Francisco fact: Will there be a Winter Gala?

What is happening with the Winter Gala in this time of social distancing and COVID-19?

The Vestry and the liaison to the Winter Gala, Gary Pan, have been working on this. Our short answer is that the Winter Gala will not be taking place in its traditional form on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2021.

Current circumstances, including elevated rates of COVID-19 cases, limited distribution of the vaccines, and the continuing lockdown of in-person gatherings in our buildings, mean that a dinner party with auction cannot be held. This is a disappointment to us all.

But the Vestry has been working on a plan to hold a live auction online and a dinner gathering later in the year, either online or in-person. It is our earnest hope that the dinner can be held in-person, not only to recognize the benefits we know of being together, but also to mark life as a community again.

“In order to do this, we will need support.”

There are some challenges to this plan. Although we are practiced in doing in-person auctions, we are only beginning to learn how we can manage online ones. Gary Pan and others have been reaching out to event planners, chairs of local not-for-profits, and tech types to find out about best practices in this area. This new type of auction for St. Francis is being built from the ground up.

During the next few weeks, the leaders of the Vestry will be targeting a time period later in the year, possibly in April or May, in which to hold an online Auction and targeting a date, also, in the autumn, to hold our dinner celebration.

In order to do this, we will need support. The Vestry is looking for a chairperson or chair-persons to oversee the auction and the dinner. We realize that this is new territory for everyone, and we know this is a challenge, especially in this year of pandemic. Our appeal is to the faithfulness of this congregation and our commitment to our traditions, not only having fun together but also working for helping the church and helping others.

Let us know where you might add to this effort and thank you for your continued commitment to our ministry.

Photo credit: Tracey Kelly; David Lucey. All rights reserved ©

Published by fr.david

Rector of St. Francis Church. Adopted son of the Old Dominion--Hampden-Sydney loving, Red Sox supporting, Burkean.

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