FreeState Electric Cooperative’s board of trustees has made the decision to cancel the cooperative’s fall member appreciation events – The Community Health Fair, that was scheduled for Sept. 23, and the Community Energy Fair, which was scheduled for Oct. 28.
“Our concern for our community extends to the overall health and welfare of our members,” said Steve Foss, CEO. “With growing concerns over an uptick in the spread of COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel these events this year.”
The Centers for Disease Control’s “All of Community” approach to slowing the transmission of COVID-19 includes minimizing social contact. With that in mind, FreeState’s board of directors and management have decided that canceling these annual gatherings of several hundred members and staff is prudent in helping to slow the transmission of the virus and staying healthy.
“We are disappointed that we’ll miss our members this fall,” said Sarah Farlee, public relations and marketing specialist, who plans the events. “But, the fact of the matter is we want our members and vendors, and communities to stay healthy and we have a responsibility to help mitigate the risks.”
Farlee said the decision to cancel was made using recommendations from the CDC, discussions among other cooperatives, and factoring in that many circumstances are yet to be known.
“There is still so much we just don’t know yet,” Farlee added. “When we looked at what it would take to plan and execute a safe event by following social distancing guidelines, we didn’t feel we had adequate resources to carry that out. Over the years, our health fair has grown significantly and the space we have in McLouth would force us to limit the number of vendors or attendees, and we didn’t want to do that.”
“We will hold off this year and see everyone in 2021,” said Farlee.
FreeState will continue to operate normally and monitor the pandemic situation as the cooperative works to keep employees safe.
“We want to take care of our employees, so they can take care of our members,” said Foss.
“The situation we’re facing is still fluid, and if you need us, we’ll be here,” Foss said. “We are committed to maintaining open communication and will be utilizing Facebook and our website to send important information out to our members regarding any adjustments to business.”
For more information, visit www.freestate.coop, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.