District 53 Coronavirus Update

Message from the District 53 Senior Team

As a country and world, we are facing unprecedented challenges as the result of the ongoing Coronavirus COVID19 pandemic. We know that many clubs in our district have had their meeting locations impacted. And gatherings of any kind are being discouraged or prohibited by State and/or Municipal officials. Of course, your top priority must be the health and well-being of your members, and we trust that the club decisions that you are making will reflect that priority.

We encourage you to practice flexibility and adaptability in your planning and club management. We’ll be offering webinars and programs in upcoming days to help you, and your areas and divisions, stay healthy and connected. We thank you in advance for your continued service to your club and District.

Online Meeting Resources

Five page guide to help role-holders conduct Zoom online meetings

Zoom Video Conferencing

WebEx Video Conferencing

Division Contest Information & Training Webinars

Please refer to the Division Contest Schedule for the dates of all remaining division contests, along with information pertaining to online training for contestants and functionaries.

Club Information

Many Toastmasters clubs are losing access to their meeting sites, as town halls, community rooms, eldercare facilities, churches, and other venues close their doors to outside groups or simply prohibit events.

The Board of Directors has made the exception that all clubs in all Districts can meet entirely online, as needed, effective immediately and until further notice. Read the March 12th statement (PDF) from Toastmasters International. We invite all District 53 clubs to begin meeting online, and to use the Internet to “close the social distance” with fellowship and community interaction in challenging times.

If you continue to meet in person, please consider using an alternative to handshaking and other social distance strategies per the CDC recommendations.

Toastmasters District 53 2020 Conference Cancelled

After an Emergency Executive meeting with Region 9's International Director, Regional Advisor, and District Directors, District 53 Senior Team voted unanimously to cancel our District Conference for this program year due to the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our next District Conference will be held in Connecticut in May 2021.

For members who registered for the 2020 conference, the District Registration Manager and Finance Manager are working through this task and refunds should be available on or around April 15th.

Please note: District 53’s Spring 2020 District Council Business Meeting will be held as an online meeting covering district officer elections, district realignment, and finance reviews. The District Executive Committee will meet on Sunday, March 29th to discuss an alternative date. The “Call to Meeting Notification” will be sent to all District Council members one month prior to this meeting.

Resources for Information about COVID-19

Be sure to take appropriate precautions as recommended by the CDC. We also recommend that you familiarize yourself with your state's public health responses: Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.

Updated Information from Toastmasters International

Area, Division, or District events can no longer be conducted in person, on or prior to June 1, 2020. As an alternative, we encourage Areas, Divisions, and Districts to host events online to help clubs and members through this difficult time.

Each District must conduct its Annual District Council Meeting online, rather than in person, on or prior to June 1, 2020. More guidance on conducting an online Annual District Council Meeting will be forthcoming.

District Marketing Campaign

Due the disruption of club meeting locations, we are suspending the planned marketing campaign until further notice.

Toastmasters International Coronavirus Update

Toastmasters International is monitoring the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on clubs and members around the world, as well as the effect on current and upcoming District activities. Refer to the Toastmasters COVID-19 webpage for the latest messages and updates from International Headquarters. Please watch this accompanying video from International President Deepak Menon regarding the coronavirus.