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Nonprofits in Palm Beach County impacted by coronavirus

Posted at 1:21 PM, Mar 13, 2020

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. -- From national nonprofits to local organizations, many places are having to cancel or postpone major fundraising events to protect the health of those they serve, as well as their biggest donors.

One of those nonprofits, Little Smiles, serves 23,000 kids each year.

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“A majority of the kids we serve are already high risk, immunocompromised, they are currently in treatment. They are getting chemo. They are getting radiation,” said executive director Nicole Grossmayer.

The nonprofit says fears over the coronavirus has had them quickly switch their protocols when it comes to delivering toys to kids in the hospital.

“We’ve had to streamline on direct shipping and having things brought directly to our facilities to eliminate the number of hands touching it,” said Grossmayer.

As of now, their second-largest fundraiser of the year is a go. They plan to hold a golf tournament at PGA National on May 1, but they do worry about the possibility of having to cancel.

“That’s how we raise the money to serve our kids, so it’s a huge concern for us to not be able to continue on with the events we have planned and have budgeted for because that will directly impact the number of children we are able to serve in South Florida,” said Grossmayer.

Meanwhile, dozens of other nonprofits throughout Palm Beach County are having to pull the plug on their galas and fundraising events.

“We had to follow the CDC's recommendations. They said no groups of 100 or more. Our event usually has 250 people,” said Emily Pantelides, board member for the Jupiter Police Foundation.

The Jupiter Police Foundation can no longer hold its second annual Police Officers Ball scheduled for Friday evening at Trump National Club in Jupiter.

“Obviously our foundation survives on donations, but more importantly our foundation survives on having healthy policemen, healthy board members and healthy guests in the community,” said Pantelides.

While a lot of unknowns remain surrounding COVID-19, one thing for certain is these nonprofits refuse to give up on their mission.