Showsight August 2020


that it brought tears to their eyes when our event started moving in and they knew it was really happening. That alone gave me the assurance that we’d made the right decision to hold these shows! All of the thank you’s from exhibitors, vendors, superintendents, and AKC were very much appreciated. Back in March, we began evaluating the possibilities of holding our events in July. To be honest, I really did not expect it to be a problem so far out from the initial Covid 19 mass shut down. None- theless, I reached out to all the judges, stewards, photographers, facility, and to the superintendent to determine that if we had a show, would we have the necessary support to hold it? At that time, we had all but three judges on board, and all the other organizations were on board. We are blessed to have an incredible Greenville Con- vention Center facility, with over 225,000 square feet, and a very supportive event staff. After much discussion, we decided we could safely handle at least 2,000 dogs, so we set our limit to 2,000 dogs per day. The lowest number was based on our best guess estimate of how much parking was available and how many people would come with each entry, no shows, support staff needs, etc. We estimated each person would have around 48 square feet of floor space which should offer plenty of distance for people to spread out. This is the first show ever where we set an entry limit. We also closed the event to the public. Over the next couple of months, we spent time planning the layout. We threw out much of what we did in the past and came up with a completely new layout. We knew we needed to social distance, which required changing the ring layouts. We decided to have an entrance and a separate exit for each ring, which is also now part of the AKC

Thankfully, through our former AKC Delegate, Linda Ayers- Turner-Knorr, we had built a relationship with South Carolina State Representative Jason Elliott. I reached out to Rep. Elliott to help us reopen communication with the city manager. Rep. Elliott worked with City Councilman John DeWorken who contacted the City Manager, John McDonough, who put me in contact with the Health Risk Management department to review our plans. After looking over our detailed plans they gave their approval and agreed that this event was indeed a good event to function as a test and they would have observers to see how the plan would be implemented. As Cluster Chair and GKC Show chair, I was relentlessly dedi- cated to these shows for several reasons. I was hearing that the dog show community was suffering and needing to get back to work; PHA members, vendors, the superintendents, and AKC staff, judg- es, etc. Also, my community was hurting and needed to get back to work. To most people, dog shows are considered ‘non-essential’, but to those who needed to get back to work, our dog shows are part of what gives them employment. Within our local commu- nity, our event would help employ the Convention Center Event Staff, including electricians, security, EMT, maintenance, hospital- ity, custodial, and their parking staff. We also hire private secu- rity, clean up, and we provide customers to local businesses such as hotels, restaurants, golf cart rentals, septic company, fuel delivery, local stores, etc. To each of those businesses we are essential to the survival of their families. In April and May, when I doubted that I should continue, I called the convention center, hotels, restaurants, judges and handlers; the responses were of overwhelming joy that we were continuing to pursue the event. Later I was told by some


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