was canceled. Tulsans are debating online and in person, who was at fault."They scheduled an event and Oklahoma Joe's said they would cater to them, so I don't really think justified in kicking them out," said John Hiskett of Tulsa. "If they needed to do research, if they had prerequisites, they needed to do research up front, I would think.""He did the right thing by shutting down when he found out it's not what it's supposed to be because of his reputation," said Douglas Bagby of Tulsa.Oklahoma Joe's said, "They respect every person's right to embrace their own belief system and do not refuse service to any customer based upon grounds of religion."They won't be promoting or donating to Camp Quest Oklahoma.A foundation is actually matching all donations to Camp Quest Oklahoma online -- up to five-thousand dollars -- to make up for the fundraiser cancellation.Oklahoma Joe's offered to refund anyone who had already ordered food at the fundraiser. Camp Quest Oklahoma said many of those customers donated their refund directly to the camp.
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