Closings & Fund the Gap Updated on April 17th, 2020

UPDATED April 17, 2020 -

In accordance with the mandatory Safer-at-Home ordinance from Florida Governor Ron Desantis we will remain closed through April 30th, 2020

“Put first things first and we get second things thrown in: put second things first & we lose both first and second things.” C. S. Lewis

The first thing is the health and welfare of our staff, volunteers and visitors.

Due to this public health crisis we closed to the public on March 18, 2020 at 4 pm. While closed we continue to have volunteers working on the grounds for clerical operations, security and to work on special projects. Our volunteers are adhering to the CDC guidelines of social distancing. Our staff members have been temporarily laid-off.

We truly missed the spirit of friendship and community that was to take place at our 16th Annual Spring Frolic. Our events are more than fundraisers. They are a gathering of our volunteers, visitors, vendors and friends for a great weekend of music and fun.

All field trips scheduled through April 30th have also been cancelled. It sure is quiet without the laughter and boisterous sounds of a hundred or so elementary school children running around. Any schools that made deposits can request either a credit for a future field trip or a refund. We are anticipating that if we are able to open May 1st it will most likely be quite-a-while before we get back to a full schedule of field trips.

As you can see this closure, the lack of field trips and the cancellation of this major event has definitely created an unforeseen financial hardship for the Settlement.

Last month we asked our friends to contribute to our Fund the Gap fundraiser in order to help ease this burden. A group of very special friends of the Settlement agreed to match contributions up to $16,500.00 made by March 31st, 2020.

I am so very happy to share that our friends have really come through because we exceeded our goal of $16,500 and raised a total of $22,550!

Your contributions to the Fund the Gap campaign combined with the possibility of receiving help in the form of federal assistance are what we need to bring our staff back, pay our bills and open once again. It is great that we exceeded our goal! However for us to survive in this current environment without field trips or festivals we are going to need continued support.

We understand that we are all experiencing very uncertain times and that many individuals, businesses and other non-profits are also facing hardships. If you are in a position to help we thank you. Please continue to support us and visit our Fund the Gap page on our website.

We are all in this together and one day soon we will look back and realize that we did the right thing when we kept first things first.

Thank you all for your generosity!

Debra West

I hope we see you,

I hope we will

join you and the band

at that live oak tree stand

I hope we see you

returning here still

just before Easter

just east of Astor

in Barberville

Song lyrics by Brian Smalley (with slight modifications)

Enjoy the memory of Brian's 2014 performance of Barberville at the Spring Frolic (below)

P.S. In case you didn’t receive your hard copy of the most recent news letter in the mail click here for a download.

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