Arena rental fees waived for events

Robert Smith rsmith@pawhuskajournalcapital.com

Osage County commissioners Monday waived the arena rental fee for the Roy Clark Memorial Championship Rodeo, which the American Therapeutic Riding Center plans to hold April 26-27 at the Clarence L. Brantley Indoor Arena at the Osage County Fairgrounds.

The commissioners also waived the rental fee for the Roy Clark Memorial Run for Special Needs, a barrel racing event to be held Oct. 26 at the Clarence L. Brantley Indoor Arena. This is also an ATRC event.

District 3 Commissioner Darren McKinney initially said the commissioners could charge a discount rate but not entirely waive the fee, but District Attorney Mike Fisher said the county board could waive the fee as long as the group benefiting from the decision is a nonprofit. The American Therapeutic Riding Center is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit.

Based on Fisher’s advice, the commissioners voted 3-0 to waive the rental fee for the rodeo and the barrel race.

Denise Ward, executive director of the ATRC, based in Sand Springs, said the permission that has been granted to use Roy Clark’s name and image is a special gift not only to her organization but to Pawhuska and Osage County. She explained that Roy and Barbara Clark used to take personal get-away trips to the Pawhuska/Osage County area, and the area was important to them. Roy Clark passed away last November at the age of 85.

The ATRC, founded in 2007 by Kenneth and Vickie Burkett, provides opportunities for people with physical disabilities to challenge themselves physically and emotionally. Ward said some 75 percent of the organization’s clients are under 18.