The Westminster Cares Board of Directors have canceled the annual Garden Tour fundraiser due to COVID-19. The Garden Tour has grown into a major event attracting several hundred attendees, many from other states and Vermonters alike. To execute a successful event requires six-eight months of planning which starts in the first quarter of the year. While there is still an ongoing pandemic and uncertainty around gathering requirements, quarantine restrictions, and vaccination timelines, it was decided that the responsible course of action would be to regrettably postpone the fundraising event until next year.
“Our fundraising committee and the full board had several meetings and were in conversation with Gordon and Mary Hayward,” said Westminster Cares Director Donna Dawson. “This was not a decision we came to lightly, but our board exercised an “abundance of caution” in making this difficult decision. The deciding factor was the health and safety of our volunteers, Garden Tour hosts, and Attendees. We are focused on moving forward and setting our sights on welcoming folks back with a wonderful 2022 Garden Tour.”
In an unexpected twist, Westminster Cares was a recent recipient of $8,333.33 from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ office that resulted from sales of merchandise featuring Bernie Sanders sitting in a chair, legs crossed, bundled in parka and mittens that was snapped on Inauguration Day and went viral over social media platforms. Quick-thinking, good-sport Sen. Sanders parlayed the moment into more than $1.8 million raised for Vermont charities.
While we could never have imagined such a moment would benefit Westminster Cares, we are grateful to have been chosen as one of the recipients resulting from our Meals-On-Wheels deliveries, and it certainly provides a degree of relief knowing that we’ve cancelled the Garden Tour, which is not without financial consequences.
Westminster Cares creates opportunities for seniors and adults with disabilities in Westminster, VT to live with dignity and independence in the community. For more information visit us at westminstercares.org or on Facebook.