The leadership and board of directors of Brandywine Health Foundation have made the decision to cancel the annual Garden Party scheduled for May 20, due to the growing concerns about the community spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
As a philanthropic health organization, the BHF’s primary concern is for the well-being of all individuals in the community.
Mass gatherings and large community events such as the Garden Party bring people from multiple communities into close contact with each other and have a high potential for viral transmission. Current projections for the spread of COVID-19, the limited access to tests, and the fact that the incubation period can be up to 14 days has led to the nationwide cancellation of large community events like the Garden Party.
“As stewards of the community, we are committed not only to secure the public’s funding but to be proactive and deliberate in protecting the health of our community,” said Jason D. Alexander, board chair of Brandywine Health Foundation.
Through the gracious donation of Mr. and Mrs. Robert McNeil’s home as the event venue, the Garden Party engages more than 500 people in support of BHF’s overall mission. In fact, since 2003, BHF and its volunteer committee have raised more than $1 million.
“Along with the leadership of the Brandywine Health Foundation, we made the decision to cancel this year’s event,” said Jennifer McNeil. “It is our responsibility to follow safe practices to limit the potential spread of the virus. This decision reflects our concern for the overall health and wellness of our neighbors.”
In light of quickly evolving circumstances and the potential impact of COVID-19, Vanessa B. Briggs, president and CEO of the Brandywine Health Foundation, will shortly announce the creation of a special Relief Impact Fund.
“We know that during this global pandemic our community will experience a variety of health and financial challenges,” she said. “Working with our nonprofit partners, medical personnel, and the county, the goal of our Relief Impact Fund will be to help minimize the economic hardship and disruption of safety-net services on the community.”
It is BHF’s hope that current and new sponsors and supporters will consider allowing it to retain contributions (previously made to support the Garden Party) to support the new Relief Impact Fund.