LISTOWEL, ONT. -- There's an empty stage inside the Listowel Memorial Arena, and it's likely to stay that way, even though the Listowel Kinsmen had hoped to fill the old arena with thousands of people this weekend as part of Paddyfest, their largest fundraiser.

That won’t be happening now due to concerns over COVID-19. In fact, almost all the fundraising events that were part of Paddyfest have either been cancelled or postponed.

“The funds from Paddyfest are a big part of what we give back to the community,” says Chris White, Paddyfest Sponsorship Chair.

“We’ll be doing our best to reschedule to try and recoup those funds. Fortunately, we have a great business community in Listowel and area that provide us with cash sponsorships for Paddyfest,” says White.

White anticipates the hit to to Paddyfest revenues to be between 50 to 60 per cent.

In Kincardine, the local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter has had to postpone their biggest fundraiser of the year, Dancing with the Stars, from April 4 to May 9.

Yolanda Ritsema is the executive director with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kincardine and District.

“It is a big fundraiser for us and it is a big financial hit. Charities rely on fundraising events like Dancing with the Stars to fund what we do for the community,” she says.

Both organizations, and thousands of other non-profits and charities across Canada will be counting on donations from the communities they serve, to make up for these fundraising losses due to COVID-19.