When COVID-19 hit and the stay-at-home order was given by Governor Inslee, we were preparing for a fabulous Spring Outdoor Retreat in Leavenworth, WA. We know you were excited too, however, in the face of a global pandemic an outdoor retreat suddenly became less important. We appreciated your understanding when we had to reschedule for the fall.
Initially, we were able to offer you the choice of moving your registration to another retreat of your choice, however, as restrictions increased and spread to other states, that option quickly disappeared. Since then, our team has been working with our facility partners to ensure your health and safety as well as that of our staff and the facility staff members. As closures have extended, these facilities have experienced increased financial hardship. With current restrictions in place, they will not be able to host youth summer programs which are their main source of income. It is unclear at this time if they are able to host our events in 2020. Our hearts go out to their incredible staff and their families through this difficult time. We are anxiously awaiting an update from them before we determine our next step.
Another dilemma exists. Women travel from across the country to attend our retreats and that presents a problem in the current conditions. We also have women who attend that are high-risk and are susceptible to infection from COVID-19. Most of our staff live in Yakima county which has the 8th highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and while we can take precautions and screen our staff, it seems irresponsible to put so many others at risk.
My hope is that by being transparent with you about our current obstacles you will remain patient and understanding as we actively work on a solution. It seems like the easiest solution would be a refund, and we would love to do that, however, when the shutdown happened we had already prepaid our facility and our various vendors for supplies and services. They, in turn, had paid their suppliers and so forth. The dominos fell and everyone's liquidity dried up overnight. We have applied for every available grant and loan at the state and federal level and are awaiting a response, like so many others.
Thank you for your continued patience and support as we make some difficult decisions in the days ahead. Your health and safety remain our priority and the guiding principle in our decision-making process.
We will have a decision ready by the end of this week. We will contact each of you next week to discuss your options.
As always, please stay healthy and keep smiling.