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The Board of Directors, at their recent meeting, authorized the President to initiate cancellation procedures of the Jacksonville Convention. Based on this authorization, the President has issued the following advice.

With the unforeseeable emergence of the coronavirus, plus government regulations issued by the state of Florida, it became abundantly clear that the purpose of our convention, and the entire convention experience anticipated for Jacksonville, had become frustrated and therefore impossible to realize due to the situation being unsafe and untenable. This is supported by the fact that the average age of our membership is in the high risk, “vulnerable population” group and the Social Distancing standards imposed by the new, restrictive government regulations making most of our activities and tours impossible to conduct safely and with the same purpose of achieving close camaraderie during a social activity.

Further, there is an additional concern for the safety and well-being of our members who must travel by airline to reach Jacksonville. Additionally, many of our members from highly infected areas would not be able to attend.  All of the new developments present a risk to our members that is not acceptable to TCA’s Board of Directors and cannot be condoned as a normal convention experience anticipated when planning for our 2020 event.

For all of the reasons stated above, the convention in Jacksonville has been cancelled as it is impossible to have the same experience as we anticipated when plans were made for our 2020 convention.

I have thus sent the Hyatt hotel in Jacksonville a letter of cancellation.

For those of you who have already registered, a full refund will be credited to your credit card. As noted in the current issue of the Headquarters News, if you would like to donate all or a portion of your refund to the TCA to help with our convention expenses, you are welcome to do so.  You will receive a letter noting the amount of your donation for you to use for your tax purposes.

A note to our members who joined from the Department 56.  Part of your registration covered either your full year or six month membership in the TCA.  Unfortunately, we cannot refund that part of your payment.  And we all hope you will stay with us to share our joint hobbies.

If you have made reservations at the hotel, you may wish to cancel them.  The hotel is accepting no fee cancellations through the end of June.

I know I was looking forward to a wonderful Jacksonville convention and am terribly disappointed in its cancellation as is Steve Johnson, Southern Division President, and all of his convention team.  For me, attending our annual convention is one of the highlights of my year.

Peter Atonna
President

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Original Post

I am also deeply saddened that the convention had to be cancelled.  My brother lives just outside of Jacksonville and his train club's layout was on the tour schedule.  I was looking forward to a family reunion in addition to the convention.  My brother's club cancelled their participation over a month ago.  They were afraid of hosting people from all around the country in a confined area.  Perhaps there will be a convention in Jacksonville during the next few years when it is safer to travel and to be together.

NH Joe

@eddie g posted:

Terrible whats going on. Next the York meet will be canceled.

Although it is impossible to know how things will be in October when the Eastern Div. Meet rolls around, my guess, in light of the actions of Pennsylvania's Governor over the past couple of months, is that it is more than a good possibility that the event will NOT be held due to the size of the event and the demographics of the membership (not really a factor in any government decisions, but certainly a factor for the members themselves).

In short, it probably would be best to be prepared to attend the York Meet on fairly short notice if/when things open up enough, later in the summer or early fall, for the event to be definitively scheduled. We at OGR are definitely taking this "wait and see, and then decide" perspective.

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 I would go further and say that even if the October York show is held, that I will make the decision to go or not to go, based on what is best for my health first and foremost.

I agree 100%. It will be an individual decision to make. I know that at my age I will have to weigh that decision carefully, based on the best available information. At the present time, I do not know who or what to believe because there are so many opposing "expert" opinions. That pretty much tells me that even the "experts" are still somewhat clueless.

To say I am disappointed is an understatement. My younger son lives in Jacksonville and Debbie and I were going to make a 2 week vacation down there with the Convention one week and my son the next. 

However, I also do not live with my head in the sand and realized last month the Convention was going to be canceled even though the TCA put up a good fight but had to surrender yesterday. Once the tours started to get canceled, that was the warning signs. I certainly do not blame anybody, it only makes sense for crowds of people. We will wait until this mess settles down before we fly anywhere again and look forward to next year.

I am a 31 year member of the TCA and hope the Organization will not take too big of a financial loss and never be able to recover. 

Donald

Unfortunate that the TCA Convention was cancelled, but the Board did what they had to do given the circumstances. I am just surprised that the decision was made so close to the Convention.

Regarding the October 2020 York Meet, with the continuing improvement in the coronavirus numbers nationwide, the increasing availability of testing, the evolving development of new courses of treatment, and some recent exciting news on the vaccine front, I remain very optimistic that the October York Meet will be held. That Meet, of course, is five months away. 

