COVID surge prompts changes to Vera Bradley Classic

Local News

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – The Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer is paring back some of the events in its annual fundraiser in light of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases across the country and in Indiana. The Classic raises millions of dollars for breast cancer research with golf and pickleball tournaments.

The pickleball tournaments on September 17 and 18 and the golf tournaments on September 20 will still happen as planned, but there will now be masking and social distancing policies. The Classic’s Celebration Dinner is now canceled. It would have been on the 20th following the golf outings. The foundation said the cancelation is due to crowd size limitations and the inability to socially distance at the venue.

The silent auction that is usually at the Classic Celebration Dinner will now be online and open to all event volunteers and participants.

The Classic is traditionally held in June, but the foundation moved it to September for 2021, hoping the prevalence of the virus would be lower and because the COVID-19 vaccines would be more widely available.

“The health and safety of our Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Classic participants, sponsors, volunteers and our community remain our top priority. Given the current COVID-19 situation in our area, we feel it is prudent to act with caution and proactively modify our Classic schedule of events to minimize risk and protect our stakeholders,” Lynda Houk, Executive Director for the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer said in a news release. “Even during these uncertain times, the commitment to our organization and to raising funds for breast cancer research has been inspiring and incredibly gratifying. While our Classic events will not proceed as we had originally planned, we have some surprises up our sleeve to ensure everyone involved enjoys a fun, memorable and safe experience!”

The Foundation said it will monitor the ongoing COVID-19 conditions and be in contact with local and state health officials to determine if more changes to the Classic’s schedule or events are needed.

Money raised at the Classic supports the research at the Vera Bradley Foundation Center for Breast Cancer Research at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

To date, the foundation has raised $36 million. Despite the in-person Classic being canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic, the foundation still raised $1.4 million for breast cancer research last year.

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