There are those who see difficulty and hardship in every opportunity. Then there are those who recognize opportunity in every crisis. Winston Churchill recognized that the challenges we face always reveal our character, both good and bad.
This year, we face an unparalleled crisis and one that may define our generation. It is the very function of those entrusted with the public’s trust to promote the health and safety of all. There is no magic formula to do this and the same response for every situation is untenable. The uncertainty of the climate which surrounds not only our nation, our state, and community, has created a unique opportunity for introspection.
Saint Vincent College, through their marketing study, has provided objective proof that Fort Ligonier Days is not only unique, but enables our town to retain its character and economic viability. What we have always thought has now been confirmed. That is one of the positive aspects of our current situation.
The success of Fort Days is dependent upon the single most important ingredient, your devotion. You give of your time, you give of your talent, you make the improbable not only possible, but happen. Your commitment to excellence and selflessness is beyond comparison. No other community does what we do on the scale and scope of what we are able to accomplish.
With every opportunity, there is always risk. While there may be ways to embark upon an event for this year, risks to those less fortunate within our community loom large. The expenses of our event require sponsors to have been impacted by the crisis as well.
The decision of the Board and contributions by the Committee make this decision a most difficult one. Our community needs Fort Ligonier Days, not only to support local businesses, but to help the good works of many charities that benefit from the money that we raise. We do not approach such a decision lightly and it is with great sadness that we cancel this year’s event, recognizing that the risk of the health of our community overrides any other factor.
On another positive note, we are pleased to announce that the Fort Ligonier Days festival will be able to go on in a virtual format via our social media channels and website. Our merchants, vendors, sponsors and supporters will each have the opportunity to be featured in the virtual festival. Please watch our website and social media channels for further updates on this exciting virtual venture.
These times will not last, this crisis will not prevail. We expect to return in 2021 with the utmost vigor. This will also provide us with an opportunity to work together with Ligonier Borough Council, who hopefully will recognize the value of what we do and its overall value to our town and community. There have been those who don’t always share our value of Fort Ligonier Days, but perhaps this is an opportunity for their perspective to change.
We pray that you continue to keep each other in your thoughts, prayers, and hearts. Nothing can stop those individuals who are committed and determined, for it is those few who indeed can change the world.
Be safe and God bless you,
Mark L. Sorice
President, Fort Ligonier Days, Inc. Board