Pennsylvania politicos will not have an annual dinner in New York City to look forward to this December.
According to a news release from The Pennsylvania Society, the annual dinner, which was scheduled for Dec 5, has been cancelled due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
“Canceling the Annual Dinner was not an easy decision, but it was the only decision,” said President Edward Sheehan Jr. “So much remains in doubt regarding the severity of the COVID-19 virus this fall and winter. Our leadership Council simply was not comfortable putting our members and their guests at risk. By announcing now, we provide attendees with time to adjust their holiday plans.”
In place of the dinner and awarding a Gold Medal winner in 2020, the Pennsylvania Society announced that it will be placing its focus on saluting the frontline workers in the commonwealth who have battled this pandemic on behalf of the state.
“More importantly, we can begin to plan activities that properly honor Pennsylvania’s frontline workers who have sacrificed much during an unprecedented health crisis for their fellow Pennsylvanians,” Sheehan said. “The Pennsylvania Society is all about celebrating service to the Commonwealth we all love, and so we can think of no better focus this year than celebrating these selfless men and women.”
Although the dinner will not take place in 2020, the 2021 get-together is still on the schedule.
“We very much look forward to returning to New York in December 2021 and resuming the presentation of our Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement,” Sheehan said.
Previous Gold medal winners from The Pennsylvania Society for the past two decades include former Vice President Joe Biden (2013), Marjorie O. Rendell and former Gov. Ed Rendell (2015), Robert P. Casey (2010), Arlen Specter (2007), and former President George H.W. Bush (2003).
It is unclear what the rest of the weekend will hold in Manhattan without the gala dinner.