Skal Philadelphia COVID-19 Town Hall

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Thank you to all who joined Skal Philadelphia’s COVID-19 Town Hall event!

In attendance, 21 Skal members had the opportunity to hear from the Skal Philadelphia Board. Here is a summary of the information shared:

  • President, Greg DeShields shared information on the CDC guidelines, and talked about the travel industry outlook. There are many resources listed on the US Travel Association website at: .
  • Treasurer, Frank Klare led the Skal Toast virtually! He then talked about the Florimond Volckaert Fund, which provides assistance to Skalleagues in times of need. For Skalleagues that would like to apply, visit:
  • Vice President, Mariska Bogle talked about the impact to small business, and provided some resources. There are a variety of programs available through the Small Business Administration:
  • Skal USA Representative, Debbie Magaldi talked about hotels in New Jersey. She mentioned that many of them are closing and offering to open as care facilities. Debbie also talked about the curfews implemented in New Jersey.
  • Secretary, Betsy Barber talked about the impact at Temple University, who recently moved all their classes to online. Colleges across the country had to quick find international students housing, as most colleges sent kids home. Many hotels jumped in to help house students! Betsy also talked about how the 2020 class will graduate and have challenges finding jobs.
  • Web Administrator, Amy Bendekovits talked about how to engage without contact. She recommended platforms such as Zoom, GoogleHangout, and Skype. There is a platform called TwoSeven, which allows people to watch movies online together. Amy also recommended visiting your neighbors via balconies or driveways.
  • Membership Director, Martin McDonough talked about the importance of networking organizations during times like these. It’s important to build trusting relationships, and to feel comfortable to reach out if you need help.
  • Director, David Hirsch explained the difference between layoffs, furloughs, and unemployment. He also updated the group on relevant legislature which is providing extra assistance to those who need.
  • Director, Don Gable talked about the current airline and cruise line policies, many of which are being very flexible with current and future travel arrangements.
  • Weldon Smith talked about our upcoming Twinning with Skal Monaco. He is looking for 4-5 Skal Philadelphia members who would like to be on the Twinning Planning committee. To join, email him at

Thank you to Greg DeShields for spearheading a great conversation and presentation! Thank you to the Board for their time and contribution! Thank you to all who joined!

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