As the world reacts to an unprecedented event, we want to provide our community an update on how Christmas in the Park is doing, let you know what our plans are for the future, and if you’re interested, let you know how you can help. We’ve received quite a few inquiries, and we want to thank those who have checked up on us. Last month, we shut down operations at our display shop because the safety of our employees and volunteers is at the top of our list.It’s been rough since a lot of our work is hands on, but our small but mighty staff has adapted and has been able to work safely from home. Thankfully, we have a great staff and an amazing board of directors who have been meeting virtually (of course) on a regular basis to discuss the current state of our world as well as to plan and discuss the future of our event.
You may have heard that Downtown Ice has decided to cancel their ice rink for 2020. Though we were disappointed with this news, we respect the decision of the San Jose Downtown Association and look forward to their triumphant return in 2021. As for our event, it is still our hope that things work themselves out, and we are able to return to normal activity and that our event later this year will continue to be a source of joy for our community that is has been for over 40 years. We are planning for various versions of our event in case things don't return to “normal”, like if we have to limit the number of attendees or create a hybrid version of our event. Rest assured, we are working hard to plan for the many different scenarios to make it easy and safe for all to attend.
As much as we want to hold the event like we have in the past, we are concerned about our financial welfare moving forward. We anticipate, as many non-profits do at this time, that our funding sources will decrease as a result of the coronavirus. This will make it very hard, especially in certain scenarios, to hold our event.
Gratefully, we have a few sponsors who have committed early, despite the uncertainty. We want to thank the sponsors that have already committed for 2020: eBay, Amazon, Lucky's, The Silicon Valley Business Journal, and Excite Credit Union, for toughing out the storm with us. We are working carefully right now to meet with other sponsors, understanding that many businesses are going through a difficult time and may not be able to update their event status until later in the year.
Things are strange right now, and we realize that our event is an important part of our community. We can play a large role in helping families cope with things later this year by serving as a means to celebrate, a means to get out of the house, and a means to appreciate friends and family in a safe and inviting setting.
Lastly, many of you know that we hold a very important fundraiser, Christmas in July, each year. This event serves as an important source of revenue during a time when programs and sponsor dollars haven't quite started to accumulate yet. Because of the virus, our normal event will be moving to a virtual one. Although we anticipate the event to still be an amazing success (you’ll see how in a bit!), we do assume that we will not raise as much as we normally have in previous years. We ask that you check back as we flush out this new idea.