Dear APHEA Families, Convention Vendors, and Guest Speakers,
With the trajectory of COVID-19 globally and now in the U.S., the APHEA Board has taken a brief pause to educate ourselves, understand the situation, and prayerfully consider our plans. We have decided the right and responsible course of action is to cancel this year’s convention. We are disappointed, but we feel called to lead through clarity and conviction. This is out of love and not fear or panic (2 Tim 1:7). And while Alaska has no confirmed cases yet, we want to be proactive and not reactive.
We have held a convention every year for the past 34 years, and it’s the annual highlight for our organization. We have been looking forward to the 2020 Convention and the opportunity to get together as a community. We had been gearing up for an exciting event. We know many of you have been preparing as well, whether it’s travel arrangements, book shipments, packing, or maybe just planning out your session attendance. As such, we wanted to make a decision sooner rather than later.
Our decision to cancel is based on the following:
- Given the current national growth rate, examples in other countries, and lessons from historical epidemics, we realize that our normal lives and behaviors will need to be different for the time being
- As a state and country, we must all work together to “Flatten the Curve” and give our healthcare providers time and adequate resources to respond
- As a statewide event, we need to do our part in minimizing exposure opportunities, including air travel for some and lots of interaction over the two days for everyone
- Believing that life is precious, we want to protect the vulnerable in our community by practicing reasonable social distancing and slowing the spread over time
- While our event is encouraging, educational, and fun, we also humbly recognize that it is not critical to daily life and allows exercise of an “abundance of caution”
We will be providing additional details in the coming days, including refund processes, logistics, and other practical items. This is new territory for us, but the Convention Committee is determined to handle this cancellation smoothly and with grace. I’m grateful to each Board family and their selfless volunteer efforts. We would like to sincerely thank our speakers, Dr. Mark Hamby (Lamplighter) and Faith Berens (HSLDA), Classical Conversations for their sponsorship, Muldoon Community Assembly as our facility, and all our workshop presenters, vendors, and silent auction donors.
We invite you to join us in prayer for our nation, our state, our leaders, our healthcare workers, and everyone impacted. APHEA will stay strong, and we have already started planning next year’s convention. We are excited to see you then!
Please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback, questions, or concerns.
Blessings to you and your family,
Erik Swanson – President
On Behalf of the APHEA Board