Doll News Summer 2020 - 150

A Message from your

Convention Director
The Pandemic's Impact on
UFDC's 2020 Convention
Dear UFDC Family,

L

ately I've been opening emails with one eye closed, bracing for the message that
awaits. Each week the Executive Committee is notified of members who are personally
impacted by the COVID-19 virus. This really hit home for me when, here in the
Midwest, a member of my own doll club and her husband contracted the virus. It was like
nothing they'd ever experienced. Thankfully, they have recovered and offered to donate blood
for the doctors to be able to capture antibodies. Many others have not been so fortunate,
reporting that not just one but rather several family members have been affected, and our
hearts go out to them. We were saddened to learn of the passing of UFDC family member
Diane Hoffman of Turn of the Century Antiques of Denver, Colorado, from the virus.
When thinking about hosting a convention, we must put the health and safety of our
members first and with that in mind the Executive Committee concluded that a physical
convention would not be possible this year. Negotiating a settlement with the Hotel was
challenging as there is no "out clause" for a global pandemic in the hotel contract.
Prior to the pandemic our host hotel, the Hilton Anatole, had provided many services to
UFDC for which we felt they deserved to be compensated. In the end, we agreed that they
could keep our initial deposit of $25,000 to compensate them for the services they had rendered
since the contract was signed in early 2017. In return they agreed to waive the balance of
what could have been a nearly $400,000 default-of-contract fee. We feel this was fair for both
parties, considering that neither UFDC nor the hotel was at fault. The overwhelmingly positive
responses from our members have been very positive and we very much appreciate your
understanding and support.
While cancelling convention wasn't what any of us wanted, not having it actually resulted
in some cost savings. Cancelling the decorator, audio visual and security contacts and not
printing and mailing out convention booklets and packets are just some of the costs which
were deferred.
Beyond Convention, UFDC has experienced our own challenges driven by the virus. We
were forced to close our headquarters office and museum beginning March 23. While our office
staff returned May 18, the museum remains closed until further notice. We are grateful for
the work our staff has been able to accomplish remotely supporting our members. During the
spring, many volunteers would have been at the office helping prepare convention packets to
be mailed. That was not possible, and we could not print the convention documents. Normally,

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