Showmen’s League of America donates $50,000 to the Outdoor Amusement Business Association

The Showmen’s League of America is pleased to announce a decision to support the operations of the Outdoor Amusement Business Association with a donation of $50,000 to be issued by May 1, 2021. The League’s Board of Governors voted to provide the donation during their meeting held on February 26, 2021.

The great pandemic of 2020-2021 has challenged both organizations’ ability to raise operating funds– the carnivals, circuses and concessionaires who normally support OABA have been closed for an entire year–many events have now been cancelled for the second time.

The Showmen’s League of America was founded in 1913. The League’s first president was out-of- doors showman Buffalo Bill Cody, who declared that “it was time for form an organization to protect and provide for its members.” The League is a national fraternal group for show people with a headquarters building at 1023 West Fulton Market Street in Chicago.      League projects include its scholarship program, its Showmen’s Rest cemetery, an annual trade show and banquet and ball and Christmas Party, and fraternal activities held at locations across North America. 2021 League President is Robert Thorson, and our vice presidents include Patrick Jamieson, Marc Janas, and Bob Johnson.

The Outdoor Amusement Business Association was founded in 1965 to address trade issues faced by its founding members.    OABA deals with legal and legislative issues, member education, labor and transportation, safety, and the preservation of family outdoor amusement enterprises. OABA president is Greg Chiecko, and the current board chairman is Debbie Powers. Vice chairs include Andy Deggeller, Rick Reithoffer and Ben Pickett.

There is a long tradition of support between the Showmen’s League and OABA–each has supported the other through fundraising efforts, programming, convention and educational activities. Their mission statements are similar, with the League tending to the fraternal needs of outdoor show people, and OABA to the business needs.

President Bob Thorson says:  ” the Showmen’s League is so glad to be able to support OABA. This pandemic has taken its toll–we have lost many members due to Covid-19 illnesses, and our livelihood has certainly been negatively impacted. We hope that the worst is over, and we can start a new era of our great industry.” For further information, contact Showmen’s League of America Executive Director Cindy Henning at 312-733-9533.