Amid the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the Denver Press Club board on Sunday afternoon approved closing the Club through at least March 31 and postponing our annual Damon Runyon award banquet until the fall.
We will continue to pay our staff and employees their regular wages through the closure. All previously scheduled public and private events in March have been canceled or postponed. If you have any questions regarding this, please reach out to general manager Tom Foutch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our annual Damon Runyon Award fundraiser, set for April 11, will likely be postponed until mid-September 2020. We expect to have a new date for you later this week, once we finalize arrangements with Judy Woodruff, our Runyon honoree. We want to thank the Denver Athletic Club and our other vendors for their flexibility as we deal with a fast-moving and evolving situation. If you have a ticket to the event or have bought a table sponsorship, your purchase will be honored for the new date. If you cannot make the new date, we will issue full refunds, should you request them.
We are still awarding $15,000 in student scholarships to nine Colorado journalism students that we would have given during the Runyon event. Our scholarship committee of Jerome Ryden and Sara Crocker finished the final judging last week, and we are working with the Denver Foundation to get funds to the students before the school year ends. We hope many of them will be able to join us for their much-deserved recognition in the fall.
The board will still meet March 30 for its regularly scheduled meeting, at which time we may elect to extend the the closure. The CDC on Sunday evening issued guidance to limit gatherings of no more than 50 people for at least the next eight weeks, so prolonging our hiatus is not out of the question. We are working on plans to have the April 7 membership meeting conducted via conference call and potentially allowing for a mail-in ballot for the board election.
How can you help the Press Club while we are closed? Renew your membership, pay your dues and encourage others to join the Club as members. Many of you in the next week will receive invoices for your 2020 membership. Membership represents 20 percent of our annual revenue, so we thank you in advance for paying your dues. You can check to see whether you have any outstanding invoices here.
If you’d like to donate unrestricted funds to the Club to help us during this time, you can do so through PayPal here.
We want to assure our members that the Club remains fiscally and financially strong, but your support makes a difference — especially with so much uncertainty about when this will end. Our belief is that the sooner we take action, the better for our members and the rest of society. We will continue to closely follow the recommendations and guidance from federal, state and local health and government officials.