By all accounts, the fifth annual fundraising powwow to benefit American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS)-supported Murrow Indian Children’s Home, Muskogee, Okla., was a huge success. The event was held on a recent Saturday on the grounds of neighboring Bacone College, Muskogee.
Approximately 275 attendees of all ages enjoyed a silent auction, live auction, raffle and cake walk as well as Native American foods and dancing.
“People like the raffle items,” quips Betty Martin, Murrow’s executive director. “They like purchasing tickets, trying to outbid each other.”
And the numbers don’t lie. According to Martin, the event drew approximately 92 volunteers, compared to 30 or so in past years. Likewise, a record-setting number of vendors—19—featured everything from information to intricate Native American beadwork, pottery and other art. During the live auction, a beaded buffalo skull garnered $300—$200 more than last year. In all, the event raised approximately $40,000—a $10,000 increase from last year.
Perhaps no surprise to people of great faith, victory prevailed despite the threat of danger posed by a local atheist group and its sympathizers. Targeted by nasty telephone calls and Facebook posts, Murrow staff and supporters pondered whether their peaceful event would be disrupted.
In fact, negative publicity generated by the atheist group appears only to have bolstered recognition and support for Murrow. Many Muskogee residents had not realized that Murrow Indian Children’s Home is a separate entity from Bacone, according to Ben Sullivan, ABHMS Southern Plains/Northeast coordinator, Native American Ministries, and a Murrow board member, who helped with the powwow.
“More people know about Murrow now that had never even heard of them. Because of this, several local businesses pledged sponsorship for the powwow,” Sullivan says.
I figured this would upset the “Friendly” Atheist and sure enough, he is infuriated in his Oct 14 blog entry entitled, “Oklahoma Christian Charity That Rejected Atheist’s Money Receives Windfall After Controversy.” The activist spins furiously in his infuriated state. We’ll have to look at that next time around.