Wisconsin Parents Association
37th Annual Conference and Resource Fair
May 8-9, 2020 | Stevens Point, WI
March 25, 2020
Dear WPA Members, Conference Speakers, and Vendors,
It is with truly heavy hearts the WPA Conference Committee and Board of Directors must cancel the Wisconsin Parents Association 37th Annual Conference and Resource Fair, scheduled for May 8-9, 2020.
We really struggled with this decision, and it is not the outcome we wanted. This conference is immensely important to us and to all of you. At the same time, the health and well-being of our member, conference speaker, and vendor families is foremost in our minds as we have been watching the COVID-19 pandemic unfold. We would like to express our sadness and disappointment to lose this incredible opportunity to gather with our members, as well as share ideas and inspiration with our speakers and with each other.
As of this writing, the decision to cancel is out of our hands. The Holiday Inn Stevens Point – Convention Center is canceling all events for May, as a result of the COVID-19 gathering restrictions which have been put in place.
The Conference Committee is doing everything we can to work with the Holiday Inn Stevens Point – Convention Center to finalize the cancellation, and secure all our arrangements for next year’s conference.
What you need to know:
- You do not need to take any action to cancel your conference registration. WPA will be automatically issuing refunds to all attendees, vendors, and speakers. You will be sent a refund check through the mail in the next 30 days. There will be no refunds issued through PayPal.
The following items will be refunded:
- Conference Registrations
- Saturday Lunches
- Resource Fair Registrations – including booth rentals, add-on services, and Welcome Bag literature insertions
- Used Book Sale Reservations
The following items will not be refunded:
- WPA Memberships and Renewals
- You are responsible for confirming the cancellation of your hotel room. WPA cannot confirm those cancellations for you nor are we responsible for your reservation costs if you do not cancel.
- Please be sure to save the date for next year’s conference: May 7-8, 2021.
Additionally, we want you to understand how this crisis is highlighting the strengths of our amazing WPA volunteers and members.
To date, WPA Conference Committee members have contributed more than 1,000 hours of volunteer work just in in-person meetings alone, to say nothing of all the outside work that has been completed. We are already using the work we’ve done to prepare for 2021’s conference, so not a minute of our energy will be wasted! We invite those who are interested in helping for next year to please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Despite the rapidly changing news around the COVID-19 pandemic, we did not receive one single cancellation from a speaker or vendor for our conference. In the early bird registration window alone, we received 127 registrations totalling 397 attendees for our 42 workshops and 34 Resource Fair exhibitors, vendors, and literature suppliers. Our amazing family of homeschoolers and supporters has been facilitating our success all throughout the planning process, and right through this difficult time. We even received requests from speakers and vendors who did not make this year’s deadline, but who want to join us next year. So even as we are cancelling this event, we are growing for the future.
The WPA Board of Directors continues to monitor COVID-19 developments, and is exploring options for holding WPA’s 2020 Annual Member Meeting. Watch for additional information in the coming weeks.
WPA remains incredibly strong and resilient: our all-volunteer, working Board is in touch on a daily basis, keeping all the wheels turning, and doing the unseen work to support all homeschoolers in Wisconsin. We continue to refine, enact, and build on our strategic plan to keep WPA relevant and viable well into the future. Our seemingly tireless QAC (Question Answering Committee) volunteers continue to field voicemails and emails every single day, giving timely and accurate information to all who ask, regardless of their WPA membership status. Our Legislative Watch volunteers remain on the job, keeping us all abreast of important news that can affect our homeschool laws. The WPA website and Facebook page continue to run smoothly, thanks again to our Board and supporting volunteers. Our Spring Newsletter is still on schedule, and will be in your mailboxes and inboxes next month as usual.
Even though we have had to come to this incredibly difficult decision, we are endlessly grateful for Wisconsin’s wonderful homeschooling community, we are thankful for your continued support of WPA, and we look forward to “Kindling the Flame” together in 2021! We wish you all continued good health.
Wisconsin Parents Association
Board of Directors and
2020 Conference Committee