The Jacksonville Noon Rotary is going to have to adapt its annual February fundraiser due to a rise in Covid cases in the area.
The “Casino Royale” styled Valentine Dance, auction and fundraiser have been postponed and will be changed to an online silent auction beginning in February.
Noon Rotary President Cathy Jo Littleton-Wahl says that an in-person event this year goes against one of Rotary’s mission statements to the public and its members: “One, we need to know that we need to be able to raise money so that we can continue the good work of the Rotary, and so cancelling was not an option; but then, we were all very concerned about the rising numbers. We knew that the in-person [event] would not fit our Four-Way Test. Two pieces of that Four-Way Test are “Is it fair to all concerned?” and “Is it beneficial to all?”. We didn’t feel like it met either one of those criteria. We did have success last year with our virtual event. We thought we would revamp it and recreate it. We will actually be doing it from February 1st through the 28th.”
She says last year’s online event was still fun because Rotary members ribbed one another online over the auction through Facebook posts and videos. She said the teasing and competition was all in good fun and created an enjoyable fundraiser despite the circumstances. She hopes that atmosphere will return again this year.
Wahl says that the Casino Royale style event is too cool to pass up and it will be revisited at a later date: “I tell you what, that’s just too cool to have in a virtual event, so we are going to have an in-person event and we’ll do our James Bond-styled event. We really want to have those shaken-not-stirred martinis, the glamorous clothes, and all of those things. It’s kind of hard to do all of that virtually.”
Wahl says she hopes that the community will support the online auction, as the money raised will be for three school scholarships provided through the Rotary, matching funds for district grants for projects in the Jacksonville community, and purchase of supplies for South Jacksonville Elementary.
Details of the auction will be posted on the Rotary’s Facebook page and website.