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43rd TCF National Conference

July 24 - July 26

The Compassionate Friends National Conference is a weekend spent surrounded by other bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings. It is a place where hope grows and friendships are made with others who truly understand. With inspirational keynote speakers, abundant workshops for everyone’s wants and needs, and a remembrance candle lighting program culminating with the annual Walk to Remember, this time of healing and hope is the gift we give ourselves. Join us as together we remember and share the everlasting love we have for our precious children, siblings and grandchildren.

The 43rd TCF National Conference will be in held in Atlanta, GA on July 24-26, 2020. “Sharing Sweet Memories of Love” is the theme of this year’s event, which promises more of last year’s great National Conference experience. This year’s conference will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Avenue in downtown Atlanta. We’ll keep you updated with details here, on the national website as well as on our TCF/USA Facebook Page and elsewhere as they become available. Plan to come and be a part of this heartwarming experience. 

• Choose to attend from nearly hundred different workshops and sharing sessions, given by professionals and also individuals just like you.
• Take advantage of “Healing Haven” to receive free personal services such as a massage.
• Craft items to commemorate the love for your family member in the “Crafty Corner”.
• Step away for a quiet moment of pause in the “Reflection Room”.

An Update from The Compassionate Friends About Our National Conference

Dear Compassionate Friends,

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the NIH put it best this past week when he said, “We don’t set the timeline. The virus sets the timeline.” We at The Compassionate Friends are dealing with that reality regarding our upcoming 2020 National Conference in Atlanta, which is scheduled for July 26-28, 2020. We want to share our current thoughts about the conference.

Our board and Executive Leadership have been meeting on a continual basis to discuss the current circumstances and our options. We’ve been reaching out to experts in the field to see what other organizations with conferences are doing when confronted with these same realities.

TCF leadership is monitoring the COVID-19 situation on an ongoing basis and is responding as quickly as we can with needed support for our members such as our new training for Chapter Leaders on how to continue holding chapter meetings virtually. We are talking through the conference circumstances with our host hotel in Atlanta and are adjusting these conversations as our national information changes weekly and daily. With these decisions, we’re cognizant of multiple needs to be met including:

• Continued support of our members at a time when it’s needed more than ever.
• Addressing contract and timeframe aspects that are informed by outside national and state decisions in addition to our own.
• Keeping our members as safe as possible.

We are developing contingency plans should it become necessary to change our current conference structure and plans. We are keeping all options open and discussing them daily. This letter will be our starting point for communicating updates and changes to our full TCF membership, and we’ll continue these regularly as we have new information to share.
We realize in the past few weeks you’ve most likely been inundated with COVID-19 and pandemic information. Here are a few reminders and additional tips for all of us while we settle into our new normal:

• Please continue to wash your hands diligently for at least 20 seconds as this is the strongest line of defense right.
• Consider buddying with one another so that we all have someone to check in on and someone who is checking in on us.
• Let’s make sure we’re identifying who we know who may not have support or what they need right now. The newly bereaved have more difficulty identifying their needs and having a voice to reach out.
• Use compassion when communicating with others. This is our founding and why we’re here.

Please know that our thoughts are with you. We have heard from many of you about how this crisis is affecting you and your families. We know that when this crisis passes, even in the best of circumstances, we will have many more people reaching out to TCF. We hope all who need us will find us, and all who find us will be helped.

Please read the sidebar with a short note from the TCF Foundation on how they are responding to the current economic downturn sparked by the COVID-19 crisis.
Thank you for your continued commitment to our children, grandchildren, and siblings during these most difficult times. Please stay healthy and safe.

Debbie Dullabaun
Dales’s Mom
President, Board of Directors
The Compassionate Friends

Shari O’Loughlin
Connor’s Mom & Patti’s Sister
CEO/Executive Director
The Compassionate Friends

An Accompanying Message from The TCF Foundation

Dear Compassionate Friends,

As you may know, TCF Foundation is an endowment fund that is overseen by a Board of Trustees and managed by Vanguard. The Foundation provides about 10% of TCF’s annual operating budget. The Foundation’s funds are invested for conservative, long-term growth, mostly in the shares of U.S.-based companies and in bonds. The annual distribution to TCF is in keeping with a well-accepted formula that is predictable and reliable.

The Foundation’s diverse portfolio is down about 20% in the past quarter and is performing better than the Dow Jones Industrial Average. We have been talking with the Vanguard fund managers during this crisis and we believe that our investment strategy continues to be fundamentally sound.
We always welcome contributions to the Foundation but ask that you consider making a special donation to TCF and its operations during this crisis.

Please be safe and thank you for being a Compassionate Friend.

John Santoro
Paula’s Dad
President, Board of Trustees
TCF Foundation


Pre-registration will be available soon.


Hotel Reservations

Our hotel block is now officially open for the 2020 TCF National Conference in Atlanta. Reservations can be made online or by calling Marriott Reservations directly at (866) 469-5475 and ask for the group rate for The Compassionate Friends 2020 Annual Conference.



July 24
July 26
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