By Richard Stephens, Jr.
The Yukon 66 Main Street Association held its fifth successful Cruise-In for a Cause – really, three causes – from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 on Main Street (Route 66).
Primary cruise recipients were Savannah Station Therapeutic Riding Program (TRP) and the Yukon Police Department (YPD)’s Christmas with a Cop program.
Yukon 66 Main Street was a secondary beneficiary.
Over 75 yesteryear and current year cars, pick-up trucks and motorcycles cruised back and forth through downtown. Fifty vehicles registered for the Park and Show area.
I jumped into John Taylor’s 1933 Plymouth PD sedan. As we drove on Route 66, I asked him why he comes.
“You see cars that we (and his friend) don’t normally see,” Taylor said. “The money we pay for a parking (spot) goes to help charities.”
He added, “I’m glad it’s going for a good cause.”
Attendees donated at the Savannah Station and YPD tents, Yukon 66 Main Street tent or in buckets held by volunteers at street intersections.
Charlotte Donaho’s smile encouraged bills and change to drop in her bucket. Half of the $25 or $30 Park and Show fee went to this year’s two recipients and half went to Yukon 66 Main Street, a 501(c)(3) organization.
TWO CHARITIES SELECTED
Vicki Davis, the Yukon 66 Main Street director, explained why two, not four, charitable causes were chosen this year.
“We really wanted to be able to better support the causes we chose,” Davis said. “And this year we reduced it down to two to better impact our contributions to each of those help causes.”
Typically, eight to 10 local charities apply each year.
What criteria is used to select them?
Davis answered “…even beyond that of being a non-profit organization, we are looking for those that are help causes, meaning that they provide services for the people in our community with the greatest need.”
Some $3,706.02 was collected at the Sept. 28th cruise for this year’s two help causes – $1,911.76 for Savannah Station TRP and $1,792.26 for Christmas with a Cop.
“We are thrilled with the amounts raised during Cruise-In for a Cause and appreciate all those who contributed in one way or another,” Davis said.
“The collective amounts provide much-needed funding to buy hay for horses and provide Christmas joy for children in the community.”
Andi Holland, executive director of Savannah Station TRP, was thrilled to be selected for the 2023 cruise.
“We are so thankful to be chosen,” she said. “Our community is everything to us. To have their support is vital to the success of our program.”
The Savannah Station website, www.savannahstation.org, explains their mission.
The Christmas with a Cop program focuses on, well, making Christmas a joyful experience.
“We take kids Christmas shopping who are less fortunate,” YPD Maj. Zachary Roberson said. “All those presents are bought with donations.”
This program makes Christmas brighter for deserving Yukon children who are paired with Yukon police officers to shop for presents at a local retail store.
FAMILY FUN ZONE
On the north side of Main Street and 4th Street, children and teens fished for prizes in plastic hoops, played on and around plastic tubes, tossed bean bags, and favored a bouncy house in the shape of a train and its station.
This family fun zone had been set up in the “Yukonopoly Yard” by the Yukon Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors with the help of Boy Scout Troop 300. Archery Traditions set up an archery range.
Tom and Becky Bubb of Yukon parked their 2017 Corvette and 1967 Mustang in the Park and Show area. They came to, “Enjoy family and friends – great people that have the same interests.”
Forty-one companies and individuals sponsored the event. They were led by the Kay Casper Family, State Farm, Central Power Systems, Archery Traditions, ONG, BancFirst, Pro Grade Flooring, Chisholm Trail Roofing & Construction, Angelique Morton-Edward Jones, Brewer Carpet, and CSL Plasma Mustang.
Erin Shaver, the center manager for CSL Plasma in Mustang, said they give, “To get better incorporated with our local communities.”
Across the street under a tent, Kent and Sharon Gering of State Farm explained insurance options to interested people. Kent Gering said their firm donates to Cruise-In for a Cause because, “We’re part of this community, and we serve this community. This is our town.”
Niki Fanning, a Yukon 66 Main Street board member, gave an event update.
“It’s been a great evening,” Fanning said. “I think we raised a lot of money for the causes.”
Car owners sat in lawn chairs, chatted with car admirers and watched a steady procession of vehicles drive by as dusk arrived. Downtown had a relaxed, comfortable feel.
Around 8:30 p.m., fewer cars prowled Main Street in the darkness. However, business picked up at Grady’s 66 Pub, Old Horseshoe Bar, the Lokal Yukon, Earl’s Rib Palace, and nearby fast-food restaurants.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a poet, wrote, “Give what you have. To someone else it may be better than you dare to think.”
The small and large donations during Cruise-In for a Cause will make other lives better. People had two reasons to feel good that night – cruising and giving.