For the past several weeks, officials with the Yukon Chamber of Commerce have been collecting hundreds of trinkets from local businesses.
They range from hand sanitizer to a card that can be used throughout the year to receive 10 percent off a meal at a local restaurant.
In between, there are things like highlighters, notepads and other small gifts.
Wednesday, volunteers lined up to place those items inside cloth bags with the word “Yukon” embroidered on the side.
Thursday, they were handed to 118 new teachers joining the Yukon School District. New teachers at Southwest Covenant and St. John Nepomuk Catholic School in Yukon were to receive their gifts later this week.
The gifts were part of the Chamber’s annual New Teacher Luncheon, which also serves as the group’s August meeting.
Longtime Chamber member Cherie Logan said the welcome luncheon has been ongoing for more than a quarter century. It is an opportunity for local businesses to welcome them to the community.
Chamber CEO Pam Shelton echoed Logan’s comments.
“We want to welcome the new staff to Yukon and it is probably one of the most fun things for our members to do,” she said.
Shelton also pointed out that the luncheon is amazing and the Chamber members get reinvigorated by the newest educators.
“It just builds community spirit and shows everyone how great Yukon is to live, work and play,” Shelton said.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jason Brunk said the district welcomed 33 teachers who had chosen Yukon as the place to begin their teaching careers.
The district also has experienced teachers who are moving from such districts as Enid, Duncan, Mid-Del, El Reno, Norman, Bixby, Putnam City, Chisholm, Clinton, Weatherford, Western Hights, Edmond, Guymon, Banner, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Moore, Union City, Wewoka and Stillwater.
There also are teachers who have joined the district who lived in Japan and Ireland.
Six other states also are represented by Yukon’s newest educators, including Indiana, Colorado, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona and Wisconsin, Brunk said.