A very merry Christmas to one and all! And for those who celebrate in December other special holidays, we wish you a joyous time whether it's Bodhi Day, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice or many others.
The shadow of the pandemic loomed large over our beloved Centre in 2020. We were closed for five months due to the COVID-19 lockdown, and from July to November, we were able to welcome small groups for a variety of day-events and week-long activities through our "safe, slow, small" gradual re-opening. We launched many new projects over the year, including an additional 32 panels added to the original 19 in our solar array. In the first full month of operation, clean, green energy production was up 150% over the same period in 2019.
** Click on the link below for a six-page "newsy" newsletter **
We've been busy planning a dynamic 2021. The health and well-being of our guests, staff and neighbours is our top priority, but we do expect to be able to welcome not only most of our "regulars" (NimbleFingers, SOYA Yoga Academy, BC Swing Camp, Five Weeks of Summer and so much more), but we have new events and activities on the calendar.
On the financial front, you will find key figures in our latest newsletter: In navigating the pandemic storm, we have lost $700k in earned income from cancelled events. With prudent financial management, we have contained our costs and generated new revenue sources. By the end of November, our operating deficit was relatively small when set against the year's losses, but still significant.
We are deeply grateful to many generous donors who stepped up during 2020 with financial gifts to help us weather the storm, and also allowed us to invest in people, place and programs. Thank you!
This year, we are inviting our many friends to consider two new ways to show their love for our Centre. Sorrento60 looks forward to our 60th anniversary in 2023 - we are asking our friends to become sustaining supporters of the Sorrento Centre. Also, our colleagues at the Sorrento Centre Foundation have launched the Melissa Green Fund to provide financial support for low-income persons to join in Sorrento Centre programming. Look for details on both in the newsletter (click on the link below).
The COVID-19 pandemic is the most terrible public health crisis that most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. With global reach and local impact, there is no escaping the awful impact. The news in recent days of a vaccine offers some hope that in the coming days (weeks? months??) we may be able to join together again.
For as much of 2020 as we were able to do so, the Sorrento Centre offered a safe and healthy refuge from the pandemic storm. This past year, in addition to hosting people on our beautiful lands and with a growing number of on-line activities, we launched an emergency meal program that has provided more than 14,000 tasty and nutritious breakfasts, lunches and dinners to people who are hungry in our region.
On our 24-acre main campus, with its waterfront on the Shuswap, and on our 8-acre natural farm, we aspire to be "a gathering place for all". In 2021, we are committed to extending that generous hospitality in all its forms.
Thank you to all who have contributed to the life and work of the Sorrento Centre.
The Rev'd Michael Shapcott