There are two overriding concerns that have caused us to come to this conclusion. One concern is the uncertainty caused by the fact that many airlines have cancelled their flights to Aruba. Additionally, Aruba released a statement over the weekend announcing that they hope (but cannot guarantee) to re-open their country by July 1st. This makes the possibility of factors beyond our control forcing us to cancel the Convention at the last minute much greater.
Second, and more importantly, our primary concern is always the safety of our Fraters. While only a short while ago we felt optimistic that July was far enough away to confidently proceed with our plans, as it stands today, we cannot guarantee the safety of our members. With due regard to the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, we feel that it is simply not safe to host a National Convention at this time.
We want to make it very clear that we have made this decision based purely on the facts as we know them today, and, importantly for the whole AZO family, based on the responsibility and genuine care that we feel for our members.
We are aware that the National Convention is an incredibly important event for AZO where we not only celebrate the end-of-year accomplishments, but conduct important fraternal business, and elect our new Supreme Board. We are also also aware that based on the Supreme Constitution, cancelling the National Convention creates some difficult circumstances for AZO's future. This is the first time in AZO's 100 year history that a National Convention will not take place, but we must prioritize the health and safety of our members.
Your AZO Supreme Executive Board is currently working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation and we are committed to preserving the best interests and promoting the welfare of the Fraternity. We are currently exploring options in regards to the officer situation and are working to create virtual events to take place during the week of July 22-26. We will provide guidance for our members as soon as possible and will continue to work hard to bring you a sense of peace, friendship, and brotherly love.
The island of Aruba respects and understands our decision and is working in unison with AZO to schedule our 2021 National Convention in Aruba for the week of July 21-25.
If you were planning on attending the 2020 National Convention these are your immediate next steps:
1. Cancel your hotel room at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort and Casino. To do so, choose the "modify/manage reservation" option on your original confirmation email.
2. Call your airline. Most airlines are waiving change fees and allowing you to either rebook your ticket for a future flight or providing a voucher for the full amount of the ticket for a future booking. Here is a list of the main numbers:
American Airlines (800) 433-7300
Delta Airlines (800) 221-1212
JetBlue (800) 538-2583
Frontier Airlines (800) 432-1359
Southwest Airlines (800) 435-9792
United Airways (800) 241-6422
3. Reimbursement of Convention fee: For those that have paid the Convention fee, our Supreme Excheque will be in touch with information about providing a full refund.
I am so disappointed that we are unable to host Convention, but I know that this is the right decision based on the information that we have today. The decision to cancel Convention was difficult, but necessary, and I am comforted in knowing that our Fraters will not be put in harm's way.
We will continue to keep you updated as the situation evolves and hope that you will keep the week of January 6-10, 2021, open for our Regional Convention. While we are still investigating potential locations, we look forward to seeing you at this Convention, if not sooner. Please look to our website at AZO.org, AZO's social media pages, and your inbox for further updates.
We continue to be inspired by the strength, flexibility, and loyalty the AZO family has exhibited during this crisis, and we thank all of our Fraters for the outpouring of support during the entire fraternal year. We appreciate your understanding and if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to either myself at email@example.com or Supreme 1st Sub-Directorum, Jon McLachlan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alpha Zeta Omega Supreme Directorum
ALPHA ZETA OMEGA PHARMACEUTICAL FRATERNITY
I have been in touch with my Supreme Executive Board and the Convention Steering Committee, and it is with deep sadness that we announce the cancellation of this year’s National Convention. Following increased and overwhelming concerns regarding COVID-19, we felt that this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation. We know that this will come as an enormous disappointment to our membership, and this is not a decision that we have taken lightly.