By Angela Cook, ODF Event Chair
After much deliberation, as of this writing, Operation Desert Fun 18 is going to happen! 2020 has been a roller coaster for everyone, and the association has suffered along with all of us. We have had to cancel other events, and people are going stir crazy! We’ve had to consider all of the consequences of hosting an event during the pandemic, and we think we have addressed every issue.
Those of us in wheelchairs, including the paralyzed vets who participate every year, are considered “compromised,” so I was surprised that all of the folks from the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Cal Diego Chapter who normally come out to work the event all wanted to attend this year. Turns out they enjoy and look forward to the event as much as the rest of us! The state sent us and the Blu In RV Park COVID-19 guidelines, and we will follow all of them. That includes wearing masks while in public areas, social distancing and using sanitizer when possible. Common courtesy goes a long way! If you don’t believe you need to wear a mask or social distance, then maybe stay home this year and register online to support this important event.
The Ocotillo Wells SVRA is currently closed (again, as of this writing), so a permit to do runs was out of the question. There is BLM land around the area, including Superstition, that is open, so while we won’t be doing any organized runs, folks are encouraged to go wheelin’ if they want to. During the day Saturday, we will have some games in camp that folks can play and maybe win something… All the while social distancing of course! A good cornhole tournament comes to mind. If we can get the help, we may even bring back the Poker Walk!
At this point we’re playing it by ear, flying by the seat of our pants so to speak, so keep that in mind. We’ve never had such unusual circumstances, but with so much support and people asking us to put on the event anyway, we figured we would do what we could to give folks a nice weekend out of the house!
Because we made the decision to have the event so late in the game, T-shirts didn’t make it into the In Gear. But you can go online and order shirts, or get them at the event. We’re trying to make the design memorable! We’re also begging folks to consider donating to the raffles. With businesses closed and some even shutting down for good, we expect the raffle to be a bit smaller than usual, so we need clubs and individuals to step up and donate. Even small donations are appreciated. All donations are tax-deductible.
Because we aren’t doing runs, we decided to keep the registration at the introductory price of $25. If you can’t come out to the event, please consider registering to keep this event going. I hope to see you all at the desert. Better days are ahead.