Event organizers are waiting as long as they possibly can before making the gut-churning decision to cancel or maybe postpone their fundraisers. So much is at stake after all- hours of planning expended, sponsorship money gathered from businesses and already spent, and of course, the prospect of losing the funds that the event would provide – funds that already hold a place in charities’ budget projections.
As Covid-19 chugs along, a 30 day yardstick seems to be the unofficial measurement where charities decide to throw in the towel. 100% of the sports-related fundraisers on sportingAcause.com have been cancelled, postponed or altered for the months of April and May. These are mini tragedies in an ocean of Covid- induced tragedies.
The latest event changes on the sportingAcause.com website include the cancellation of the Litchfield Hills Road Race; Line Rock Park has postponed both its season-opening Touring Car Festival (date to be determined) and the Memorial Day Classic (new date Oct. 16-17). Also, the entire Walk MS series through June has become virtual.
Here is the list of April and May events that have been cancelled, postponed or virtualized.
Bring On the Heat 4th Annual 5K (Bethlehem, CT) rescheduled to July 25th
Arlington Education Foundation 5K Run/Walk (Lagrange. NY) Cancelled
Shane Kinsella Memorial 5 Mile Run (Goshen, CT) Rescheduled to Sept. 12th
Upton Lake Christian School Eagle Run (Clinton Corners, NY) Rescheduled to Sept. 12th
Wellness 5K (Pittsfield, MA) Cancelled
Kiwanis Kingston 5K (Kingston, NY) Cancelled
Ride 1 Rally at Lime Rock Park (Lime Rock, CT) postponed date TBA
Spring Splash (Lakeville, CT) Cancelled
Gilbert Blue and Gold 5K and Golf Tournament (Winsted, CT) Cancelled
Angel in the Infield Softball Tournament (Canaan, CT) Cancelled
Kentucky Derby Social (Salisbury, CT) Rescheduled to Sept. 5th
Touring Car Festival at Lime Rock Park (Lime Rock, CT) Postponed date TBA
Sharon Classic 35th Annual Road Race (Sharon. CT) Rescheduled to Sept. 26th.
Sean’s Ride and Sean’s Run (Chatham, NY) Cancelled
Girls Just Wanna Run 5K (Litchfield, CT) Cancelled
Retro Run 5K (Morris, CT) Cancelled
Kenny Krom Memorial Basketball Game (Sheffield, MA) Cancelled
Arrest and Extinguish ALS (Lenox, MA) Cancelled
Touring Car Festival at Lime Rock Park (Lakeville, CT) Postponed date TBD
NW CT Rod and Gun Club Steel Challenge Pistol Match (Canaan, CT) Postponed TBD
Annual Women’s Running Race (Pittsfield, MA) Virtual
Wa Wa Wally Waddle (Poughkeepsie, NY) Virtual
AFSP Run For Hope (Bethlehem, CT) Postponed to June 6th
Camphill Village 5K ( Copake, NY) Postponed Date TBD
Steel Rail Half Marathon (Lanesboro, MA) Virtual
Shine On 5K ( Burlington, CT) Rescheduled to Sept. 20th
Walk a Mile in Her Shoes SBA Project (Litchfield, CT) Postponed Date TBD
Barkhamsted Elementary School Annual River Run 5K (Barkhamsted, CT) Cancelled
Relay For Life Marist College (Poughkeepsie, NY) Postponed Date TBD
Berkshire South Community Center 8th Annual 5K Run (Great Barrington, MA) Virtual
Litchfield/Morris Rotary Club Golf Tournament ( Fairview Farm ) Cancelled
United Way/Charlie Ormsby Golf Tournament (Torrington CC) Rescheduled to June 15th, may re-reschedule
Berkshire County ARC Golf Tournament (Berkshire Hills CC) Postponed Date TBD
Litchfield Hills Road Race (Litchfield, CT) Cancelled
Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park (Lakeville, CT) Postponed to Oct. 16-17
A patch of good news in a fear-soddened world. Yesterday the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development sent a statement to the Canaan Country Club that Connecticut golf courses can open/reopen as long as they follow CDC guidelines. That means restaurants associated with the golf courses will remain closed and golfers must abide by the new rules of conduct in a coronavirus world.
