Car variety touted at Yukon Main Street cruise

Fourth annual event raises $2,580.80, awareness for non-profit help causes

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Yukon’s Bob and Kelle Freels brought their '32 Ford Victoria to show off to cruise-goers. The car features an all-fiberglass body, high-output Chevy engine and full leather interior. It was built for the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show in Las Vegas, Nev. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

“There was everything – from old to brand new,” Judy Austin said.

Austin, chair of the Yukon 66 Main Street board, was referring to the many hundreds of vehicles that converged on downtown Yukon for the 4th Annual “Cruise-In for a Cause.”

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Austin has coordinated Yukon’s Route 66 car cruise since it started in 2018.

“It was a great success, and we made a lot more money for the causes this year,” she said of the Sept. 15th special event. “The variety of cars was just tremendous.”

Some 65 vehicle owners registered for reserved “Park & Show” spaces along the 400 block of W Main, the cruise “hub.”

“A whole lot more people came out just to cruise the streets and show theirs off,” Austin added. “It was fun to sit out on a nice, pretty evening and watch all the cars.

“Just being outside around everybody was lots of fun.”

Cruise-goers enjoyed watching all variety of vehicles drive along Main Street for four hours in downtown Yukon.

The Austin family are all car enthusiasts.

“I liked all the Chevelle Super Sports that came through,” she said. “I love the Chevelles. That’s my favorite.”

Four non-profit “help” causes had product drives and offered fun activities in their advocacy booths at Fifth and Main.

“The cruise promotes our causes and provides awareness of their needs,” Austin explained.

Yukon 66 Main Street’s fourth annual passive leisure, open cruise directly benefitted Yukon Mobile Meals, Canadian County Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Youth & Family Services, and Savannah Station Therapeutic Riding Program.

Some $2,580.80 was raised for the help causes, according to Yukon Main Street Director Vicki Davis.

“There was a total of $661 collected at the advocacy booths, $507.80 from Park & Show registration fees, $1,154 from the donation station, and $258 in other donations,” Davis shared.

“Once all expenses are paid, our Yukon Main Street board traditionally awards additional funds to the help causes.”

Yukon’s Richard Radeka cruises Route 66 with his wife and dog in their 2021 red mist, hardtop Chevy Corvette convertible. The car was built at a Corvette manufacturing plant next to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Ky. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Melissa Larimore (left) and Carol Plemmons of Youth & Family Services collect socks for children and youth in their sock hope-themed booth at Fifth and Main. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Yukon’s Ken and Brenda Wilkins stand with District 43 State Rep. Jay Steagall (R-Yukon), who admires their 2017 Can Am Spyder with matching trailer. The vehicle has “all the bells and whistles.” (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Yukon’s Darrell Manning show off his ’73 Chevy Corvette. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Friendly volunteers collect from passing motorists at the “donation station” near Fourth and Main. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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RAISING AWARENESS

The participating non-profits collected for items they need:

Mobile Meals (large soup and vegetable cans), Savannah Station (hay for horses), Canadian County CASA (gas gift cards for volunteers), and Youth & Family Services (socks and baby clothes for clients).

This was the second year at Canadian County CASA participated; they were the only returning cause from 2021.

“Cruise-In for a Cause is a great way for us to raise awareness about our program and what we do to help Canadian County kids in foster care,” Canadian County CASA Executive Director Dana Lutz said.

“We’re always looking for more volunteers to be the ‘voice’ for a child or sibling group who has been removed from their home because they were abused or neglected.”

About 40 people volunteered at Yukon’s annual car cruise, specifically representatives of the non-profit causes and past and present Yukon Main Street board members.

“This is an event we can’t do without our great volunteers and participation from the City of Yukon,” Austin said. “All our sponsors also make this possible – from large businesses to individuals.

“Special thanks to our presenting sponsor, Ken Wilkins of Archery Traditions.”

As a special treat, more than 100 vehicle owners had their pictures taken at a “photo spot” in front of the new “Yukon Sunset” mural at 528 W Main.

While many aspects of this Route 66 cruise are the same each time, Yukon’s Main Street director said organizers are always striving to improve the event.

“With this fourth year, I’m pleased with how well the ‘Cause’ part of Cruise-In for a Cause has resonated with our community,” Davis said. “That was the intention when we started this cruise.”

The third Thursday each September has been set aside for Yukon 66 Main Street’s Cruise-In for a Cause.

“It’s just a great event,” Austin summarized. “We’re already looking forward to next year. We start planning in February.”

Yukon’s Kathrin Raines, 6, shows her precision in a bean bag bingo toss game at the Yukon Mobile Meals’ advocacy booth at Fifth and Main. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Yukon’s Nick Cline and Jackson Kline buy the official 2022 Cruise-In for a Cause T-shirts from Yukon 66 Main Street Board Member Heather Samuels. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Yukon’s John Miller and Chris Miller stand beside their 1956 Chevy Bel Air. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
Yukon’s James and Angie Griffith show off their ’35 Ford Rat Rod in the “Park & Show” area along the 400 block of W Main. The vehicle has an ’80 Ford Courier frame and Chevrolet 350 engine. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)
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