By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
June 6 had been the date selected for Yukon High School alumni reunion activities.
That Saturday, the Yukon Alumni Association had planned to present its annual golf tournament at Surrey Hills Golf Club and an evening banquet at the YHS Food Court.
But social distancing restrictions, prompted by COVID-19 health concerns, have canceled those plans.
“There will be no tournament and no banquet, but we are asking for donations to fund our alumni scholarships,” said James VanHorn, a longtime Yukon Alumni Association board member. “We still hope to award as many as 20 scholarships for college-bound Yukon High School graduates.
“We’re going to be limited this year. We’re not going to have as much money for the scholarships, but we do have a ‘rainy day’ fund. And it’s raining.”
The alumni golf tournament has become one of Yukon’s largest fundraisers, with 120-140 players hitting the links each June. About 225 people typically attend the recognition banquet.
Alumni board members made the difficult decision to scrap the June 6 activities for safety reasons as Oklahoma businesses and venues reopen in phases in coming weeks and months.
‘IMPORTANT TO ALL OF US’
VanHorn and other Yukon Alumni Association are committed to helping YHS graduates even though there won’t be a golf tournament or banquet for the first time in four decades.
Other board members are: Danny Rose (president), Johnny Rose, Bill Logan, Phil Kastl, Sandy Bohannan, Janice Bedell, Glenda King, and Neta Duke. Irene McAlister and Darryl Andrews are at-large members.
“This is important to all of us,” said VanHorn, a 1965 YHS graduate who started the golf tournament in 1975. “We’ve given $370,000 in scholarships over the last 40 years and I don’t want to stop until we’ve raised $500,000.”
VanHorn estimated the Yukon Alumni Association would award $15,000-$20,000 in scholarships to 2020 YHS graduates. But, with no fundraisers and charitable giving down amid economic uncertainty, it will take some generous Miller supporters to step up and contribute.
“We’re not desperate, but we’re needy,” VanHorn said. “We’re asking people who can donate to give what they can.”
Yukon Alumni Association scholarship applications are available through YNB (Your Neighborhood Bank) drive-thru lanes.
“We normally receive 20 to 40 applications; the most we’ve ever had is 47,” Van Horn said. “We have five people on our selection committee who review the applications and select the scholarship recipients.”
He especially thanked YNB, State Farm Insurance-Cherie Logan and Conrad Marr Drug for their continual support of YHS alumni.
For more information on how to contribute to the Yukon Alumni Association, call 324-2456 or 826-4914.