Allison Gill from the American Cancer Society and Hope Lodge

In an effort to continutally strive to protect the heaalth and safety of our members and others during the COVID-19 pandemic, once again our weekly meeting was held via Zoom.

This was also ewly installed president Bob Morris' first week at the helm.  After our opening ceremonies, Bob introduced Allison Gill from the American Cancer Society and Hope Lodge

who has spoke to our Club in the past.

Alison began by thanking the Club for its many years of being a dinner sponsor for Hope Lodge and the good times provided the resident with its after-dinner Trivia contests in which the Lodge's guest with the first correct answer is awarded with a gold dollar.

She went on to explain that the American Cncer Society *"ACS"), in response to the COVID-19 pandemic suspended its network of some 30 Hope Lodges across the country

Atlanta GA  —  Baltimore MD  —    Birmingham  –  Boston MA  –  Burlington VT  –  Charleston SC  –  Cleveland OH  –  Dallas TX  —  Gainsville FL  –  Grand Rapids MI  –  Greenville NC  –  Honolulu HI  –  Houston TX  –  Iowa City IA  –  Jackson MS  –  Jacksonville FL  –  Kansas City MO  –  Lexington KY  —  Lubbock TX  –  Marshfield WI  –  Memphis TN  –  Minneapolis MN  –  Nashville TN  –  New Orleasn LA  –  New York CIty NY  –  Oklahoma City OK  —  Omaha NB  –  Philadelphia PA  –  Phoenix AZ  –  ROchester MN  –  ROchester NY  –  Salt Lake City UT  –  San Juan PR  –  St Louis MO  –  Tampa FL

on March 27, 2020, because it could no longer ensure the health and safety of our immune-compromised cancer patient residents, volunteers, and staff. Until the ACS are able to safely host patients again, it is offering our Hope Lodge facilities as free temporary housing for health care workers who are unable to return home for fear of exposing their families to the coronavirus.  They have also launched the Hope Lodge COVID-19 Response Fund to raise funds to operate our repurposed Hope Lodge facilities during the COVID-19 crisis.

Philadelphia's Hope Lodge, the one our Claub actively supports, is undergoing many guest bathrooms and plannign on rennovating the kitchen facilities.  Its staff is also reviewing new protocols for its front desk area and dining facilities, areas where social distancing could otherwise become a challenge.  They hope ot be able ot open up 5 rooms for some of the most-needy patients as early as August or September.

The Lodge aaalso hass undertaken several fundraisign efforts, including an "Adopt-A-Room" ($10,000) and an "Adopt–Day" ($1,500) to help make up some of the paandenic-related shortfall in their annual $700,000 operating budget.  Also on its wishlist are posisble donations of Personal Protective Equipment, icnludgin masks, gowns and snaitizers.

They are also hopeful that a "virtual dinner" migh tbe possible in teh fall in which we might be able to deliver meals to the front door.  Still, there is a great deal o funcertainty aorund the virus.

Allion mentioned that the ACS has cancelled off its fundraisssing events. initiated program cuts and has to make some difficult staff layoffs.

The members thanked Allison for her time and updates.

A business meeting followed covering the upcoming VIRTUAL WALK, July 8th VIRTUAL SOCIAL HOUR and looking toward ensuring that our members HAVE FUN while they fundraise and support so many needy causes.