Goodwill Festival brings fun, raises funds, awareness 

Local celebrity Lucas Ross shops at a local Goodwill store for his wardrobe to emcee the festival

Local celebrity Lucas Ross shops at a local Goodwill store for his wardrobe to emcee the festival

The Peace, Love & Goodwill Festival has evolved over the past two years from a small music festival to this year’s full- blown daylong event with something for everyone. Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma (GICO) helps empower Oklahomans with disabilities through work opportunities and education. It isa nonprofit that is linked to the national Goodwill Industries but is autonomous in its dealings with the entire community.

The company operates 13 retail stores and 24 donation centers within the Oklahoma City metro.

The Peace, Love & Goodwill Festival benefits GICO itself, but it serves a special purpose in raising money.

“The festival specifically benefits the Goodwill Ability Scholarship Fund. It helps students with disabilities who are wanting continuing education,” said Linda Burgett, festival organizer.

The scholarship is geared not at just the financial aspect of schooling but any medical devices or tools to facilitate learning without limitations.

Edgar J. Helms, who was unsatisfied with the opportunities available for a good quality of life for disabled and underprivileged Americans, founded Goodwill in 1941.

Nearly 85 percent of every dollar of GICO’s profit is reinvested in the community and has served more than 6,100 people to date. Goodwill is also a model of sustainability, recycling 11 million pounds of clothing annually.

“This one has expanded to the Myriad Gardens. It will include concerts on three stages and throughout the gardens themselves,”Burgett said.

The festival is an event the organizers have termed an extra-sensory experience, something outside the normal bounds of perception.

“We want the festival to highlight the amazing and varied things going on in OKC and for them to experience them all at once,” Burgett said.

There will be something for everyone, including food, art, children’s activities and live music. The music lineup includes local acts Tony Lucca, Kyle Reid & The Low Swinging Chariots, Horse Thief, Graham Colton and Sherree Chamberlain.

Sherree Chamberlain

Sherree Chamberlain

As for the rest of the activities, the only challenge will be participating in all of them.

There will be cooking classes led by Kurt Fleischfresser (Vast, Coach House) and including local chefs Joshua Valentine (The George) and Loretta Oden taking place at Park House.

There will also be food trucks and food vendor tents, and part of the bonus of the VIP ticket purchase is 10 percent off all food purchased at the festival.

Guests are encouraged to bring their children, as it is a family-oriented event. There will be children’s activities, including a fitness activity at 1 p.m. and a Princess Party where they can meet some of the characters from Frozen at 2:30 p.m.

There will be fitness activities 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. These will include Yoga Wakeup at 8:30 a.m., a personal training class with Spencer Malicki from Park Harvey Athletic Club and Zumba at noon.

There will be art demonstrations by local artists as well as art available for purchase. To top it off, local KFOR correspondent/all-around funny guy Lucas Ross will emcee the festival. He will also do the entire festival dressed in clothes he obtained at local Goodwill stores.

General admission to the festival is free, but you should consider shelling out the $95 for a VIP ticket because the perks are worth a lot more. You get dinner at Vast, 333 W. Sheridan Ave., special admission to the chef demonstrations and a goody bag. You also get a commemorative cup to use for all beverage purchases as well as that 10 percent off festival food. If that doesn’t fit your budget but you still want to experience more than just the free admission perks, there are Preferred tickets for $25 that include a commemorative T-shirt, limited access to chef and guest appearances and the same 10 percent off food purchases. The Preferred tickets are $40 the day of the festival. All tickets are available at will-call the day of the festival.

OKC Beautiful is helping sponsor the event by organizing cleanup and welcomes volunteers. You can find them on the web at okcbeautiful.com.

For a complete rundown of the schedule of events and more information about the festival, including its history and a special endorsement from the mayor himself, visit peacelovegoodwill. org. The festival is also eager for volunteers, and you can sign up on its website.

Print: Do-Gooders; The Peace, Love & Goodwill festival promises something for everyone for a great cause.

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