Civic clubs, organizations adapt, halt fundraisers because of COVID-19
By Shavonne Potts
SALISBURY — The state gathering restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdown have brought a halt to regular meetings and fundraisers by area civic organizations for months now.
Many of those local organizations have canceled events and conducted meetings remotely.
The Civitan Club of Salisbury was just a month away from its spaghetti feast but during the height of the pandemic, and the organization had to cancel the annual fundraiser, which supports many local and regional activities. Those include the Special Olympics, the Arc of Rowan, the Civitan Research Center and Victory Junction Camp. The club also awards more than $14,000 in scholarships to high school and college students.
The club is hopeful it can hold the event sometime later this year.
“The Civitan Club of Salisbury is a very active club with multiple service projects, fundraisers and weekly membership meetings so, understandably, we were not very happy when the COVID-19 virus caused an abrupt halt to our activities,” said President Carlton “Rexx” Rexrode.
The once-a-week luncheon meetings that have been held at the Country Club of Salisbury were also halted, he said, which severely curtailed member socialization. In addition, the club’s service projects, including Special Olympics, were put on hold.
“But we vowed to not be discouraged by something over which we had no control. We continued to meet through the Zoom video conferencing portal, at first just with members and now with guest speakers,” Rexrode said.
He said the club recently held its annual elections via meeting software Zoom and has arranged to host its Civitan North Carolina District West meeting, which consists of 48 Civitan clubs, in August, through Zoom.
Rexrode said the club feels a major sense of responsibility for the health and safety of its members as well as the community so they elected to not cut any corners when it came to coronavirus safety guidelines.
“We will meet virtually as often as it takes, holding virtual meetings on Zoom and conducting our club business in an official but lighthearted manner kind of like Hollywood Squares meets the Brady Bunch,” he said. “We do not expect the virus to go away anytime soon but, when it does, the Civitan Club of Salisbury will be ready to jump back into our normal activities. Until then, it’s “virtual business” as usual,” Rexrode said.
Early on during the pandemic, the Kiwanis Club of Salisbury canceled its meetings, said President Glenn Taylor.
He said once the club realized it would take some time for things to reopen the board of directors, under recommendations from Kiwanis International, began conducting meetings via the video conferencing platform, Zoom.
“We had hoped to continue our regular meetings after the 4th of July but that didn’t work out and just this past Sunday our board elected to continue Zoom meetings until after Labor Day,” Taylor said.
Taylor said he is hopeful that they will be able to meet then.
The Salisbury-Rowan NAACP, another longstanding civic organization in town, has also needed to adjust the way it gets its members to socialize and collaborate.
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