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Goodwill finds are Tulsa State Fair winners



 Photo by Kelly Olivieri

By Karla Davis,
Director of Finance and Information Technology for Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

More than 10 years ago, I was at the Tulsa State Fair with a friend. We were looking at the entries in the Competitive Exhibits Antiques division and found that there were ribbons on several things very similar to what each of us had among our treasures at home. We resolved to figure out how to enter our own “old junk.” Items must be at least 50 years old for entry in the Antiques division at the Tulsa State Fair. 

It’s a little complicated to figure out just where some of the pieces fit among the 70+ classes, but we did our best and both of us won a ribbon or two that first year! We were hooked. For several years we entered up to a half dozen things each year and then, well, life happened and we didn’t enter for a while. But we still made time to look at the winners.

This year, I had four entries. The painting is one my mom did as a girl and for the family connection, it is my favorite even if it didn’t win a ribbon.

The other items, a piece of sheet music (“Sweethearts on Parade,” 1928), a schoolbook (American Accountant’s Training Association from Draughon School of Business in Oklahoma City, 1947), and a children’s book (“Famous American Ships,” 1958), were all Goodwill finds and were all winners; two firsts and a second. The accounting book even has notes jotted in the margins and the student’s work still tucked in the pages.

It’s probably important to say that I buy items at Goodwill that I enjoy, not only with an eye toward a fair entry. And it’s not a money-making venture. Goodwill finds are a bargain and support a great cause, of course, but the entry fee is $4 per item (this year, anyway) and a first place ribbon is worth $8. Most years, I have won enough to cover the entry fees. But I do really enjoy collecting special items and testing my judgment of really great finds against other collectors.

I invite you to join me! You’ll find the information on antiques in the Competitive Exhibits > Adults Entries section of the Tulsa State Fair website. The website is updated in the late spring or early summer with information for the fall fair.


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