By Conrad Dudderar
Tee-off is still a month away, yet more than 130 players already have registered for a time-honored tradition that directly supports deserving Yukon High School graduating seniors.
The 2022 Yukon Alumni Association Golf Tournament will be Saturday, June 4 at the Golf Club at Surrey Hills, 11340 Surrey Hills Blvd. Breakfast and check-in start at 7 a.m. with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.
“I have 136 players right now and may be able to go to 144 – if Surrey Hills has enough golf carts,” Yukon Alumni board member James Van Horn said. “I usually stop at 120.
“I have a waiting list. I try to never turn anybody away.”
About 65-70% of players are YHS graduates, although all are welcome to hit the links to support the Yukon Alumni Association. Cost is $65 per person.
Yukon High School alumni weekend festivities include a 6:30 p.m. banquet that day at the YHS food court, 1777 S Yukon Parkway.
There, the Yukon Alumni Association will present alumni and memorial scholarships to members of the YHS Class of 2022.
“We hope to give at least 15 scholarships, possibly 20,” Van Horn said.
Over the past 45 years, the Yukon Alumni Association has awarded more than $415,000 to help new YHS graduates further their education beyond high school.
“If we don’t have sponsorships, we’re not able to give the scholarships,” Van Horn said.
The Yukon Alumni Association has steadfast supporters led by “Transcendent Club” members Rod Sands, Joy Osterman and Pat and Andrea Jackson.
The “Miller Breakfast Club” is headlined by RCB Bank Yukon (David Goodwin), Cherie Logan State Farm Insurance (Bill and Cherie Logan) and JVH Marketing (James and Susie Van Horn).
Many other YHS alumni support the cause as “Miller Elite”, “Miller Gold”, hole sponsors, and prize sponsors for the annual golf tournament.
Van Horn estimated that 90% of supporters return each year to give to the cause.
“We owe a lot to these sponsors,” Van Horn said. “I’m pretty proud of what they’ve done.”
The need for continued support became evident in 2020, when YHS alumni activities were canceled due to COVID-19.
“We had 27 seniors apply for scholarships but couldn’t have the tournament or banquet,” Van Horn said. “All I did was send out a letter to our sponsors, and most of them donated again.
“Instead of $1,000 or $1,500, we gave every studied who applied $800 apiece.”
Van Horn has coordinated the annual Yukon Alumni Golf Tournament every year.
The event had its beginnings in 1975.
A 1965 YHS graduate, Van Horn and his friends Greg Cunningham and Curtice Holland, Jr. got together to present a golf tournament for their 10-year reunion at Lincoln Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City.
“We did that for a while,” Van Horn shared. “I didn’t realize you could make money on a golf tournament. Back in the day, I just did it for fun.
“We had a sick classmate, Ronnie Evans, and we raised $500 to give to him.”
That was around 1980, when Van Horn determined the Yukon Alumni Association should take over the annual golf tournament.
“I said, ‘We can make money at this, and we can give away a lot of scholarships. That’s what we did.”
It became more than a fun golf outing for participants – it because a cause worth playing for.
“Surrey has treated us right; it’s a local place,” Van Horn said. “We’ve also had our tournament at Crimson Creek in El Reno.
“Now we’re back at Surrey and hope to stay at Surrey for a long time.”
Van Horn is committed to continue coordinating Yukon Alumni’s annual golf outing – at least until the $500,000 scholarship benchmark is reached.
“I’ll be pushing 80 by then; that’s long enough,” he said.
Yukon Alumni Association board members are President Phil Kastl, Johnny Rose, Danny Rose, Sandy Bohannan, Michelle O’Dell, Neta Duke, Bill Logan, and James Van Horn.
Tickets to the June 4th Yukon Alumni Banquet are $20 each, on sale in advance at YNB Bank and Conrad Marr Drug. Tickets will be sold at the door.
This year’s YHS honor classes are 1942, 1947, 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2012, and 2022.
All Yukon graduates are encouraged to participate in upcoming YHS alumni activities.
Tax-deductible donations are welcome to support the Yukon Alumni Association.
For more information, call (405) 324-2456 or (405) 826-4914 or email firstname.lastname@example.org