Just this morning New York State informed the New York State Golf Association that New York State golf courses can reopen, again, subject to CDC guidelines.
As of this morning(March 26th) Massachusetts courses are still closed.
This is wonderful news! The governments, both state and federal hamstrung themselves with their own wording. Using the word “nonessential” to define businesses that must shut down, they included enterprises like golf courses which can of course conduct business in a safe manner.
As soon as I learn of any changes for Massachusetts I will let you know.
Just a few weeks ago, the first time I saw an image of the coronavirus it reminded me of a Nerf ball- something a child would play with, not the fearful, hateful thing it has so quickly come to symbolize.
The scroll at the bottom of the TV screen during the evening news last night seemed like the Storm of the Century was upon us – schools closed, senior centers, town libraries, day care centers, all closed. But then, unprecedented in my experience, the scroll continued past the news through the rest of last night’s programming as event closings grew in number.
“Unprecedented” is a word we’re seeing a lot lately. All major sports programs are shut down- the NBA, NHL, MLB have ended their seasons or at least “postponed” them. The NCAA Basketball Tournament is history. March Madness has a new meaning now.
And the speed of change is breathtaking. We don’t like change usually, but if it must, let it be in a measured, considered manner, extended over time. Two days ago, Connecticut high school athletes were protesting the “unfair” abrupt cancellation of all state sports tournaments . No one is protesting now.
Most of the weekend sports-related fundraisers in our area have been postponed. Here is a list of those events that appear on sportingAcause.com.
Retro Dodge Ball Tournament, Litchfield- postponed, hope to play at a later date.
VFW Couch-Pipa Bunco Tournament, North Canaan- postponed until a later date.
Hoops For Hope, Poughkeepsie – postponed until a later date.
Shamrock Run, Kingston – postponed until a later date.
NW CT Rod and Gun Club Ham Shoot – still on for now.
Stay safe my friends, and welcome to the new normal.
The crocuses are up with the daffodils close behind, frogs have been playing dodge- the- cars on rainy nights, and yes, the golf season has begun- at least for now.
Here is a listing of some local public courses that are up and running or close to it:
Canaan Country Club in North Canaan, CT is open but walking-only, no carts yet.
Fairview Farm Golf Course in Harwinton, CT is open for business with carts.
Undermountain Golf Course in Copake, NY is open with carts in the rough-only.
Green Woods Country Club in Winsted, CT promises to be open in “a week or so” – they are rolling greens and raking up winter debris.
Stonybrook Golf Course in Milton, CT should be open by this weekend.
Quarry View Golf Course in Canaan, CT is open with carts. The driving range is open too.
The Links at Union Vale are open with carts (cart paths only).
The Hotchkiss School Golf Course typically opens by April 15th, but can open as early as April 1st under favorable conditions, according to their website. I’d say this might be that kind of year.
Neither the Egremont Country Club in South Egremont, MA nor Winding Brook Country Club in Valatie, NY are open yet, but stay tuned – they’ll be opening “soon”.
So there you have it Golfers. Plenty of open options to dispel all of that pent up demand.
Just stretch first, OK?
I was wrong.
I’ve said it many times – for non-profits, volunteers are second in importance only to donations- money first, volunteers second.
Saturday, Development Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association- CT Chapter Tina Hogan set me straight.
” I couldn’t accomplish anything without volunteers,” she said, ” They are more important than anything”. She made her point by listing a dozen tasks that volunteers perform- office volunteers, community representatives, graphic/web design, community educators, special events, and more. “The Walk to End Alzheimer’s takes 50 to 100 volunteers alone” Tina told me.
And that was why Tina and her crew were at the Falls Village Inn this past Saturday- for the Alzheimer’s Association Leap into Action Volunteer Kickoff to recruit help for a busy upcoming season of activities and beyond. And they were successful – 25 folks came and signed up to help!
Some of them no doubt will be lending a hand for The Longest Day (June 21st) and The Walk to End Alzheimer’s which will be held for the first time at Lime Rock Park in October. LRP has chosen the Alzheimer’s Association as its signature charity this year.
