This Monday, we made the difficult decision not to go ahead with hosting our 22nd Annual Veterans Day Dinner scheduled for November 8th as planned. Our annual event which we’ve held in honor of Veterans Day will be postponed until January 17, 2019.
We have hosted our annual gala for several years at the Palace Hotel and our reservation has been in place for nearly a year. The venue is under Marriott management. You may have heard that workers have been on strike for more than two weeks. Last week, management delayed negotiation meetings that were scheduled to take place over three days in Las Vegas. With no progress toward a new contract, 7,000 workers took to the streets of San Francisco in protest this past Saturday. Picketers are growing in size and determination, which impacts our planned event.
As an organization that serves primarily low-income veterans — many of whom work in lower wage and/or hourly positions like these hotel workers, we cannot in good conscience cross the picket line. We have no reason to believe that a new contract will be negotiated prior November 8th. After careful consideration, we determined our best option for our organization and supporters was to postpone our event until January 17, 2019.
Veterans Day is an appropriate day for such a celebration, but so is any day. Veterans are out on the streets every day and night, and Swords is out there year-round working to address veteran homelessness.
For those of you who purchased tickets, made a donation or became one of our generous sponsors, we are grateful for your support and hope that this date change does not impact your commitment. Your reservations are still in place unless we receive a cancellation from you. To all of our supporters, please know that our annual gala raises critical funds for Swords to Plowshares. We rely on your support and hope you will join us in January.
The holiday season will come and go in the blink of an eye. Therefore, for those of you who planned to make a pledge or purchase tickets, but haven’t yet done so please do so at your earliest convenience.