September 17… A red-letter day in Yukon

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Thursday, Sept. 17 figures to be a red-letter day for Yukon.

Two major events are planned simultaneously that evening, both starting at 6 p.m. just a short distance from each other.

September 17 is the day for both Yukon Main Street’s Route 66 “Cruise-in for a Cause” and the Yukon Veterans Museum’s anniversary gala.

The car cruise and veterans’ banquet are important fund-raisers for our community. Both events will last several hours.

Some people will probably try to split their time between the car cruise and veterans’ gala because they appreciate the civic-minded citizens who are working behind the scenes to organize and present both programs.

This is the second year for the Route 66 cruise, which will benefit Manna Pantry, Compassionate Hands, Yukon Sharing, and Pets & People Humane Society.

All four are great organizations who do special things in our community to help those who really need it.

This is the seventh year for the Yukon Veterans Museum gala, which raises funds for maintenance of the Main Street military museum.

Well, it’s great to see two events like the Route 66 benefit car cruise and Yukon Veterans Museum banquet will be “back”.

We’ve seen too many activities being canceled this year due to the COVID-19 virus, but we still need to promote events that keep us occupied and productive.

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There will be a huge void on Saturday, Oct. 7. That was the date selected for the 55th annual Oklahoma Czech Festival.

Unfortunately, this epic celebration was canceled in April due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This will be the first time since 1966 there will be no “Czech Day” in Yukon. Did you know this event started as a celebration to mark Yukon’s 75th birthday?

Even though there won’t be the traditional festival this October, you can still head to Yukon Czech Hall for Saturday night dances. Czech Hall reopened June 6 after being forced to close due to the national emergency.

The Masopust Polka Band and Bohemian Knights are the long-time featured Yukon Czech Hall dance performers. They typically alternate Saturday nights.

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WAY TO GO! My kudos this week go to Amy Bowles, children’s pastor at The Good Fight Church (500 E Main; formerly the Yukon bowling alley).

Amy did a great job organizing this year’s 5th Annual Yukon School Supply Drive, coordinating the efforts of 18 participating churches and dozens of volunteers.

Although this school year will look much different than years past, the giveaway celebration last Saturday saw some 1,500 backpacks filled with school supplies distributed. Manna Pantry gave out 600 protein-packed food boxes too.

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LAYERS OF MAYORS: Mike McEachern served three straight years as Yukon’s mayor before leaving the city council in early May. His length of consecutive mayoral service has only been exceeded by Larry Taylor, who served in this post from 1995 to 2000.

Several others, like John Alberts and Bob Bradway, have served multiple one-year terms in recent decades.

The Yukon City Council selects the mayor and vice mayor for one-year terms at its first meeting each May.

When I came to Yukon in May 1991, Jerry Shelton was mayor and he was followed by Dave O’Bannon.

Most of Yukon’s mayors over the past 30 years are still around and active. I still keep in contact with some, like Earline Smaistrla, Ward Larson, Genie Vinson, Ken Smith, Ray Wright, and others.

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Back by popular demand next month will be one of Pets & People Humane Society’s most successful annual events.

If you own or dog or love pets, mark your calendar for Sunday, Sept. 13. That day will be the 10th Annual “Pawsitively Pampered Dog Wash, Grooming & Vendor Event” at YNB Parkway, 1550 Garth Brooks Blvd. You can have your dog washed and groomed while visiting several dozen vendor booths.

I didn’t realize how much work is involved in presenting this fundraiser until I started volunteering a couple years ago. Event co-chairs Stacey Sprague and Peggy Nichols do a great job planning and presenting the event with help from 150-200 volunteers.