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 (S.T.E.M.) program at FCS, Julie asked the FEF to allocate the funds to the district’s S.T.E.M. program allowing Doug’s legacy to live on in our classrooms. Yonkers loved engineering, and the use of the funds for S.T.E.M. 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 S.T.E.M. teachers will decide collectively how funds will be used to support their students learning. A few ideas from their "want list" include supplies and materials to help S.T.E.M. classes connect what students learned in other subjects such as literature, or possibly toward a piece of larger equipment.
The FEF board of directors are grateful to be entrusted to administer the memorial funds to carry on Doug’s legacy now and in the future.
NOTE: The 2018 Doug Yonkers Memorial Golf Outing took place on June 23 at the Chase Hammond Golf Club. The event raised $2,775 for the K-12 STEM program at Fruitport Community Schools. A heartfelt thank you to all who participated and sponsored the event. We are very grateful.