Pat 

In the Midwest Division we have lost the grandson of one of our long time members. After you go through losing someone close or hear about the fact that otherwise healthy people are dying alone, you get a slightly different perspective.

In the case of this convention, the correct call was made, if not a little late in my opinion, but the correct call was made. A convention with few people is not only "NOT" a convention, but also irresponsible financially.

 

Charlie

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@irish rifle posted:

Unfortunate that the TCA Convention was cancelled, but the Board did what they had to do given the circumstances. I am just surprised that the decision was made so close to the Convention.

Regarding the October 2020 York Meet, with the continuing improvement in the coronavirus numbers nationwide, the increasing availability of testing, the evolving development of new courses of treatment, and some recent exciting news on the vaccine front, I remain very optimistic that the October York Meet will be held. That Meet, of course, is five months away. 

Pat 

Re the convention, the latest HQ news (printed before the decision to cancel) showed a substantial number of the tours and excursions as being cancelled.  Not sure why anyone would go when few of the activities would be available.

I'm optimistic about York being held.  My concern is that it will be held but a critical mass of members will choose not to attend for understandable reasons - that would be a disaster for everybody.

I hope that ED is considering this with their planning.

I will try to keep this topic open but before the mods did some editing and then let me know a little while ago, the discussion was evolving into all kinds of speculation about other events beyond the topic of this thread.  Guys....haven't we heard enough about the "virus"...both fact and fiction?  If you want to talk about the virus then go online and find a group in which to participate...there are plenty of them. 

I will leave this open to comments about the TCA National but if we get more alerts about it diverging into other "stuff", then it will be closed.

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One thing I could suggest is if you can afford it (and obviously, that is always a caveat), think of using the registration fee as a donation to TCA or other groups who have had to cancel, it is a way to help keep them going. I have done that with some performing arts groups where I had tickets and they had to cancel, to help them survive. Same with local groups, might help them survive. 

BigKid, thanks for mentioning that idea.  Both the eblast and our website have that mentioned.  Both the National TCA and the host  Southern Division have incurred expenses even with the cancellation.  If you choose to have part or all of your registration fees donated back, you will receive a thank you letter with your donation amount for use with your tax donations

We as members can come up with solutions. Come on folks. You are all smarter than this. Sit down think about how you might do a small family gathering with social distancing. This will not be easy. Maybe 6 foot platic walls between vendors. Tickets/passes people to get to see layouts. Some vendors may need to bee outdoors under tents. Please lets keep trying, together. The smart ones will pick up on the feasable and incorporate. Life aint over. Dont get complacent. Thanks all God Bless!

We as members can come up with solutions. Come on folks. You are all smarter than this. Sit down think about how you might do a small family gathering with social distancing. This will not be easy. Maybe 6 foot platic walls between vendors. Tickets/passes people to get to see layouts. Some vendors may need to bee outdoors under tents. Please lets keep trying, together. The smart ones will pick up on the feasable and incorporate. Life aint over. Dont get complacent. Thanks all God Bless!

The October York Meet is five months away. Currently, America is reopening, as the coronavirus numbers continue to improve nationwide on a daily basis. Hopefully, if things continue to improve, the October York Meet will be able to be held on a normal or near normal basis.

Pat

All I will say is that I commend TCA national for making a hard decision based on what is known to protect the health of the membership. 

Personally I am in good health but with so many unknowns, I am very cautious about my activities outside the home until more is known. 

Peter - thank you for your leadership during an unusual time for TCA and the world as a whole.  TCA made the only reasonable decision it could have based on circumstance. 

As I always say, like a kidney stone this too will pass. 

I agree with TCA’s decision regarding the convention.

That said, my wife and I are very disappointed, as we live in the JAX area and would have loved to attend, as well as show off this beautiful part of the state.

Hopefully, the Southern Division will get another TCA convention soon and hold it here in the Jacksonville area.

Stay safe and healthy!

Bruce

Peter,

Thanks to the Board and you for making this tough, important decision.  It must have been hard for all.  Given the facts as we understand them today, it is the correct decision for all the right reasons, fully supported.  

Hoping everyone is well and staying safe.

Thank you also to all, especially the Forum and its leadership, for allowing a space to learn more about our hobby and its members. 

Best,

Mike West

 

 

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