Luminary walk, senior T-shirts benefit Yukon Project Graduation

Annual YHS senior celebration set May 20 at Miller Stadium

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Hoping to win a $200 gift card, Blake Gerber competes during the 2020 Yukon Project Graduation Football Field Goal Kick-off at Yukon High School’s Miller Stadium. Last year’s graduation celebration was pushed back to July due to COVID-19 lockdowns. The 2021 YHS Project Graduation will be Thursday, May 20 after graduation rehearsal. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

For the 30th annual Yukon Project Graduation in May, supporters can help make memories for the Yukon High School Class of 2021 through a luminary walk and T-shirt sponsors.

About 600 seniors are expected to earn their diplomas at the 2021 YHS Graduation Ceremony set Friday, May 21 at Miller Stadium.

The night before, the Yukon students will attend Project Graduation.

Now in its 30th year, the celebration will be 6:30-10:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20 on the Yukon football field behind the high school.

“Our seniors deserve a fun night to celebrate with their friends!” said Janet Bell, president of the Yukon Project Graduation committee.

“The purpose of Project Graduation is to provide a safe, drug- and alcohol-free night for our graduating seniors.”

The “big event” – featuring games, entertainment, competitions, photo backdrops, prizes, and food for the seniors – will follow YHS graduation rehearsal.

The YHS Project Graduation parent committee must raise about $35,000 to provide lasting memories for this year’s graduating class.

“The potato bar was cancelled but we’ve kicked off two of our fundraisers,” Bell reported.

A new benefit event to raise funds for the YHS graduates will be a luminary walk from 8-10 p.m. Saturday, May 8 at Chisholm Trail Park, 500 W Vandament.

Seniors and their families are encouraged to walk through the lights. Each luminary will have the name of a graduating senior printed on the front.

Individuals, businesses, alumni and booster clubs are needed to sponsor luminaries honoring this year’s YHS graduates.

“This is an opportunity for our community to help support the class of 2021,” Bell said.

A second way YHS Project Graduation is now raising funds is through sponsorships on the back of the senior T-shirts.

Nearly 600 YHS students will receive these shirts to wear May 20th on the night of Project Graduation.

A third benefit to raise funds, tentatively planned for mid-April, will be an online auction. This will feature items like graduation seats, street-naming rights and football season tickets. More details to follow.

Corporate gifts also are being collected.

To support these efforts, contact Bell at (405) 823-9078 or yukonprojectgraduation1991@gmail.com .

Brandon Schane and Haylee Hammond, members of Yukon High School’s Class of 2020, attend Yukon Project Graduation last July at Miller Stadium. The 30th annual YHS Project Graduation “big event” is set Thursday, May 20 at the football field, 1777 S Yukon Parkway. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

30 YEARS OF MEMORIES

Project Graduation provides Yukon’s graduating class the chance to come together for fun before heading off to college and career.

Yukon’s first Project Graduation was May 1991 at Redlands Community College in El Reno.

The event was launched as a safe, alcohol- and drug-free graduation night party for new YHS graduates.

An overnight event hosted by Redlands was presented every year until 2020, when COVID-19 changed Yukon’s graduation plans.

A scaled-down version of Project Graduation was last July 16 at Miller Stadium, also following YHS graduation practice. Attendance was down because the event was in the middle of the summer.

The 30th annual Project Graduation on May 20 also will be an outdoor event on the YHS campus. Organizers expect about 90% participation this time around.

“Working together, our community can provide a successful Project Graduation for Yukon students,” Bell said.

Anyone who wants to help on the night of Project Graduation must have a current background check on file with the school and at least five volunteer hours.

Yukon parents are invited to participate in upcoming 2021 YHS Project Graduation committee meetings. The next meeting is April 15.

Yukon Project Graduation board members are: President Janet Bell, Vice President Janet Harris, Treasurer Nicole Flow, and Secretary Rebecca Bagley.

All board members are volunteers who work months to provide a safe environment for Yukon’s graduating seniors – and to celebrate their accomplishments, according to Bell.

Learn more by calling (405) 823-9078 or checking out “Yukon High School Project Graduation 2021” on Facebook.

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