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Midway Route Coordinator – Newsletter – March 2020 update #3

Greetings RFTW Midway family,

I attended the Board of Directors meeting that was called to discuss the Covid-19 virus situation and the effect on RFTW 2020.  Much discussion was had and after much consideration, I regret to inform you that RFTW 2020 has been cancelled.  It is with a heavy heart that I must tell you this because I know how important this mission is to everyone and how much work has gone into planning for this Run.  I am sure that you are all as disappointed about this as I am. 

I have been in touch with all the State Coordinators. Like most participants, some wanted us to continue and others did not think it was a good idea.  The CDC guidelines and many of the state’s government restrictions just made the planning for our route to go on practically impossible. 

The BOD is charged with the responsibility of making sure the Run for the Wall, as an organization, is protected and here to serve our mission for the future.  It was a difficult vote to make but was done for the benefit of RFTW’s future as well as for the safety of our RFTW family and supporters.  The 4 Route Coordinators understand and support their decision.  I hope you all will too. 

I want to thank everyone who put so much work into our mission for this year.  I am very grateful to all of you who put so much time and effort with me into this 2020 Run to make it, what I know would have been, such a special year. I do not want to single anyone out and it is not practical for me to list everyone. However, I must thank the State Coordinators and our Road Guard Captain!  An unbelievable number of hours were put in by these people. I also want to thank our ARC. He was thrown into this position at the last minute and was such a big help.  All our team leaders stepped up to the plate.  What a fantastic team we have put together!  I hope that you will all be here for us again for 2021! 

We realize that this mission touches and affects many communities across our country.  It was only right that we do not wait until the last minute to cancel this event this year.  In some areas, our State Coordinators were finding it very difficult to impossible to obtain the volunteers, supplies and donations to take care of us, and State’s restrictions would not allow our group to assemble.  We also must consider the impact we have on businesses, donors and volunteers.  For instance, we book hundreds of hotel rooms.  It would not be very respectful to the hotels to cancel all those rooms at the last minute.  They would probably be very reluctant to block rooms for us again next year.  Our Hosts will be buying all kinds of food and supplies for us, it would not be right to back out on them at the last minute and have them stuck with the expenses and wasted time put into this.

Our route was put together very well, and our leadership team represented RFTW very professionally.  We must cancel this event just as well and professionally.  We need time to contact the hotels, donors, hosts, Law Enforcement, community leaders, etc….   We must express our regret as well as our appreciation for their understanding and support.  We will ask for their continued support for next year as well! When cancelling your hotel reservations, please thank them and let them know that we look forward to staying with them next year. Please be a good ambassador for RFTW. It is a difficult time for them as well and we want them to look forward to working with us again.

I will continue to send out RC Newsletters with any updates that I can pass on to all of you to keep you informed as to what is going on with the Midway route. and our plans to prepare for 2021.

The BOD has asked me to return as Route Coordinator for 2021.  This route belongs to the Midway family.  If the Midway team will support my return, I would be honored to work another year as RC to serve the Midway Route for 2021.  I hope that we will be able to keep this fantastic team together!   I choose to not look at this as a negative thing but as a positive opportunity to begin work early for Midway 2021! God willing, this situation will pass soon. My trust is in God and if this situation changes soon enough, you never know, I may just show up at “The Wall” on my own for Memorial Day weekend. Maybe I will see some of you there!

I wish you all good health and happiness and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the reunions.

Have I told you lately?……………………………………I love my RFTW Midway Family!

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Ken “Six String” Dugas
Midway Route Coordinator