Virus already hurting non-profits


Schools across Ogle County remain closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and area restaurants are down to offering drive-through and curbside pick-up, area non-profits are also feeling the pinch.

The new guidelines for schools and bars and restaurants in Illinois will be in place until at least March 30.

But already, Rock RiverCenter in Oregon has announced the cancellation of its annual “What’s Cookin’” fundraiser. Executive Directror Jamie Nobis said the event will not be re-scheduled this year.

 “After much consideration, Rock River Center, Inc. has made the difficult decision to cancel our largest annual fundraiser, What’s Cookin’ scheduled for April 18 due to recent concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and recommendations from the CDC,” she said.

Rock River Center will continue to provide transportation services for critical medical appointments and local shopping for supplies as long as it is able to do so, Nobis said. All other scheduled events including Lifescape Congregate dining, AARP Tax Assistance, VA assistance, LIHEAP applications, benefit applications, trips, support groups and senior activities are suspended until further notice. 

Serenity Hospice, also a non-profit, has cancelled its Garden Luncheon, which draws about 200 people. This year the luncheon was set for May 9 at Stronghold.

Another fundraiser planned for April 1 to help Serenity purchase new beds, was also cancelled and could be rescheduled later this year.

“As a nonprofit, Serenity Hospice works hard all year to secure funding through grants, fundraisers, and traditional billing sources to help ensure our mission in the communities we serve can continue,” said Lynn Knodle, CEO of Serenity. “Covid19 has basically shut down our upcoming fundraising season. But, we are committed to being a responsible organization who follows all CDC and health department guidelines to help keep our patients, their families, our staff and our communities as safe and healthy as possible. But there is no question that not hosting our fundraisers will undoubtedly put a strain on Serenity.”

And Serenity is like many non-profits which rely on volunteers. And with more and more volunteers staying home during this health crisis, it is hitting non-profits hard.