Players ‘deal in fun’ at Yukon spring card benefit

Compassionate Hands looks to expand reach by serving those in need

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Compassionate Hands’ Director Joanne Riley encourages this quartet playing Canasta during the April 22nd Spring Card Party: From left, Alice Brown, Frances Crosby, Riley, Deb Gosney, and Nancy Easterling. Town & Country Christian Church, 2200 S Cornwell, hosts biannual card parties to support the non-profit service ministry. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Competition was fierce as nearly 50 players came out to “deal in fun” at a Yukon helping ministry’s biannual benefit.

More than $1,000 was raised to support Compassionate Hands during its Spring Card Party on April 22 inside Town & Country Christian Church, 2200 S Cornwell.

The Friday event featured card and table games, door prizes, 50/50 cash raffle, and lunch.

Compassionate Hands helps struggling Yukon families in temporary crisis pay their rent, utilities and medications; and provides transportation and personal care items.

A faith-based nonprofit ministry that started in 1994, Compassionate Hands served 333 households totaling 791 individuals in 2021.

Attendance at Compassionate Hands card benefits is gradually increasing after the event had to be canceled during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In past years, about 100 players could compete in the spring and fall “fun”-raisers.

Pastor Woody Burpo, a Compassionate Hands’ board member, encouraged players to “bring new people” to the Fall Card Party.

As an incentive, he offered six more 50/50 raffle tickets to everyone who brings a new player next time.

“We would love for more people to come play,” Burpo said. “Our goal is to reach more people in our community.”

Also on April 22, Compassionate Hands was named the first winner of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce’s “Non-Profit of the Year” award.

This is the service agency’s mission statement:

“In response to Christ’s mission to help others, Compassionate Hands serves people in temporary crisis by addressing immediate needs, fostering hope and encouraging positive life change.”

Compassionate Hands’ Director Joanne Riley reiterated her appreciation to the Spring Card Party sponsors who helped make the event a rousing success:

Yanda & Son Funeral Home, ECI Insurance, Cherie Logan-State Farm Insurance, Pecina’s Mexican Café-El Reno, United Pharmacy, and Chick-fil-A.

Contributing door prizes were Carpenter’s Ace Hardware, Weokie, Pie Five Pizza, Charlie’s Car Wash, Kings Custom Smoked Meats, and Bud Kuykendall.

Yukon Compassionate Hands’ representatives prepare to serve lunch to Spring Card Party players: From left, volunteer Kelly Thomas, board member Alycia Barry, office assistant Colleen Green, and van driver Donna Yarbrough. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Pastor Woody Burpo draws a name for a door prize during Compassionate Hands’ April 22nd Spring Card Party. Burpo is a Compassionate Hands’ board member. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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RISING COST OF HELPING

Pastor Burpo noted the rising “cost of living”, which likewise has increased the cost to transport people in Compassionate Hands’ two accessible vans.

Compassionate Hands takes Yukon’s seniors and residents with disabilities to medical appointments and personal errands through its “Care-A-Van” program.

But with gas prices exceeding $4 per gallon, it takes more than $500 each month to fuel the vans.

For 2021, the Care-A-Van service helped 1,112 seniors and 612 residents with disabilities get where they were going. The two vans totaled 3,255 trips with 30,147 miles driven.

The vans take passengers to destinations within a 30-mile radius.

Compassionate Hands is a Canadian County United Way community partner.

Former Yukon Mayor Mike McEachern serves on its board of directors.

“Having a dedicated group of folks (Compassionate Hands) who work to give quality of life in our community is an asset more valuable than gold,” McEachern said.

Next up for Compassionate Hands will be its second annual “Bake-less Bake Sale” in May. More details to come.

Now in its 28th year serving Yukon, Compassionate Hands hopes to expand its reach. The office is now inside a small, converted house at 119 S 6th in downtown Yukon.

For more information, call (405) 354-9591 or visit https://compassionatehandsyukon.org/

Playing a competitive game of Rummikub at Yukon Compassionate Hands’ Spring Card Party are, from left, Rosemary Helton, Bobbie Beville, Patti Hobbs, and Maggie Fuchs. The event raised funds for the Yukon ministry that serves people facing temporary crisis. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
An activity room inside Town & Country Christian Church, 2200 S Cornwell, is filled with players enjoy a fun Friday at the Compassionate Hands’ Spring Card Party. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)