ST. LOUIS, Aug. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Local Knights of Columbus councils were honored with international service awards for outstanding achievements during an awards ceremony at the Knights' 135th annual international convention in St. Louis.
"Our international awards honor the year's most exemplary service projects at the local level," said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "The efforts of each award winner help underscore the great good that can be done when faith brings us together for a common cause."
The award categories and this year's recipients include:
Community Activities: Ascension of Our Lord Council 9623 of LaPlace, Louisiana
Culture of Life Activities: Western Batangas Council 4668 of Balayan, Batangas, Luzon South, Philippines
Youth Activities: Our Lady of Częstochowa Queen of Poland Council 14004 of Radom, Poland
Council Activities: St. Isidore Council 5898 of Leopold, Missouri
Family Activities: St. Joseph Council 8872 of Colbert, Washington
Church Activities: Winnipeg St. John Brebeuf Council 1107 of Winnipeg, Manitoba
Community Activities: Aiding Flood Victims
When flooding in southern Louisiana left thousands displaced, Council 9623 was one of the first groups to respond. The council immediately assisted with the urgent rescue of families struggling to reach safety. Across the region, members prepared and served more than 5,300 hot meals for families. They helped fill sand bags to deter the backflow from swelling rivers, removed damaged items from homes, and installed wheelchair ramps for the disabled. The council provided food baskets at Thanksgiving and truckloads of toys and household items for Christmas. The council members collected monetary donations totaling $30,187.
Culture of Life Activities: Care Packages for Expectant Mothers
Recognizing the lack of support for pregnant women in their community, Council 4668 organized Expectant Mother's Day. They named the project after the care packages they assembled and distributed, each containing seven items of use to pregnant women in need of support. Council members worked with vendors and doctors in the local community, including a pro-life gynecologist who agreed to provide free ultrasound examinations and consultations as well as medical care and advice throughout each pregnancy. In addition, knowing that many of the expectant mothers were in dangerous, violent situations, Council 4668 arranged for a police officer and a registered nurse to discuss their legal and medical rights, and those of their children.
Youth Activities: Sponsoring Pilgrims for World Youth Day
Council 14004 helped the youth from the war-torn Zaporizhia region of Ukraine to attend World Youth Day 2016 in Kraków, Poland. The young people had the opportunity to hear Pope Francis and to make pilgrimages to Our Lady of Częstochowa Parish and the Divine Mercy Shrine. In order to cover travel expenses, the council organized fundraisers — which included four concerts and auctions featuring gifts donated by celebrities — and garnered support from the local parishes and community. The council donated 50,000 Polish złoty (the Polish monetary unit) and organized over 170 Knights to volunteer for the pilgrimage.
Council Activities: Fundraisers and Prayers for a Sick Brother Knight
When a member of Council 5898, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, his brother Knights came together to conduct a variety of activities to raise funds for him. Weekly organizational meetings were attended by 30-50 people apiece, and each gathering began with a prayer for the man's health. The council worked with community members to hold 12 fundraising activities, including a softball tournament, a benefit dinner, auctions, and a raffle for an automobile. At the end of the two-month campaign, the council was able to present a donation of $81,508 to the sick member and his wife.
Family Activities: Helping a Young Boy with Cancer
When 12-year-old altar server, Gregory Morrow, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor, his mother quit her job to care for him. She planned on selling their house to cover medical expenses, but it was damaged and needed repairs before it could be sold. The Knights of Council 8872 made the repairs, replacing floors and windows, painting rooms and siding, and making other cosmetic improvements to the home to increase its value by $75,000. The Knights also hosted a pig roast that produced enough funds to cover the cost of the home repairs, and provide Gregory's family with an additional $16,000.
Church Activities: Keeping Christ in Christmas through Nativity Float
For the past five years, Winnipeg St. John Brebeuf Council 1107 has led the effort to design and construct a unique Christ-centered float for the local Santa Claus Parade. Each year, a council member opens his farm's heated shop where Knights from local councils and assemblies, in addition to local families, work together for hundreds of hours. This year, they constructed an illuminated Nativity float which was led in the parade by a contingent of 35 Knights. The council won the prize for best float in the parade.
SOURCE Knights of Columbus