Lititz

The Beck Band Shell has been the center of the Queen of the Candles, a highlight of the 4th of July festivities in Lititz Springs park for decades. This years celebration was cancelled because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

This month, the Rotary Club of Lititz will make decisions about its annual donations.

But the cancellation of its August craft show due to the pandemic means the civic club didn't make about $90,000 used to fund donations that last year were spread around to nearly two dozen local nonprofits.

Any donations this year will have to be funded out of the club’s reserves and won’t match the level of giving to Lititz area groups that’s been made possible by the craft show, which had been slated for Aug. 8.

“All of them (local nonprofits) rely a little bit on donations from our club, and while we hate to do it (cut back donations), there’s not much we can do about it,” said Tom Oehme, Rotary club member and chairman of the annual craft show.

While the cancellation of the busy schedule of community events in Lititz has been a blow to restaurants and retailers who benefit from visitors, it’s also a problem for the groups that have come to rely on donations from the groups that organize the events.

The Lititz Public Library is looking at a shortfall of at least $20,000 without a donation from Rotary and the Kiwanis Club, which generates the money from its October Chocolate Walk, another event that has been canceled this year.

Library director Ryan McCrory said the missing donations compound the loss of about $15,000 typically generated by the library’s annual book sales, which have been cancelled. Possible additional funding from the county, program adjustments and other cost-cutting will be needed to close the budget gap, he said.

“We remain confident that we will be able to make it through, but it is a strain,” he said.

The cancellation of the Fourth of July celebration in Lititz Springs Park has also created a dilemma for the event’s organizing committee, which can typically count on around $60,000 in proceeds to pay for maintenance and improvements at the park.

“With this year's funds, we were hoping to put a large amount on upgrading some older playground structures,” said Kellye Martin, who chairs the July 4th Committee, and adds that alternate fundraising has only brought in around $15,000.