I’m once again writing you in hopes that this note finds you and your family well during this unique time in our country and around the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m also writing to inform each of you that – with over 60% of our nation under some form of stay at home orders – we’ll continue to suspend all Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Local and National Program meetings, activities, and outings until 31 July 2020. As many of our vendors are also impacted by this crisis, we’ll continue to suspend all new equipment orders during this period as well. Additionally, as Maryland continues under existing “Stay-at-Home” Executive Orders from Governor Hogan with no projected end date in sight, the PHWFF Headquarters Staff will continue to work remotely until 30 June 2020. We hope that this additional time period 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 June 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 using approved social media and other authorized virtual applications.
We continue to recognize that we live in a fluid, evolving situation. People all over the world are being asked to give up what they love: time each day to learn new things, to grow, and, most importantly, to share time together with friends. As we’ve discussed throughout this crisis, we continue to 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. During this crisis, we’ve also maintained open and transparent communications with our Board, our Partners and our Donors. As the situation further develops, we will continue to make some difficult decisions regarding our Local and National Program meetings, activities, events, and outings. I can assure you that we’ll make each decision on an informed basis with participant, volunteer, staff, and community safety and well-being remaining as our top priority – while we comply with local, state, and federal restrictions.
Meanwhile, we encourage each program 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 that form the bonds in our local programs. During this crisis, these virtual core program activities enable us to rekindle and build community by creating hope and happiness while we eliminate feelings of isolation, loneliness, and fear.
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!
Todd S. Desgrosseilliers President & Chief Executive Officer