Stawell Athletic Club president Neil Blizzard was devastated when the Easter carnival was postponed earlier this year because of COVD-19.
But he says he understood it had to be done.
Now, Mr Blizzard and the Stawell Gift organisers are looking ahead, but are unsure what the future might bring.
Mr Blizzard said the loss of the event at Easter hurt financially, with plenty spent to bring the gift to life.
While some money was refunded, not all could be.
Mr Blizzard said the club also missed revenue from things like ticket sales.
"There are a lot of costs involved," he said.
"It's not great from a financial point of view. We've got a deal with the government, so there's some security there.
"It's something we had to do and I understand that."
Mr Blizzard said coronavirus had had a huge effect on events, businesses and people in Stawell, but also across the country.
"There's just nothing we can do abut it, which is harder because if there's something you could do, you could change things," he said.
Mr Blizzard said it was hard to predict what effect a year without the gift would have on its competitors.
"There's such a range of athletes in professional running," he said.
He said a number of amateur athletes also headed to Stawell each year to test themselves.
He said it was difficult to train without an event to motivate.
"You can train every day, but you need the goal posts," he said. "You need something to strive for."
Mr Blizzard hoped a professional circuit could be up and running by the end of the year.
But he said the virus would have an effect on other events too, with things like lost sponsorship deals likely to cause issues.
"Some events won't make it to the starting line, which is sad," he said.
"I'm surprised there's any sports this year at this stage. I'm worried we're too eager to get sport back."
Mr Blizzard said once sports and events could resume, there would be a period of playing catch-up.
He said for the Stawell Gift, this would affect considerations like production companies and oval preparations.
"We work well with council and we'll get the oval, but will we get preparation time?" he said.
"To get it up to Stawell Gift standards takes a lot time - eight weeks. That's coming off summer, when it's only had cricket on it."
Mr Blizzard said people might opt to play football in the summer to make up for the delayed season.
He said if this happened, it would potentially damage the oval, requiring longer preparation time.
But he has faith if the event can go ahead, it will.
"The council's groundspeople do the most amazing job. If we can have the gift at Easter, they'll get it done," he said.
Mr Blizzard said the most anyone could do at this stage was follow the advice of medical experts.
"It's a bit of the uncertainty," he said. "I think the government has done a great job in controlling it. The big concern is the way out.
"We'll wait and see what happens on Friday with the federal government, and then with Dan on Monday and then go with it.
"There will unfortunately be some businesses that won't recover from this.
"When I was in business we gave to local events. When businesses are back up, it's important the local community supports them.
"It's a long road."
Mr Blizzard said the Stawell Gift committee was in regular contact with each other to check in, and he encouraged others to do the same.
"It's hard for everybody," he said. "Mental health becomes a huge problem in these times. Check on people."
Overall, Mr Blizzard is choosing to keep a positive attitude.
"The gift will be back bigger and better - that's my prediction," he said.
"That's with the knowledge we have at this stage."
EVENT cancellations due to COVID-19 have cost the Wimmera and southern Mallee more than $15 million, a new survey has found.
A Wimmera Development Association survey of 40 events scheduled between March 22 and May 31 found organisers forecast cancellations would cost $15.392 million in direct event expenditure.
Event organisers said it would cost a further $7 million in indirect expenditure.
They believed their groups also lost more than $800,000 in direct revenue and more than $120,000 in surplus.
Health advice and social distancing forced organisers to cancel or postpone plans due to COVID-19.
The survey found this affected almost 60,000 participants, with more than 20,000 day trips forfeited along with 36,000 overnight visitors who would have stayed about 75,000 nights.
More than 20 of the community, cultural and sporting events surveyed were due to occur in Horsham Rural City, with seven in Northern Grampians shire and six in Yarriambiack shire. These included annual drawcards such as the Stawell Gift, Grampians Grape Escape and Horsham Country Music Festival.
Wimmera Development Association executive director Chris Sounness said the region had a vibrant autumn events calendar, centred around Easter.
"Events are an important part of the Wimmera community, playing a major role in bringing the community together and attracting visitors to the region," he said.
"Early into the response to COVID-19, we realised the cancellation of these events was going to have huge impacts in our region - financially and socially - and these results paint a powerful picture of that impact."
More to come