Pickerington Food Pantry executive director Vanessa Niekamp has announced the pantry’s annual Gala fundraiser has been postponed.

This year’s Pickerington Food Pantry Gala was slated for 7-11 p.m. this Saturday, March 14 at the Violet Township Wigwam, 10190 Blacklick-Eastern Road NW, Pickerington. It is the food pantry’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

“The health and well-being of our community is a top priority for us,” Niekamp said in a statement to the Pickerington Times-Sun. “To that end, and due to the direction from Gov. DeWine, announcing that an order will be forthcoming regarding mass gatherings ... the pantry will postpone the Gala scheduled for this Saturday, March 14, 2020.

“We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we all look out for one another during this public health threat. We promise to communicate a new date for the event as soon as permitted, as I am sure we will all need a good Roaring Twenties Party after this.”

Niekamp made the announcement Thursday afternoon, March 13.

Earlier that day, DeWine released an order stating, “We shouldn’t panic, but we should take rational actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and others.

“What we are seeing with this virus is predictable and we have the ability to control risk. Every expert has told us that there is a risk in any kind of mass gathering, so you must ask yourself if going to a large event is worth the risk.”