SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club has closed most of its programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re launching a fund drive to reopen.
The non-profit club that operates river-based sporting activities ceased operations and ended most of its programming on March 13, 2020. PVRC representatives announced on Thursday they are launching a fund drive to regain resources needed to reopen once the pandemic subsides.
The non-profit said the pandemic shut down 90 percent of the organization’s regular programs and events which usually take place over the summer. The organization would offer adult rowing, youth rowing, dragon boating, kayaking, and community programming.
The events that had to be canceled are fundraisers, summer youth groups, rowing competitions, Salsa dancing, and the Springfield Dragon Boat Festival. These events help support the nonprofit organization financially but in 2020, the organization has seen a $120,000 shortfall in revenue.
“At the current rate, we will run out of resources before a vaccine becomes widely available. And that would mean an end to so many positive outcomes, from youth rowing college scholarships, to breast cancer survivor dragon boating, to middle school free exercise programs, to kayak rentals, and so much more for Springfield. It could be a terrible loss,” said PVRC Executive Director Ben Quick.
PVRC has applied for public and private funding but has not found many COVID-19 relief-related resources to help sustain their programming. Rowing and dragon boating programs in many local communities rely on donations so they can continue to be open to the public.