It is with heavy hearts that we announce the cancellation of the 2020 Department Convention, June 25-28, 2020 in Mesa, Arizona. We know that this is a disappointment to our Membership, as every year we look forward to our statewide business. It has become clear that proceeding with a Convention at that time is an unacceptable safety risk because of the uncertainty of the disease spread and containment, coupled with its aftermath.
Planning for the Convention remains a continuous process. We experienced a phenomenal response from members ready to volunteer and welcome each other from all over the state. The appreciation and welcome we received from the Delta Hotel staff, has been especially warm and gratifying.
For many weeks, the Department Executive Committee, Headquarters administrative team and planning leaders for the Convention have been monitoring the public health announcements in real time as daily life continues to change for every citizen across Arizona. This is not a decision that is taken lightly. Because of our numerous concerns related to the health and safety of our attendees, especially if approximately 1,200 of us were to gather in Mesa in late June, we are confident it is the correct decision at this time.
These are unprecedented times, impacting travel possibilities and requiring restrictions on large mass gatherings.
For all of us, the health and well-being of our community comes first. Due to the size and scale of the Convention, the necessary contracts and work which must be started now, as well as travel arrangements, Arizona’s statewide shutdown is creating more uncertainty and inability to move forward on Convention programs, we were called to make a decision now.
We want to clearly share that we have made this determination based on the facts available today and, most importantly, based on the sense of responsibility and genuine care we feel for all our attendees, as well as for the citizens of Mesa and all of Arizona. We have thought long and hard in these past few weeks before making this decision, and we remain grateful for your dedication and support. We look forward to a large and happy gathering of our membership in Mesa, Arizona in 2021. Please watch for information regarding the 2020 Department Convention registration cancellation process.
While the decision to cancel our Convention is a difficult one, it is important to remember that members across Arizona continue to focus on our primary purpose of supporting where able, Veterans, National Security, Americanism and mentoring our Youth.
Kenneth R. Queen