SWOK man building amphitheater near wildlife refuge to honor late mother

SWOK man building amphitheater near wildlife refuge to honor late mother

MEERS, Okla. (TNN) - A southwest Oklahoma man is building an outdoor amphitheater on 150 acres of land hidden near the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge - and it’s all in the name of his late mother.

For roughly 30 years, Camp Y’Shua has been an unadvertised, beautiful slice of heaven hidden behind the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge.

"It’s been a place for families that gather, church groups that gather, businesspeople and school functions. A variety of things. It’s a venue, what I call a sanctuary,” said Camp Y’Shua founder Kim Shahan.

Shahan says they’re hoping to share that sanctuary with many more people.

"The lower portion in here, we want it to become sort of an outdoor amphitheater setting where there will be opportunity for different types of presentations, whether it be music, potentially even drama. It has a tremendous historical background with the Native American community,” Shahan said.

This is all being done in remembrance of Shahan’s mother, Barbara Juanita Shahan, who passed away back in 2011.

"She enjoyed people enjoying being out here. When school kids would come out here, some of them had never been out in the country and it was like a whole new experience for them. She loved people and this would be a great thing for her to be able to see,” said Phyllis Anderson, a longtime friend of Barbara Shahan.

"This is a location that my mother and me would come up here and sit on a particular rock and think about things and pray about things. She always enjoyed the thought of all-night singing and things like that, family gatherings, so we want to continue that,” said Kim Shahan.

Shahan said the opportunity for events is endless but to honor his mom, they plan on having an annual Mother’s Day event to celebrate all of the moms out there. Shahan said he hopes to begin holding public events at the amphitheater next spring.

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