• Neil Allen

Portland, Oregon Convention Moves From In-Person to On-line

Dear Friends of the Creche Membership

And just when it all looked good…BAM…another wave of Covid-19, this one more ambitious than the others. After nearly 2 years of planning and working through the initial wave, this amounted to a double whammy in eleventh hour of our planning for the Convention in Portland.

With the writing on the wall, it seemed almost a relief for me. I’ve been watching the news, weighing the pros and cons for the past 20 months, and wondering if we should sign contracts or not. In the end we only had 61 registered for the Convention (I think you were waiting and watching for all of this to pass over too). It hasn’t passed over, and likely will get worse before it gets better.

The FOTC Board held two sessions – one in July to decide our “go/no go” status. We decided on go. The second meeting was held September 8th. A decision was made to Cancel the in-person Convention and move to an on-line FREE event. The following were the deciding factors:

*The Delta Variant was spreading quickly. Oregon experienced a 990% increase in infections.

*Hospital rooms in Oregon are filled to capacity creating emergency status in many of our State’s Hospitals – even delaying people waiting on surgeries and causing the governor to initiate the National Guard help with the critically ill as staffs became overwhelmed. We could not guarantee your safety if you should need emergency medical assistance when you were here.

*We felt it was unwise to ask people to fly or drive across country during a pandemic with changing dynamics.

*No clear timeline projections could guarantee we would have enough time to cancel the convention at the end of the peak of the Delta Variant.

On a personal note, I do not want you to feel sorry for our team. We would rather cancel and give you time to get refunds, to protect your health and safety.

Yes, we are sad, but not in doing what we know is right. We can all stop working on things now, and it actually feels good. We’ve worried so much for the past 20 months, and now we can put that all aside. It felt like a weight off our shoulders.

We will hold a Zoom Conference in place of the Portland Convention. In those session we will take care of our annual business items, election of officers, reports from the Website and Facebook pages, Creche Herald, Membership and Treasurer. President Sydne Yanko-Jongbloed will give us a pep talk and make some presentations. Of course, there is always time for you to ask your important questions.

For a bit of fun we will have presentations from Helen Holder, see an amazing video about our next convention and Annual meeting (you are REALLY going to love the news we have for you! So, don’t dismay. We’re not going away, only moving to an on-line connection for now.

All monies will be refunded in the coming days and weeks. Marilynn Gillespie has that already started. It is important for you to contact the hotel Vance directly. 503-334-2167 will get you to the front desk. Also, be sure to contact your airline to cancel your connections.

Neil Allen

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