JONESBORO — This year’s Best Under The Sun banquet has been canceled.

“It is with extreme sadness that we have officially had to cancel The Best Under The Sun banquet for 2020,” CityYouth Ministries Executive Director Denise Snider stated in an email Wednesday.

“I am very grateful for all of the support that you have all graciously shown to us over this difficult decision.”

The “Best Under The Sun” sports banquet has been a pivotal fundraiser for CityYouth Ministries for the last four years, Snider stated in an April 18 email, when the event was still being planned for late July.

“Not only does the banquet provide needed funding for CYM fall programming, it is a wonderful opportunity for athletes, coaches and families to celebrate years of hard work and commitment,” she said.

In spite of the disappointment, Snider said CityYouth Ministries still plans to honor area athletes and coaches who were named Best Under The Sun.

Each specialty athlete will have a yard sign that displays their honor as well as the logo of The Jonesboro Sun and other significant sponsors. They will also receive a T-shirt and hat.

Each athlete will have their medal or plaque and a $50 food card to an area pizza restaurant.

“We are using Brick Oven, Pizza Hut and Lost Pizza to accommodate the athletes’ hometown location,” Snider stated in the email. “We will be paying for a full page ad in the paper that will name all athletes and donors.”

Each sponsor will have a thank you from CityYouth Ministries added to their business location as well, Snider said.

“Most importantly, we are producing a video honoring all athletes and coaches as well as all sponsors,” she said. The video will run July 28, the evening the banquet was scheduled to be held, for families and sponsors to watch.

“The video will be on the CityYouth Facebook page at 6:30 on July 28, and will be something that the athlete, coach and family can enjoy,” Snider said. “Coach Blake Anderson will be presenting the welcome on the video that honors the named athletes and coaches. All sponsors will receive recognition for their financial donations as well.”

“This is sad for us and for the athletes that were named,” Snider said. “But we hope that we have implemented the alternative to the banquet with as much integrity as possible. We have been encouraged by each sponsor and we are most thankful for their continued partnership.”

CityYouth Ministries has booked July 27, 2021, at the Embassy Suites for next year’s Best Under The Sun banquet.