QUINCY -- What started out as an idea to put together a large community event this summer has been revamped to provide assistance completing the U.S. Census.
The Jackson Lincoln Pool, Bella Ease and the Quincy Family YMCA are teaming up from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Jackson Lincoln Pool grounds, 701 N. Eighth, for the event. Visitors will be offered a free packaged meal and packet of information on local programs and services. Computers will be on hand to fill out the census form.
Jim Chamberlain, CEO of the YMCA of West Central Illinois, said the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to host the event as originally proposed.
"It was scaled down through the pandemic, and just continued to be scaled down," Chamberlain said. "Most recently, we were still planning a smaller community event where we were going to bring in a bunch of organizations from throughout the community and just promote all the great things in the community, and we were going to have a cookout and have some fun activities to bring the community together.
"With this surge, we thought it's not in the best interest of the community to keep people safe."
Even with the scaled-down event, the Complete Count Committee asked that it be used to help promote the census.
"It wasn't the original intent, but it's a great opportunity to promote the benefits of the census for the community," Chamberlain said. "A lot of those benefits give right back to the community and to the people in need."
The self-response rate in Quincy as of Thursday is 71.5%. The Adams County self-response rate is 72.6% with the state of Illinois 67.5%.
Every household that fills out the census form will receive a free gift card and will be entered in a drawing to win a $500 gift card.
As far as a community event, stay tuned for 2021.
"We've been planing already for what can we do next year, what it could look like and how do we rally the community next year," he said.