Knights of Columbus
Our Lady of Fatima Knights of Columbus Council 9597 was chartered June 24, 1987 and has grown into an active group of approximately 100 members who have been instrumental in the work of the parish with focus on Church, Community, Council, Family, Youth and Culture of Life. All men of the Parish are invited to become Knights.
The Knights are involved in many Parish activities such as the Peaches for Seminarians which is a fundraising drive to help offset educational expenses for Seminarians. During the summer, the Knights take orders for August delivery for boxes of fresh Palisade peaches from the West Slope. Pickup day is a busy event from Knights directing traffic and loading peaches to the American Heritage girls selling their homemade peach pies.
One of the major fundraising events is the monthly pancake breakfast held every third Sunday. The Knights have been creative with the breakfast, matching flavors to the holidays. Besides plain pancakes the variety of flavors includes gingerbread, applesauce, red velvet, pumpkin, beer pancakes and chocolate chip. Variety is not restricted to pancakes: on St. Patrick’s Day they provide corned beef hash and on Palm Sunday you will see palm sugar. Besides focusing on supporting the Seminarians, the Knights donate the proceeds to other Parish groups such as the Gabriel House and the World Youth Day Pilgrims.
The Knights serve the community in many ways, one of which is the annual Tootsie Roll drive for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. You may have seen them in front of your local stores dressed in yellow vests handing out Tootsie Rolls and asking for donations to help support the coffee houses and schools which serve Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.
For a number of years, the Knights of Our Lady of Fatima would drive around town and pick up developmentally disabled and handicapped persons and drive them to the “Coffee House” where they could visit with their friends and enjoy the evening. They would do this once or twice a month.
Our Lady of Fatima Council 9597 meets twice a month for their business and social meetings. A formal membership drive is conducted annually with a celebration of Mass attended by the Knights dressed in their vests and regalia. One of the benefits of being a Knight is the Knight’s Insurance Program which for 38 years has received A. M. Best’s highest rating, A++.
In remembrance of Knights who have passed on, their fellow Knights hold a Memorial Mass in which their widows are invited. It’s a solemn celebration with empty chairs reserved for each deceased member, and as the names are called, a red rose is placed on the empty chair.
The Annual “Keep Christ in Christmas” party is a hit with the kids. A short history of traditions is followed by a visit from St. Nicholas. Gifts have varied throughout the year from typical toys to symbols and coloring pages depicting the life of St. Nicholas. This is an enjoyable family affair with the Knights providing turkey, ham and mashed potatoes; the salads and desserts are a pot luck venue.
The Knights are involved in many activities for youth with the annual essay and poster contests, free throw contests, pinewood derby, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts activities and many more throughout the year. The Knights also help with donations to Our Lady of Fatima School such as purchasing Bibles, table and chairs, and laptops.
The “Cheers! To Life!” ultrasound beer paring dinner has become a fun and significant fundraiser for support of Respect Life causes, specifically the purchase of ultrasound machines for worthy medical facilities vetted by the State Council’s ultrasound Program. This event has gained much appreciation, and to keep the high quality of the dinner, ticket sales are limited to 200 attendees.
In addition to the above highlights, other events the Knights have participated in are the Archbishop’s Respect Life Mass/March and holiday decoration of the Church. The October blood drives were a big hit in the past. They were scheduled around Halloween which created many humorous comments about the timing of the blood drive.
Delivering food baskets for Easter and Thanksgiving is an enormous effort involving everyone in the Parish, which provides over 400 food baskets to the needy families. The Knights help support this effort by providing manpower and leadership which keeps the program going.