Organizers cancel Soroptimist’s Gala Garden Show

22nd annual event was set for March 21-22

The Peninsula Daily News site has lifted the paywall on this developing story to provide readers with critical information. To support vital reporting such as this, please consider a digital subscription.

SEQUIM — The threat of spreading a unique coronavirus is shutting down a long-standing community gardening event.

The Gala Garden Show, Soroptimist International of Sequim’s largest annual fundraiser, has been canceled because of concern of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19, the organization announced.

“It is a huge loss, and it is a loss in our hearts, because it’s something we’ve been so committed to,” Cat Xander, Gala Garden Show public relations representative, said Friday.

Soroptimist International of Sequim is part of a global volunteer organization that “provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.”

The 22nd-annual event was scheduled for March 21-22 at the Sequim unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula and had 50 monetary or in-kind sponsors supporting it.

“We did this out of an abundance of caution to the community,” Xander said. “It was a really hard decision; it took a lot of discussion.”

Members decided not to postpone the event because of the uncertainty of the length of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We don’t know when this is going be resolved,” Xander said.

“(The show) was ready to go; everything was done except decorating the Boys & Girls Club.”

The Gala Garden Show started in 1999 with a one-day show and about two-dozen vendors.

There were about 45 vendors on tap for this year’s show, she said.

“I feel badly for the vendors; we can refund their money but this was income they were counting on,” she said. “And (I feel badly for) the community; they find certain people and things (at the show).”

Xander said this was Soroptimist International of Sequim’s top fundraiser, drawing between $21,00 and $26,000 each year — about two-third of the group’s budget. It brings in more than double of the group’s Gala Gift Show in December, she said.

Funds raised go to help 10 community groups such as Boys & Girls Clubs, Sequim Food Bank and Healthy Families of Clallam County, its medical loan closet and several scholarships.

The group has distributed between $7,000 and $8,000 in scholarships every year for high school students, continuing education applicants and the Live Your Dream scholarship.

“We will do that somehow,” Xander said.

Group members are considering other fundraising ideas, Xander said — possibly an online auction that would “not endanger everybody and make things worse,” she said.

Soroptimist supporters can still make a donation through sisequim.org.

________

Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].

More in News

Carole Scholl of Port Angeles shows her support for women’s rights during a rally Saturday following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. For more on the rallies in Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend, see Monday’s print and online editions. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Supporting women’s rights

Carole Scholl of Port Angeles shows her support for women’s rights during… Continue reading

Pat Woolman
Project Lifesaver client found after search

Project Lifesaver equipment helped deputies find a man who… Continue reading

Large response seen to Center Road fire

No one was hurt during a fire that burned down… Continue reading

Burn planned on Protection Island

A prescribed burn is planned on Protection Island National Wildlife… Continue reading

Myron Teterud, a longtime Sequim schools and community supporter, gives the crowd a salute after being honored as “Fan of the Century” at Sequim High School’s centennial celebration in January 2011. Sequim School Board directors agreed to name the SHS athletic field in honor of Teterud, along with naming the stadium stáʔčəŋ, a S’Klallam word meaning “wolf." (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group file)
Names OK’d for Sequim stadium, field

Tribe, Teterud honored at athletic facility

Ammonia leak reported at paper mill

An ammonia leak from a tank at McKinley Paper… Continue reading

Matthew Nash/ Olympic Peninsula News Grup

The Sequim Police Department continues to investigate an early morning burglary on Friday at Coastal Farm Ranch.
Sequim business burglarized, police investigating

Coastal Farm & Ranch was burglarized early Friday morning. How… Continue reading

Abortion ruling leaves access unaffected in state

Peninsula healthcare providers respond

OMC vows full ER staff on July 1

PESI to dissolve as new group takes over

Most Read