Record fundraiser

My Place St. Jude event tops $130,000

For The Weekly Post

YATES CITY – Despite August heat in June and the lingering after-effects of a pandemic, Saturday’s My Place St. Jude Benefit managed to continue an impressive trend.
Since the benefit began in 2003 with $1,000 raised for St. Jude, the amount of money generated during the one-day event in this town of 750 has increased every year. This year’s total of $130,248.97 tops the 2019 amount of $126,112.12.
“I never would have thought that could happen,” said Sharon Coykendall, who helps organize the event along with Jody McKinty and an army of volunteers. “It gets harder and harder each year. But we did it.”
The record total came despite 15 months of COVID-19 restrictions that caused organizers to cancel last year and to back off considerably on their usual schedule of soliciting for donations this year. That prompted McKinty to say, heading into last Saturday, “I don’t expect to come close to that” $126,112.12 total of 2019.
But the community provided enough donations and bids for the auction to stretch from its 5 p.m. start to after midnight. Coykendall said the auction alone generated more than $83,000.
Overall through 18 benefits, the My Place event has raised $1,287,387.74 for St. Jude in honor of Kayla Harms, who was motivation for the benefit in 2003 when, as a local seventh grader, she was diagnosed with cancer.