I hope this message finds you and your family safe, healthy, and well.
As I am sure you understand, 2020 continues to challenge us to create new ways to support people with disabilities. While this experience finds us adopting new approaches, our work continues to be driven by a commitment to make profound differences in people's lives every day.
As you may know, this year, due to COVID-19, we've postponed our 35th annual Golf Tournament. In its place, we launched a project to raise the critical funds lost due to the postponement. The Hero Campaign is helping us raise funds needed to continue offering our world-class programming. To date, we have raised nearly $19,000 of our $100,000 goal. If you are interested in learning more about how you can help with a special gift to Easterseals this year, please visit https://tinyurl.com/y426tach.
I am thrilled to share that this year's Festival Gala Auction will be virtual! Our committee of 70 is hard at work, planning memorable benefits for our table hosts, complete with an online program, collecting fantastic auction items, and booking great holiday music. Even if we cannot gather in person, you are sure to enjoy this wonderful event. Much more information will be available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please save the early evening of Saturday, December 5, 2020, and visit the Festival website at https://tinyurl.com/y6tmvahl.
A few months ago, a group of individuals with disabilities that we support in Kansas City launched a new podcast called A Party with Easterseals. Each week, the group covers weather reports, jokes, interviews, discussion segments, current events in the disability community, and much more. An exceptional episode from July about the Americans with Disabilities Act, and with 17 episodes currently available and many more to come, I hope you will take a moment to listen. https://tinyurl.com/y2xmn6ro.
Get out the Disability Vote & Advocacy
We have been hosting virtual voter registration rallies across our territory, featuring headliners from the National Disability Rights Network sharing information about the power of the disability vote and how citizens can get registered in time for the November 3rd election. These events have featured live music, spoken word poetry, and many outstanding keynote speakers. We have also distributed voter registration cards to each of our 1,800 staff members, encouraging them to register or use the card to get someone they know registered to vote this fall.
We have also been hosting candidates' forums to share the critical priorities of those we support with hopeful elected officials. As of today, we have hosted one or more meetings in every region of Missouri.
As Election Day approaches, we know the significant barriers to transportation to the polls people with disabilities face. As a result, we are pairing community volunteers with the people we support who need a ride to vote on November 3. If you are interested in volunteering, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
Finally, I want to assure you that our COVID-19 Task Force continues to be hard at work evaluating and re-evaluating our response to keeping our programs safe for those we support and our staff. As new data regarding the virus continues to become available, we will keep the care of those who rely on Easterseals each day front and center and provide the support people need thanks to our outstanding staff's courage, partnership, and commitment. They are such remarkable people, and it is a privilege to work alongside each of them.
As a reminder, much more information regarding our response to COVID-19 is available on our website here: https://tinyurl.com/sh8wpjt.
Our work is only possible because of you, our partners who show up and support Easterseals with the resources we need to deliver life-changing services. I am grateful for your trust and dedication. It means the world to me and our movement.
Until next time, thank you for all that you do.
Chief Executive Officer