Hello, FMCA Family.
As many of you now know, the global COVID-19 pandemic forced FMCA to make the difficult decision to cancel its 101st International Convention and RV Expo in Tucson, Arizona, in March. The decision was made even more agonizing since we were forced to cancel the event on March 13, 2020, just a couple weeks before it was to take place. Cancelling a convention after registration began has never happened in FMCA's history. In the end, though, the safety of our members, exhibitors, and staff was paramount in the decision.
Many efforts and resources were put toward hosting the event, so we understand first-hand the disappointment this caused those planning to be there, and the financial ramifications for everyone who had made plans to attend.
Quite honestly, for FMCA, the financial ramifications go well beyond a few wasted hours by staff. The FMCA Events Department had worked on the Tucson convention for well over a year. FMCA had already made payments to companies and entertainers whose services we'd planned to use for the event. Some of those we will be able to carry forward to another event, and some we won't. We also had expenses for things such as printing the convention program, buying convention pins, etc. Plus, as a not-for-profit organization, FMCA devotes as much of its resources as possible to member benefits, including our first-class events. The budget is prepared with the idea of breaking even, not with the goal of generating large profits.
To compound the already-difficult circumstances, just a week later, on March 20, 2020, FMC Inc.'s Board of Directors voted to cancel our summer convention set for August 26 through 29, 2020, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Registration for the Lincoln convention opened on February 26, 2020. With uncertainty as to how long this pandemic will last and when people will again feel comfortable gathering in large groups, early registration numbers were well below what we normally see. If FMCA were to proceed with planning for the Lincoln event, it could have created an even greater financial burden at an already tenuous time for our association.
The entire world is dealing with the battle against this unseen enemy. This is like nothing we have seen in our lifetime. We are hopeful that this pandemic will pass quickly and that we’ll be able to return to life as normal sooner rather than later.
We are working to protect our families and loved ones and to stay safe while doing everything we can to make sure FMCA remains a viable organization that continues to serve RVers well into the future.
We have heard from many members who understand the difficult position these cancellations have created for our organization. Many have graciously offered to contribute financially to help ease the situation, which warms our hearts more than you can imagine. If you would like to make a financial contribution to FMCA, please visit www.fmca.com/contribute. Or you may send a check to FMCA, 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244 and write 'FMCA Donation' in the subject line. I should point out, however, that since FMCA is not a charitable organization, these contributions will not be tax-deductible.
Thank you to those who are passionate about FMCA and love the organization as much as we do. Please, be kind to one another, check on your loved ones and neighbors, and stay well.