For the first time in 46 summers, the Ashland Elks Lodge No. 350 will not have a Sports Day.

Elks Sports Day committee co-chairmen Dicky Martin and George Stout decided together to cancel. They had not yet picked an honoree for this year’s event because they hadn’t been able to meet to winnow a group of nominees.

“We just had to cancel the thing,” Martin said. “We haven’t been able to meet. There’s eight, 10 of us on the committee. We don’t have any place to meet because the Elks is closed.”

Martin viewed the decision as the responsible response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The people that come to this thing are the older generation,” he said. “We have very few young people come. Basically, it’s for the older generation. We usually have about 100 people come, sometimes 120, and you just can’t get them in that room safely.”

With healthy-at-home directives beginning to relax, Martin considered waiting until the fall to have a ceremony.

“And then we got to thinking, we got high school football, college football, and it’s just hard to do it,” Martin said.

The lodge had held an annual Sports Day with an honoree from northeastern Kentucky every year since 1975. It’s typically in mid-June, because that’s when the turnout is best, Martin said.

“It’s no fault of our own, no fault of the Elks,” Martin said. “It’s just COVID-19, and we’ll deal with it, and we’ll have a 46th next year, by golly.”

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