2020 Friends of Charity Auto Fair canceled

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) — Hospice of Southern West Virginia officials announced their decision to cancel the 2020 Friends of Charity Auto Fair and the concert event Thursday, May 14, 2020.

Hospice of Southern West Virginia’s Chief Executive Officer Janett Green said it was a difficult decision, but cites community safety during the COVID-19 pandemic as the primary factor in the cancellation.

“There is no fundraiser that is worth someone’s health,” Green said. “This is an important event for Hospice of Southern West Virginia and Brian’s Safehouse. Our organizations rely on the revenue and donations from the auto fair, but the health and safety of our community is more important.”

The decision comes after weeks of deliberation among the leadership at Hospice of Southern West Virginia and the Friends of Charity Steering Committee.

“It was a tough call, but when you measure having the auto fair against the safety and health of our community, the right choice is clear,” Hospice of Southern West Virginia’s Director of Public Relations Christopher Clay said. “The Governor’s plan for reopening West Virginia does not specify a timeline for movie theaters, sporting events, concerts or gatherings of over 25 people.  Considering the uncertainty of the timeframe, we don’t know if the event could even take place in July. We believe it is better to cancel the auto fair at this time, as there is a significant amount of planning and work by the Auto Fair Steering Committee that goes into the event.”

Hospice of Southern West Virginia’s business office is working on processing refunds on tickets sold to the auto fair, the Josh Turner concert and car registrations.

Clay added that the Hospice of Southern West Virginia team and the Friends of Charity Steering Committee are working with Turner’s representatives to see if a 2021 concert featuring the artist is possible.

“We’re hopeful,” Clay said. “Josh Turner is a great act, and we really hope we can make it happen, so stay tuned and hopefully we’ll get the chance to see him next year.”

Any questions about refunds can be directed to the Hospice of Southern West Virginia business office at 304-255-6404.

The Friends of Charity Auto Fair was originally scheduled July 17th and 18th of 2020 at the Raleigh County Memorial Airport. Updates on the event can be found on the Friends of Charity Auto Fair Facebook page or at www.wvautofair.com

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com