I am once again writing you in hopes that this note finds you and your families well during this unique time in our country and around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, I’m also writing to inform each of you that due to continued safety concerns and other risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic we’ll continue to suspend all Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Local and National Program meetings, activities, and outings until 31 August 2020. Additionally, all PHWFF overnight outings are suspended through 31 December 2020.
Earlier this week we provided notifications suspending our National Destinations Program, National Competitions Program, and National Training Program through 2020. We plan to re- schedule these programs during 2021. We will continue to conduct on-line volunteer training where possible during 2020. The PHWFF HQ Staff is currently coordinating these training opportunities with you. We will also develop a virtual fly tying and fly rod building competition for our participants. We will conduct this virtual competition during the Fall of 2020. We are also developing some guidelines, constraints, and restraints that may enable us to remove the suspension on day outings beginning in August 2020. We will provide additional information and seek input about these virtual competitions and potential day outings during our Field Advisory Committee and Regional Coordinator calls in June and July. We will also continue to suspend all new equipment orders during our on-going suspension period as well. Additionally, the PHWFF Headquarters Staff will continue to work remotely until 31 August 2020.
Once again, we hope that this additional time will allow the current crisis to improve to a point where we can once again resume our regular program meetings, activities, and outings. We will make another assessment on 1 July to determine if further suspension is necessary to ensure everyone’s safety and to comply with the complex state-by-state COVID-19 restrictions. Meanwhile, we encourage our programs to remain engaged through virtual program activities and “buddy-check” sessions using approved social media and other authorized virtual applications.
We continue to recognize that we live in a fluid, evolving situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we discussed throughout this crisis, we monitor the latest updates from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), along with local, state, and federal agencies to inform our decisions. We also continue to maintain open and transparent communications with our Board, our Partners, and our Donors. As the situation further develops, we will continue to make assessments regarding our Local and National Program meetings, activities, events, and outings. We will continue to make each decision on an informed basis using current healthcare industry data with participant, volunteer, staff, and community safety and well-being remaining as our top priority – while we comply with local, state, and federal guidance and restrictions.
Meanwhile, we encourage our volunteers and participants to continue to remain engaged with each other in the virtual environment. Fortunately, we can safely and effectively conduct our core program activities in a virtual environment while we maintain the personal connections, camaraderie, and friendships that form the lasting bonds in our local programs. So far during this crisis, these virtual core program activities enabled us to retain and build our PHWFF community – creating hope and happiness and eliminating feelings of isolation and loneliness.
The PHWFF HQ Staff is available to help you complete online volunteer training and/or establish virtual core program activities. Through these core program activities, we continue to provide physical and emotional recovery, encourage engagement, and create a community where our participants can heal. We should never forget that we are stronger together. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you all for your dedication and your commitment to our Cause!
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