BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 5/14/2020 9 a.m. UPDATE: While this year’s Friends of Charity Auto Fair was expected to have bigger numbers than 2019’s rendition, Hospice of Southern West Virginia and the fair’s steering committee said they prepare for cancellations and postponements for any reason, just in case.
Aside from public safety concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, Hospice believed similarly sized events, like the Friends of Charity Auto Fair, not listed in the state’s reopening plan made the decision to cancel obvious.
“The governor’s plan to reopen West Virginia doesn’t have a timeline for large events,” said Hospice’s director of public relations, Chris Clay. “Even if we were to come up to July, there’s no guarantee we could have the event anyway.”
The fair’s steering committee, which included Danny Kincaid, understood what was necessary.
“As an enthusiast… that brings cars to [the fair], it was a disappointment, but it was the right decision,” Kincaid said.
Hospice and the committee are already planning for next year’s event, including looking to keep Josh Turner as the concert headliner.
BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — 5/14/2020 9 a.m. ORIGINAL STORY: Community safety concerns during the pandemic prompt the cancellation of another event in southern West Virginia.
The decision was announced Thursday, May 14, 2020 by Hospice of Southern West Virginia to cancel the Friends of Charity Auto Fair.. The announcement came after much talk between Hospice of Southern West Virginia and the Friends of Charity Steering Committee.
The auto fair was originally scheduled for July 17th and 18th of 2020 at the Raleigh County Memorial Airport. Hospice of Southern West Virginia’s business office is working on processing refunds on tickets sold to the auto fair, the Josh Turner concert, and car registrations.
“There is no fundraiser that is worth someone’s health,” Hospice of Southern West Virginia’s Chief Executive Officer Janett Green said. “This is an important event for Hospice of Southern West Virginia and Brian’s Safehouse. Our organizations rely on the revenue and donations from the auto fair, but the health and safety of our community is more important.”
Hospice of Southern West Virginia’s Director of Public Relations Christopher Clay said the Hospice of Southern West Virginia team and the Friends of Charity Steering Committee are working with Turner’s representatives to see if a 2021 concert featuring the artist is possible.
“We’re hopeful,” Clay said. “Josh Turner is a great act, and we really hope we can make it happen, so stay tuned and hopefully we’ll get the chance to see him next year.”
Any questions about refunds can be directed to the Hospice of Southern West Virginia business office at 304-255-6404.