Delaware promoter brings carnival to Boys & Girls Club

Terry RogersCulture, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

Donnell Fears stands with Jim Houghton of Houghton Enterprises at the ticket booth for the carnival at the Boys and Girls Club

Donnell Fears, a Dover native whose passion is promoting family-friendly events has partnered with the Boys and Girls Club in Milford to bring a carnival to the area. The William Fears Carnival and Fair Company will offer rides, carnival foods and games on the grounds of the Boys and Girls Club. The carnival will begin at 6 PM on Wednesday, June 14 and will run through Saturday. The hours of the carnival are Wednesday through Friday from 6 to 10 PM and on Saturday from 3 to 10 PM.

“I’ve always had an attraction for entertainment. I think that’s what led me to promotions. I’m from Dover and I just wanted to give the people something positive and that’s family oriented. And I think that’s what all three counties need as we as we looked around in today’s society,” Fear said. “The simplicity of family entertainment is historic. You don’t have it anymore. Most people have to wait yearly for the state fair to come. Jobs are scarce. When I was growing up, they had the summer youth programs for the kids that wanted work. There just seemed to be more opportunities and activities growing up, when I was younger, that seemed to be lacking today. I know there’s really nothing going on and one of the main things that we have going on is the crime and epidemics with drugs and alcoholism and mental health and things of that nature. So, when things like that happen, one of the first things that people say, “Well, if people had just had something to do, then maybe we wouldn’t have such problems.” That’s where I come in as a promoter. I’m giving people something to do.”

Haunted house that will be open at the carnival

Fears and his business partner and mentor, Bobby Wilson, operate F.E.A.R.S., Inc., which stands for “Forever Evolving Always Respecting Self.” They offer job training in various fields, mental health treatment as well as substance abuse counseling. The company partnered with Jim Houghton of Houghton Enterprises to bring a carnival to Smyrna which had over 125,000 visitors. Fears’ love of carnivals began when he was just 11 years’ old and got his first job as a carnival worker at the Blue Hen Mall.

“I can recall as a child walking from all alone from the Capital Green housing complex, something my friends and I did often because there was nothing else for us to do,” Fears said. “Yes, we would have an afternoon school program that Ms. Butler, the CEO of Drop-A-Tot structured, but that was seasonal. Delaware State College would host an NYSP program but that, too, was seasonal. Other than that, we would sort of fend for ourselves. The 1980s and 90s was hard for young minorities. Sometimes we would have to wait for the city’s free lunch program just to fill our bellies.”

Since that time, Fears has watched some of the children he grew up follow a path of crime and drug abuse. Watching this, he knew he wanted to break the system and bring joy to communities, offering hope, providing family fun and providing jobs to those less fortunate.

The popular Himalaya ride will be open at 6 PM tonight

“Some of the proceeds will go to the Boys and Girls Club,” Fears said. “A lot of times they say charity begins at home but organizations like this are home to some. This is a way for families to make memories that will last a lifetime.”

The carnival will have typical foods, like funnel cakes and ice cream as well as the popular games many come to expect at a fair or carnival. Initially, Fears was told it may not be possible to bring the Himalaya, a popular ride, but he insisted. The ride is set up on the grounds of the carnival close to The Zipper, which Fears says is one of his favorites.  Tickets may be purchased individually, or a wristband is available for unlimited rides.

“The wristband is really a better way to go,” Fears said. “Instead of coming back and getting eight tickets or 20 tickets, get a wristband and be done with it. The kids can wave it as if they are VIPs.”

Carnival attendees can enjoy The Zipper through Saturday

Putting smiles on people’s faces is what drives Fears and he hopes the carnival becomes an annual event.

“This is an effort where we all have to collectively come together,” Fears said. “We are a nation where we say, “United We Stand,” so it’s time we do just that. It’s going to take everyone’s help in joining forces and making a difference.”

For more information about F.E.A.R.S., email [email protected] or call 302-437-6364.


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