FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Jan. 8, 2019) -- The Fort Sill USO received its largest single cash donation last week from the niece and nephew of the late Nadine Mynes, the first president of the USO Club in Lawton in 1942.The check was for $15,000 and came from Robert Finley, of Duncanville, Texas; and his sister Shirley Atkins, said Jennifer Kirby, USO Oklahoma senior director."The impact that it has to continue our mission here is very significant because we are a nonprofit and rely on patriotic generosity of individuals and corporations," Kirby said. "It's very meaningful to me and the USO staff because it was given in honor of the first president."Mynes lead the USO mission here almost 80 years ago. She was a Lawtonian, who died in 2016, at age 93.
In 1942, the USO was a social club where Fort Sill Soldiers went to relax, said Mynes in a 2015 interview with the Lawton Constitution. The club also offered dance classes.Mynes first met her husband Maj. Clarence Mynes Jr. at a USO dance at Fort Sill. He died in 1997.Kirby said all the donated money will remain at the Fort Sill USO, and go directly to its programs to support service members and military families."We'll use it for troop movement support, spouse networking events, morale events, and more," she said. "It will go a very long way."About, 1,700 people visit the USO every week, she said.Kirby said Finley sent her an email about a donation, and she called him Dec. 28."He said the check will be in the mail, and I received it December 31," she said. "It was a very nice end of year surprise."The USO was founded in 1941, so Mynes in 1942 didn't have much of a framework to run the USO, Kirby said."She had the opportunity to grow something from the ground up to support our military," Kirby said. "Seventy-nine years later our mission is still viable, impactful, and meaningful because of work by Nadine, and the first USO employees, and presidents."The Fort Sill USO Center is at 3265 Crane Ave., and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. For a list of events, visit Facebook's USO Oklahoma. To donate to the USO, visit Oklahoma.uso.org.