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It is after a great amount of deliberation and discussion that I announce that the 2020 Taylor County Veteran Outreach Day has been postponed until next year. As you already are aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused much disruption to events such as this across the nation. I understand there are many that would prefer things went on as normal, but I would ask you to consider that these decisions are not made lightly and there are many factors other than the concern over spread of the disease. All things regarding the event have to be considered including the following: Events such as these are nearly impossible to reliably maintain social distancing and our guests tend to be elderly and immune compromised veterans and their family members. We also receive many guests from outside the area, which will also increase the risk of infecting our most vulnerable populations. Our first priority must be to protect those vulnerable people. Availability of vendors to support the event based on their own decisions and guidelines. Vendors are recovering from their own difficult situation during the shutdown and cannot afford to take another loss if the headcount is down due to concerns over the virus. If concern over the virus keeps most of our guests away, we are unlikely to be able to cover our cost of the event for vendors.

Financial sponsors have their own financial losses and concerns from the first shutdown, and we are now looking at the possibility of another. We will not be able to solicit the same amounts of funds we have in past years, increasing our out of pocket costs with a likelihood we would not be able to cover expenses.

The cost of meat and other food products has gone up significantly which would drive the cost up greatly for guests, which would in turn very possibly result in less sales at the event, and possibly leave us unable to break even as has been our goal in the past.

Local National Guard units that are always a large part of our event are committed to other duties during the pandemic and recent civil unrest.

We hope you can understand and support the thought and concern that went into this decision and we hope to see you next year.

Jeffrey J. Hein Taylor County Veteran Service Officer