From a chamber's business expo to a video game presentation and even the Globe's annual spelling bee, events across the area are being canceled or postponed in order to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. The latest announcements include:
• The 43rd annual Joplin Globe Spelling Bee has been postponed in accordance with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the spread of COVID-19.
Champions from 68 area schools were scheduled to compete on Monday at Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, with supporting family members and teachers in attendance. After consulting with the event’s presenting sponsor, TAMKO Building Products, LLC and the event’s host location, Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, organizers agreed to follow guidelines regarding social distancing presented by the CDC.
TAMKO Director of Marketing and Communications Kim Eckerman said in a statement, “We believe it is the responsible decision for the safety of everyone in our community.”
Competitors will be contacted individually regarding the postponement and rescheduling.
“The Globe spelling bee has been a beloved community event for 43 years, so we did not take this decision lightly. We know how hard the students work to prepare, and we hope to see them compete later this spring,” said Amanda Stone, Globe spelling bee coordinator.
In addition to postponing the bee, the Globe is ensuring that readers across the region have access to important, breaking news related to the virus, regardless of whether they have a subscription. Local reports and selected national reports about the coronavirus, COVID-19 and their impact will not count against the five free monthly views offered to non-subscribers on joplinglobe.com.
For more information, contact The Joplin Globe Newspaper in Education office at 417-627-7288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
• Senior centers in Joplin, Webb City, Carthage, Carl Junction, Neosho, Noel and Lamar are canceling all of their events and closing their centers until March 30, according to a press release from the Area Agency on Aging Region 10.
Meal programs for homebound seniors will continue to operate as normal. Seniors who visit centers for lunch may also continue to receive meals — interested seniors must contact their senior center in order to receive the meals.
According to the release, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has given the state's agencies permission to close the centers in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus among a vulnerable population.
• The Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce has postponed its annual business expo, set for this weekend.
Ashley Siler, director of communications for the chamber, said that organizers were confident in precautions they had taken with the guidance of medical authorities But after several businesses withdrew over the last few days, "we have chosen to err on the side of caution," Siler said in a press release.
"Although there are no confirmed cases in our immediate community, the Newton County Health Department has now suggested that, due to the amount of projected traffic at our event, their recommendation would be to follow the CDC's protocol and not hold large public events at this time," Siler said in the release.
Chamber officials are looking at dates in the summer for rescheduling the event.
A Business After Hours event organized by Freeman Hospital Neosho and connected to the expo has also been canceled. The event was planned for 4 to 6 p.m. today.
• Staff members at Freeman Health System have announced the cancellation of the March O’ the Kidney, which was planned to take place on Saturday at Northpark Mall. The event was canceled as a precaution related to spread of the coronavirus, according to a news release from the hospital.
March O’ the Kidney is a 1-mile walk at Northpark Mall designed to raise awareness about kidney disease and to raise money for the Freeman Dialysis Fund.
Memory boards to honor a loved one will be available to sign at Freeman East Dialysis and Freeman Outpatient Dialysis Center in Webb City. Planned raffles of donated items will be conducted online, where supporters can also find a link to Donor Drive, where they can financially support the Freeman Dialysis Fund.
Details: krthomas@freemanhealth. com, 417-347-4629.
• A presentation about video game addiction set for Monday has been canceled. Cam Adair's "Confessions of a Video Game Addict" was to be featured at Pittsburg State University.
• The Joplin High School Language Team announced that the annual Foreign Language Field Day Competition held at Joplin High School on Friday has been cancelled, “due to precautions related to the COVID-19 and health department travel restrictions.” Foreign Language Field Day draws hundreds of students from area local high schools every year to test their language and cultural skills. Any paid registrations will be applied to next year.
• The next Pro Musica-sponsored concert, a combined musical performance by the Jupiter and Jasper string quartets, has been cancelled, according to Deborah Billings, Pro Musica’s executive director.
The concert was scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26, at the Joplin Family Worship Center.
“We want to do our part to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect the high-risk members of our community,” Billings wrote in a release Friday morning.
The arts education events often tied with the visiting groups will also be canceled, she said. Pro Musica is making every effort to reschedule the Jupiter/Jasper concert at a future date, Billings said, perhaps in May or June.
The final concert of Pro Musica’s 40th anniversary “Encore Performance Season,” featuring the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, is still a go, Billings said. That concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 24, at Missouri Southern's Corley Auditorium.
• Spiva Center for the Arts has canceled some events in connection with its PhotoSpiva photography contest and Small Works auction. While the two exhibits will continue, opening receptions set for Friday, March 20, have been canceled, and portfolio reviews by contest juror April Watson and an awards ceremony, scheduled for April 21, have also been canceled. Center officials hope to reschedule them at later dates.
The center will remain open with increased protocols for sanitization in line with CDC guidelines, according to a press release from the center. Events and classes will be limited to 20 people. More information for these and other events can be found at www.spivaarts.org.
• The Post Art Library has canceled three upcoming events, including a coloring book release party set for March 21, a poetry night set for April 3 and a exhibit reception on April 11.
• Events and programs sponsored by Missouri state parks scheduled through April 30 have been either postponed or canceled, according to a press release from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Visitor centers at state parks, campgrounds and lodging will remain open, but planned guided group or school tours, including tours of the Capitol, have been suspended until April 30.