Fruitport graduate Douglas Yonkers had a zest for life. When he passed away in 2012 at the age of 43 as a result of a motor vehicle accident, his fiancée, Julie Jurkas, along with Doug’s family and friends, wanted to honor his memory. A golf outing was organized in Doug’s name and has been held annually since his passing. As proceeds from the outings steadily grew over the years, Julie decided to place a call to Fruitport High School, Doug’s alma mater, to inquire where her gift may have the greatest impact in the community he grew up in.
We are so pleased that Julie was referred to the Fruitport Education Foundation. Upon learning of the new K-12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program at FCS, Julie asked the FEF to allocate the funds to the district’s STEM program allowing Doug’s legacy to live on in our classrooms. Yonkers loved engineering, and the use of the funds for STEM programming would be “perfect,” Jurkas stated.
A small ceremony was held on November 20, 2017 where Jurkas presented a check to Fruitport Education President Norm Heerema in the amount of $2,081. K-12 STEM teachers decide collectively how funds are used to support their students' learning.
The 2018 Doug Yonkers Memorial Golf Outing raised $2,775 for the K-12 STEM program at Fruitport Community Schools. We are grateful to all who participated and sponsored the event. So grateful, in fact, that action was approved to match the amount received each year up to $5,000! STEM programs were awarded $5,550 in funding to start the 2018-19 school year.
The 2019 golf outing raised $2,500. The FEF matched the donation for a total gift of $5,000 to support the K-12 STEM programs in memory of Doug. The impact of this gift will open lifelong doors to discovery for our students by providing increased classroom supports and materials for fun, hands-on learning at all grade levels.
The Fruitport Education Foundation is grateful to be entrusted to administer the memorial funds to carry on Doug's legacy.
STEM programs in action