You will be able to find the details of both events on sportingAcause.com.
Evidence shows that people want to help out charities, both through donations and volunteerism, but often don’t know where to start. Here’s how: email alz.org/ct and offer your services. They can use all skill sets. Or contact another local charity whose mission is dear to your heart. They can all use the help.
By unpopular demand, the Winsted Penguin Plunge 2020, which had been scheduled for March 7th, has been canceled.
This would have been the 17th year of an event that has raised over $1.1 million for Special Olympics Connecticut. In recent history, the Plunge raised $90,000 per year- and now it’s gone.
“Due to a low number of registrants” was the website reason for pulling the plug.
That’s the bad news.
But apparently some of the team participants from past years, high school, grade school, scouts, first responder teams, the ones who raised the big bucks, chose to sign up with other Connecticut Plunges instead. The money for CT Special Olympics didn’t disappear, it just shifted.
And that’s the good news.
Polar Plunges and other fundraising events in Connecticut support 12,000 to 13,000 Special Olympic athletes in the state with training and equipment in 26 different year-round sports. Special Olympics remains one of the most beloved and popular charities in the nation and beyond.
So if you had been planning to do the Plunge again in Winsted this year, you can still satisfy your cold water cravings at six other CT Plunge locations over the next few weeks. You can find them here: https://www.soct.org/.
And if you are particularly masochistic you can take part in the Pittsfield Super Plunge March 28th and 29th ( This one supports Special Olympics Massachusetts). There you can jump into icy water once every hour for 24 straight hours. Now that’s dedication!
Last week was Officials vs Cancer, a program of the International Association of Accredited Basketball Officials. Refs at all school levels were asked to donate 25% of their reffing fees to the American Cancer Society, and they raised big bucks. They always do.
But see how that plays against another ref- related program this month- “Support your Local Ref”, a program to show some respect for our sports officials in Connecticut.
Because while officials (specifically basketball refs) have been showing their love with their fight against cancer, officials in general haven’t been feeling the love at all.
You see the “Support your Local Ref ” program was initiated because the sports official community in Connecticut is in crisis- there are not enough refs to go around. And that is because 50% of all newly trained officials never return for a second season.
Verbal abuse, particularly by parents and other fans.
It’s that bad.
Six decades ago when I played Little League baseball, there was a bleacher behind home plate. The parents and fans were so abusive to the umpire, the bleacher was moved to deep center field where the expletives were harder to hear.
Little has changed, it seems.
In the sports world, no participants are more roundly maligned than the officials, right? They play the no-win position of angering one side or the other, no matter their call.
Their gaffs, which can influence a game’s outcome, often ring louder in the media than any player’s mistake. Post game air time is used to debate solutions for “bad calls”, real or perceived.
It shouldn’t have to be said, but I guess it does – behind the black and white stripes, these are people , just like us. They do their jobs as best they can, just like us. With generous hearts they raise funds against disease and other causes, just like us. And because of us their numbers are dwindling.
So while the world of professional sports continues to ask the question “What do we do with the officials?”, here on our elementary and high school athletic fields we should be asking “What would we do without them?”
To further bolster its kennel of competitors, SWSA is looking for a few good men and women to join the exciting Human Dog Sled Race on Friday evening, February 7, 2020 of Jumpfest 2020 weekend. Teams of six (five pulling and one riding) using sleds of your own design, compete for trophies in men’s, women’s and mixed categories as well as a people’s choice award for best costume/sled. The event is professionally announced.
Sleds can be as simple as an inner tube or as elaborate as an imitation fire truck.
Competition is fierce for a year’s worth of bragging rights for the winners, and fun is had by all.
If you have five friends or coworkers who are at least 18 years old and have at least a moderate level of fitness (you will be running in snow over a .3 mile course), then contact us at info@ jumpfest.org to get rules and other info.
Keep in mind that there is an element of risk involved.
Friday night of Jumpfest is a great time! An eighth of a mile of Luminarias guide you to the site, two roaring bonfires to keep you toasty, food and beverages for sale and target ski jumping and the Human Dog Sled Races are all held under the lights! Come join us!