It has been a very tough decision but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PRANCE has decided to cancel the Southampton Craft Show scheduled for July 2nd this year.
It is a significant setback for both the community, which looks forward to the event each year, and for PRANCE which relies on it as their major annual fundraiser.
“It was a difficult but necessary decision by the organizing committee and the hope is that the annual event will be hosted once again in 2021.The Southampton Craft Show is something we all really look forward to. It’s the perfect place to pick up that special object or gift from one of the many talented artisans and vendors,” said Ann Marie Johnston, Executive Director/Volunteer Coordinator – PRANCE.
PRANCE is a not-for-profit organization that relies on donations and fund-raising to be able to continue to offer therapeutic riding to children and adults with special needs.
Without the revenue generated from this event, PRANCE is looking for alternative strategies to help off-set the income loss which is used for horse care including: regular veterinary checks and medication, farrier services, massage and chiropractic, feed and supplements, horse boarding, etc. Indeed, monthly horse care for the PRANCE horses runs on average $7,500/month or $90,000 per year.
The pandemic forced PRANCE to cancel both the spring session and summer camp program. “It’s been tough,” Johnston stressed. “We are slowly getting back in the saddle now so to speak but will have to dramatically reduce our riders in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.”
Despite the challenges PRANCE is optimistic that with public support, they can continue to operate and offer their much-needed services to the community.
Last year, the Southampton Craft Show generated a profit of $14,125.33 for PRANCE with approximately 141 vendors participating and 2,700 visitors attending the show. The event is also a great draw that brings people in to the downtown core of Southampton and is good for local businesses. The show is faithfully organized and run each year by the Southampton Craft Show Committee with help from many volunteers, all of whom share a commitment to PRANCE.
“PRANCE regrets not to be able to bring the Craft Show to Saugeen Shores this year. We will miss seeing so many longtime friends and supporters but we want everyone to focus on being safe and healthy,” added Johnston. “If you are able to support PRANCE this year by making a donation instead of that trip to the show, we would be very grateful.”