Yukon family looks to start nonprofit

Members of Darin Bynum’s family are escorted down the halls of Yukon High School on Monday as students kicked off MILL Week. Bynum’s daughter, Tessa, suffers from congenital CMV. Darin Bynum is a teacher at Yukon Middle School. He and his wife, Whitney, hope to use funds raised throughout March to start a nonprofit organization.
Photo / Terry Groover

Last year, students at Yukon High School and Yukon Middle School raised more than $40,000 to help a local family in need during MILL Week.
This year, they are hoping to surpass that number and help a Yukon family start a nonprofit organization that would allow local residents to learn how to create pottery.
MILL Week was formerly known as Wish Week. However, last year, officials decided to “bring it back locally.”
Wish Week was part of the Make-A-Wish program, and while it did help local families, any extra money that was raised went to the state program.
Money raised during MILL Week, which stands for Millers Improving Local Lives, will go to the Darin Bynum family.
Bynum, who teaches eighth-grade math at Yukon Middle School, and his wife, Whitney, have three children.
One of those children is Tessa, a third-grade student at Parkland Elementary.
Tessa suffers from congenital CMV, which is a virus that causes severe brain damage.
Her parents said Tessa was born with the condition, and suffers from Cerebral Palsey, epilepsy and hearing loss.
Jamie Tate, who coordinates the week’s activities, said the
family was among several who were nominated to be the recipient.
A committee, which included himself, teachers and students, made the final selection.
Tessa is not expected to directly benefit from this year’s efforts, which kicked off Monday with an afternoon pep rally.
Instead, Whitney Bynum said the family hopes to use the funds to start a nonprofit.
“We have a family dream to create a nonprofit, a fully accessible pottery studio in Yukon, so families like ours that have individuals with disabilities will have an accessible space to do creative things with their family,” Whitney said.
The mom and dad said Tessa enjoys being creative and her siblings also get involved.
“Art is a really great way to bring families together. That is what we are hoping for. That is a dream, though,” she said.
The family has yet to take the first steps toward creating the nonprofit. The funds raised over the next few weeks will help that.
Normally, MILL Week runs the week before spring break. However, because there are state basketball games scheduled at the school on Thursday and
Friday, this year’s fundraising will be extended throughout the month.
Some of the activities that are open to the public include:
• A 5k, set for 8 a.m. March 28 at Yukon High School
• A car show at Yukon High School from 9 to 11 a.m. March 28.
• Daddy-Daughter Dance from 6 to 9 p.m. at Yukon Middle School on March 28.
In addition, several local restaurants are hosting fundraising events.
• March 11: Parkway Donuts, 5 a.m. to noon.
• March 11: Chili’s, 5 to 9 p.m.
• March 12: El Tapatio, 6 to 9 p.m.
• March 25: Earl’s Rib Palace, 4 to 9 p.m.
• March 27: Louie’s Bar and Grill, 4 to close
• April 21: McAlister’s Deli, 5 to close.
The Bynums said they were both shocked and excited to be selected as this year’s recipients.
“This is shocking and overwhelming,” Whitney Bynum said. “We’re thrilled so many people will get to know her.”

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