YLD History

March 18, 1988:

YLD’s Articles of Incorporation as a non-profit foundation are approved by the State of Maryland.

March 21, 1988:

YLD holds its first official organizational meeting and elects its officers.

August 10, 1988:

YLD holds its first meeting of the Board of Directors at the Fort George G. Meade, Maryland Officer’s Club and records the first donation pledged by John Hess on a Bennigan’s Napkin!

John Hess gets the ball rolling with his pledge on a Bennigan’s Cocktail napkin, which resurfaced years afterward and is a cherished YLD memento. Bennigan’s located in Berwyn Heights, Maryland near Jim’s firehouse located in Berwyn Heights was a favorite Friday night hangout. After the full dress uniform church service at the University of Maryland Chapel in 1988, hundreds of firefighters showed up at Bennigan’s for a final toast. Our very first donation was pledged on a cocktail napkin. Just the way Jim would have done it.

October 15, 1989:

Deputy Chief James G. Yvorra’s name is read into the record at The National Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the National Fire Academy, Emmitsburg, Maryland. YLD announces its first annual scholarship.


October 20, 1993:

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service grants YLD Section 501(C) non-tax status. This was a five year journey to earn the 510(C) status and it was a proud day for YLD.

September 7, 1995:

YLD establishes the Donald E. Sellers Endowment for Emergency Medical Services responders aboard the Maryland State yacht Maryland Independence. The endowment was made possible through the late Mr. Seller’s estate.

Jim’s Mom and Dad, Ruth and James Yvorra aboard the Maryland Independence.

September 17, 1997:

YLD registers its domain www.yld.org as the Foundation’s official web site.

September 17, 1998:

YLD celebrates its 10th Anniversary with an outdoor picnic hosted by George and Katie Dodson at their home at Chester, Maryland. YLD reaches a milestone of giving away $30,000 over the past 10 years to 28 members of the emergency services community.

Jim's Mom and Dad cut the 10th anniversary cake.


October 4, 2007:

YLD establishes the Chief John M. Eversole endowment for hazardous materials emergency responders in memory of Chief Eversole at the Annapolis, Maryland Board of Directors meeting. The endowment was made possible through a generous donation from the Eversole family and John’s many friends and colleagues.

Mrs. John (Sue) Eversole and son Michael.

May 30, 2008:

The HABU Lodge sponsors a Bull Roast and Comedy Night at the Maryland Fairgrounds and donates $21,000 to the Chief John M. Eversole Endowment.

Greg Noll and Mike Eversole, Board members.

September 20, 2008:

YLD celebrates its 20th anniversary with a picnic at the Rockburn Branch Pavilion in Elkridge, Maryland with more than 70 friends of YLD attending. Members of the original Prince George’s County Fire Department Hazardous Materials response Team helped celebrate the day with a team reunion. Jim Yvorra served as a founding member of the PGFD HazMat Team and served as a shift officer.

20th Anniversary Cake
James and Ruth Yvorra with Board member Jim Zeigler

September 20, 2008:

The YLD Board of Director’s kicks off its YLD at 30 vision and initiates its first long range plan. Where do we want to be in 2018?


October 25, 2010:

YLD’s Board of Director’s approves the “Yvorra Leadership Development Foundation: Our Vision for 2018 and Beyond.” Nearly two years in the planning phase, we lay out our plan for the future growth and development of the foundation.

October 26, 2012:

YLD holds its 25th Board of Directors meeting.

November 19, 2013:

YLD releases its first “Operations Manual” detailing how the foundation operates administratively.

January 21, 2015:

YLD has given away $140,500 in awards and scholarships to 68 individuals since its inception.

March 18, 2018:

YLD celebrates 30 years of continuous operation supporting America’s emergency services.