BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - The owner of a Tulsa-area barbeque restaurant is trying to clear the air after abruptly canceling a fundraiser for a children's camp.
Joe Davidson, owner of Oklahoma Joe's Restaurant in Broken Arrow, issued a statement Tuesday, saying his company respects every individual's rights to believe what they choose. The statement was in response to claims that he ended a fundraiser that was under way at his restaurant after finding out it was for a secular group.
Camp Quest Oklahoma claims they were in talks with the owner's wife about the fundraiser since January. The group runs a camp focused on science and education.
The fundraiser would have provided scholarships for about two dozen kids.
Camp leader Mary Eversol says they were open about their mission statement and she blames the restaurant owner for the miscommunication.
Eversol says about an hour after the fundraiser started they were asked to leave because the owner didn't want to support a non-Christian group.
"They need to do research," she said. "We provided them with info, they chose not to research it or they didn't care to research it."
Part of the statement from Oklahoma Joe's reads as follows:
"Had Camp Quest fully disclosed the nature and ideals of their organization prior to the fundraising event, this unfortunate circumstance could have been avoided."
Read the full statement
here -- http://bit.ly/10SF0bM.
The statement also says the restaurant supports camps intended to educate children on science but they made no mention of their religious beliefs.
Camp Quest says they will now try to find another way to raise money.