By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Four Yukon non-profit “help causes” have been selected for a second annual Route 66 car cruise.
The 2020 “Cruise-In for a Cause” will be 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17 on Main Street. Presented by Yukon’s Best Main Street and the non-profit Yukon 66 Main Street Association, this event will be a passive leisure, open cruise.
The 2020 “Cruise-In for a Cause” will benefit: Compassionate Hands, Inc., Pets & People Humane Society, Yukon Manna Pantry, and Yukon Sharing Ministry.
Organizers accepted proposals through Monday from non-profit organizations interested in participating in the Sept. 17th benefit cruise. Priority was given to Yukon non-profit “help causes.”
“Each will be involved with planning and promoting the event and will have advocacy booths during the event to share the organizations programs and services offered to the community,” Yukon Main Street Director Vicki Davis said.
Each participating non-profit also will have a “drive” for food and/or needed products that people can bring that evening.
“With changing the Cruise-In to a free, open cruise, giving to the causes will be done through several donation stations set up in the event area as well as at the booths,” Davis said.
Before the Sept. 17th car cruise, donations may be made to the cause-of-choice through a link on the event Facebook page, @Yukon66MainStreet.
“Anybody who wants to enjoy cruising Route 66 is able to come cruise free of charge,” Davis said. “It is ‘Cruise-In for a Cause’, so we definitely want to promote contributions to the causes that we’ve selected.
“There’s so many non-profits and everybody does great work. But we’re specifically interested in helping those that serve the ‘most needy’ in our community – whether that’s people or pets or whatever. We’re a non-profit ourselves and certainly understand the need for supplemental funding.”
The Sept. 17th Route 66 cruise is open to any street-legal vehicle – it doesn’t have to be a hot rod, classic or muscle car.
“Although we do certainly want to have all of those more nostalgic and ‘cool’ cars and vehicles, we want this to be an experience for anybody who just enjoys the culture of iconic Route 66,” Davis said.
There will be no Main Street road closures during September’s open car cruise.
‘PARK AND SHOW’ SPACES
While it is free to cruise, any vehicle owner who wants a reserved “Park and Show” space in the 400 block of Main Street must register. These prime spaces, available on a first-come, first-served basis, are $25 each.
“Fifty percent of that registration fee will go to their cause of choice,” Davis said. “If the response is strong for the ‘Park and Show’, we may be able to expand into the 500 block.”
There will be “donation stations” on cruise night for people to contribute directly to the four non-profit causes.
Nearly 100 vehicles were registered for Yukon’s inaugural Route 66 car cruise in September 2019, and most showed up despite a severe weather threat.
Last year’s cruise raised $1,897.50 to benefit four local “causes:” Compassionate Hands ($538.75), Gateway Express Testing ($371.25), Manna Pantry ($506.25), and Yukon Sharing Ministry ($481.25).
Yukon’s Main Street board launched this event last year to capitalize on the tradition of car cruises along historic Route 66.
“We want to promote the connectivity of our Main Street district and the businesses,” Davis explained. “This is really an opportunity to connect the businesses, and we encourage participants to stop in the stores and restaurants along the route.
“The other strategy which really drove this event idea was to celebrate our cultural heritage. And Route 66 is a huge part of that cultural heritage.”
Last year’s inaugural Yukon car cruise is a “Best New Event” finalist in the Oklahoma Main Street Center’s annual awards competition. The winner will be announced during a virtual ceremony set soon after the Sept. 17th cruise.
“Cruise-In for a Cause” vehicle registration, pre-donations, sponsorships, and event T-shirt orders may be made through the Facebook page, @Yukon66MainStreet.
For more information, visit http://www.yukonok.gov or call the Yukon Main Street office at (405) 350-5999.