The owners of Carousel Skating Rink made a last minute cancellation for a fundraiser that was going to benefit the children of Letitia Davis, the 36 year-old woman who was murdered in Wichita’s Fairmount Park, last month. The community group, IGYB had planned on holding the fundraiser to gather Christmas presents for Davis’ surviving children, but the skating rink’s owners, Ottaway Amusements, cancelled the event via a Facebook message to one of the organizers, hours before the event was to take place.
Carousel’s management cites “many anonymous tips” that the event had turned into a “gang affiliated event”, despite the obvious positive intentions of the fundraiser, and despite IGYB’s solid reputation for holding previous fundraisers including back-to-school haircut events, where children received free haircuts, and school supplies, as well as various other events. IGYB has even organized gang truce meetings, in an attempt to curb gang violence in the community.
While the identity of the anonymous tipster is unknown, organizers of this event have had problems with this before, at other venues, with a Wichita police detective making weekly calls to a local night club to warn of gang affiliations in regards to parties being promoted.
Organizers of the cancelled charity event are seeking other ways to collect donations for the children, and are considering a boycott of Carousel Skating Rink, as well as other Ottaway businesses. Community leaders are questioning the motives of the City of Wichita in preventing this group of local black business owners from conducting fundraisers, and promoting concerts and other parties at local clubs.