In 1975, I became a freshman at Thomas Jefferson High School and was immediately proud to be a part of our beautiful school’s history and rich traditions. The Lassos were (and always will be) the Grand Ambassadors of Jefferson. I longed to become a Lasso and a roping team member!
I was honored to become a Lasso and a roping team member my junior year. Being a Lasso meant being a part of an organization dedicated to promoting school spirit, service to the community, teamwork and a commitment to excellence and leadership. It is also a sisterhood where I forged life-long friendships. Being a Lasso reinforced values that helped me throughout my career and life. Lasso memories are among my dearest high school experiences.
I still remember our Lasso tryout song, “Lido Shuffle” by Boz Scaggs, and I still remember the first few dance steps of the routine! I have wonderful memories of early morning practices on the field marching and dancing with the band as we prepared for football half-time shows. I have sweet memories of going to roping team practice with my lasso sister (and great friend of 40 years and counting), Holly Spiser Foley ’79 at 5:30 a.m.! Our junior and senior years were filled with Disco music! Some of our roping and dance routines included the music from the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack. The “Grease” soundtrack was the album we played for 24 hours straight as we roped for the Jerry Lewis Marathon and spent the night at Wonderland (now Crossroads) Mall.
My parents sacrificed to provide me with the opportunity and financial support to join the Lassos. Ours was a single income family. With their support and my hard work, I became a Lasso and was elected president in 1979 by my peers. I was also a member of the roping team and was honored to perform the Texas Skip Rope. I was also focused on my academics and was fortunate enough to receive an Academic four-year scholarship to Texas A&M University, where I majored in accounting. As a Certified Public Accountant, I fully appreciate and understand the financial limitations my parents experienced and how much the academic scholarship lifted some of that burden. I am proud that the Lasso Alumni Association also provides scholarships to deserving Lasso seniors seeking a higher education.
I joined the Lasso Alumni Board in 2015 in order to help encourage and preserve the Lasso tradition. The Lasso Alumni Association is dedicated to helping ensure that every young lady who desires to be a Lasso has that same opportunity. The skills and life lessons I received from being a Lasso have enriched my life and helped me navigate through life and my career.
Yvonne Luna Donel
Yvonne Luna Donel, C.P.A.
TJHS Class of 1979
Lasso Alumni Association President