‘Luminary Walk’ honors YHS Class of 2021

New Yukon Project Graduation benefit May 8 at Chisholm Trail Park

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Chatting with longtime Yukon High School teacher Daryl Andrews during Yukon Project Graduation in July 2020 are members of the YHS Class of 2020: From left, Gavin Newsom, Connor Lazzara and Colton Jameson. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

A new event to support Yukon Project Graduation will illuminate a Yukon park in a couple weeks.

Yukon High School’s graduating seniors and family members have been invited to stroll through the lights during a “Luminary Walk” from 8-10 p.m. Saturday, May 8 at Chisholm Trail Park, 500 E Vandament.

The luminaries – honoring members of the YHS Class of 2021 – will be set up around the small pond by the park’s large gazebo.

“Each bag will have a graduate name on the front and sponsor on the back,” said Janet Bell, president of the Yukon Project Graduation committee. “We encourage graduates and their families, along with all the community, to come celebrate with us.”

Luminary sponsorships are $21 each, and tax deductible. Individuals, businesses, organizations, and YHS alumni are encouraged to support the effort.

The May 8th Luminary Walk is a new fund-raising benefit for Yukon Project Graduation, which celebrates its 30th year this spring.

An outdoor “big event” will be 6:30-10:30 p.m. Thursday, May 20 at Miller Stadium on the YHS campus, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.

The 30th Annual Yukon Project Graduation will immediately follow graduation rehearsal. Planned activities for the soon-to-be YHS graduates include games, entertainment, competitions, photo backdrops, and plenty of food.

The purpose of Yukon’s Project Graduation is to provide a safe, drug- and alcohol-free night for graduating seniors.

Organizers expect about 90% participation among members of the YHS Class of 2021.

“Our seniors deserve a fun night to celebrate with their friends!” Bell proclaimed.

About 600 seniors will receive their diplomas during the annual YHS commencement set Friday, May 21 at Miller Stadium.

Anyone interested in supporting the Yukon Project Graduation Luminary Walk should contact Bell at (405) 823-9078 or yukonprojectgraduation1991@gmail.com .

ONLINE AUCTION

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

Although a potato bar fundraiser was canceled, one traditional Yukon Project Graduation event is already underway – albeit in a virtual form.

An online auction of donated goods and services began April 16 and runs through 10 p.m. April 30.

Featured auction items are reserved seats to the May 21st YHS graduation, prom packages (featuring tickets, flowers and dinner), two Oklahoma City Thunder gift baskets, and a professional photo session.

YHS Project Graduation also is raising funds through sponsorships on the back of the official senior T-shirt.

“The shirt will be given free of charge to each graduate attending the Project Graduation event,” Bell noted.

Volunteers are still needed to help Thursday, May 20 at YHS Miller Stadium.

“We have specifically reached out to the class of 1991 to see if they would join in the 30th anniversary event,” Bell related. “Parents of graduates who want to attend need to volunteer some time before coming.”

The first YHS Project Graduation was May 1991 at Redlands Community College in El Reno.

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

Yukon’s Project Graduation was an overnight, post-commencement tradition on the Redlands’ campus for 28 years until spring 2020 when concerns about the novel coronavirus closed schools.

A scaled-down celebration for the YHS Class of 2020 was offered in July 2020 – also the night before graduation at Miller Stadium.

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

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