Grand Knight’s Blog
Date: Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Time: . . . . Social Hour this month starting at 6:30 p.m. – see below
Place: I.C. Lower Church
Method: Live and in person
Activities and News Since Last Meeting
· Tootsie Roll Drive
The annual Columbus Day Weekend “Campaign for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities”
was an overwhelming success. We raised $2,210.56. To put this in perspective, in 2019, our last full-court press before the pandemic when we had outposts around town at the post offices and banks, we raised $2,575. This was an amazing accomplishment considering attendance at Masses is still down; people remain anxious about making contact with strangers; and we could not get permission at public venues such as the post office.
Thanks to Mike Wells for spearheading the effort at St. Mike’s; Dale Dolesh at St. Matthias; and Neil Cronin at I.C. Thanks also to all our other members (and wives!) who showed up after Masses and helped out. A half-hour of your time was certainly worth the effort. Special thanks also to our three pastors for the bulletin announcements – this really helped folks understand the important nature of this campaign.
Three families wrote checks totaling $350 and I sent them each a personal thank you card.
Let’s not forget the critical nature of this campaign and how it ties us in with the efforts of other groups in our church to work together and promote awareness of the value of every human life. If we are going to convince people that every life has infinite value, we have to stand up and put our money where our mouths are. In this campaign, that’s exactly what we do. Across the state we raise millions of dollars every year that goes to agencies that provide day care, respite care, relief aid and services to families with disabled children.
In keeping with prior practice, we “rounded-up” and your Grand Knight delivered a check for $2,200 to the State Deputy and State Officers at the Charity Ball in Leominster on October 23rd.
· St. Michael’s Parish Picnic
The weather and the attendance were both outstanding, and the St. Michael’s parish picnic was a big success. Thanks to Mike Wells, Tim Gruttner, and Kevin Armstrong for staffing our table in the Ministry Exhibition area. While we were there, we bumped into a Knight who recently moved to Hudson from Arlington, and we signed him up on the spot: welcome Brendan Butler to Council #81. He’s a cousin to the famous Butler hockey family in Marlboro. We also handed out contact cards and got some solid leads on several other potential new members. To top off the occasion, the Grand Knight’s wife won the pie baking contest. I’ve talked her into baking her award-winning pecan pie for our next council meeting. That should get you guys to the meeting on time.
· State Charity Ball
The state Charity Ball was held on October 23 in Leominster. Council #81’s brother knight, Mike Gibson, was the state program chairman who put the whole thing together, complete with a Disney theme. Your faithful Grand Knight was his personal lackey, making posters, selling raffle tickets, and performing other manual labor.
The festivities started with a Mass by state chaplain Fr. Matt Wescott from Foxboro (with Bethany Gibson as cantor), and all the state officers and even Deputy Supreme Knight Paul O’Sullivan were there. Even though attendance was limited because of COVID, of the councils that could send representatives, over $70,000 in tootsie roll money was delivered.
· Catholic Citizenship Essay Contest.
We are sponsoring this essay contest for religious education students in 8th through 11th grades. The printed materials have been disseminated to the Religious Education Directors at all three parishes.
They will run the contests according to their own time table, but we hope to see results by the end of November. We purchased two dozen nice quality wooden rosary beads and pouches, and a K of C Christmas Ornament for prizes to go along with the award certificates and cash awards.
· Keep Christ in Christmas Poster Contest.
At Mike Wells’ initiative, we are also sponsoring a poster contest for younger kids.
We have the printed program materials and will be soliciting a member to spearhead the program at each parish. Not much effort is required, just contact the pastor for approval and put up our posters where approved (i.e. church vestibules, etc.); collect the entries after a Mass around December 1st for judging; and set up an award ceremony (during or after a Mass) depending on how each pastor wants.
· Round Tables.
It’s official! We submitted the paperwork to the Supreme and State councils and our Round Table formations have been approved. Mike Wells is now the Round Table Coordinator for St. Michael Parish, and Deacon Elcio Dos Santos for the Brazilian/Portuguese Communities of Marlboro and Hudson. Although we were not approved for an official Round Table at St. Matthias, we are going to act like we do anyway. Dale Dolesh will be the coordinator at St. Matthias and be the point-man for contact with the pastor and informally organize St. Matthias members and report and coordinate activities with the council.
· Coats for Kids
We have 3 dozen coats on the way due to arrive around Thanksgiving. I’m looking for as many leads as we can get as to where we can place these coats. If you know of a needy family, or know of an organization that helps out like this, please let me know: GrandKnight@kofcmarlboro.org
· New Members
We have been notified that several new members have joined the Knights online, and indicated they reside in Marlboro or Hudson, or elsewhere nearby. However, they are not automatically enrolled in a council by online membership. Mike Wells and I have reached out to each of them by email or phone and invited them to join our next council meeting. We look forward to meeting them and welcoming a few into Council #81.
Programs and Upcoming Events
· New Member “Meet and Greet.”
In light of the six or so new members in the area without a council affiliation yet, and the six or so prospective members we met at the St. Mike’s picnic, we will hold a “Social Hour” at starting at 6:30 p.m. before our next regular Council meeting. We will have some refreshments and invite all the new members and prospects to join us and get to know each other. Please plan to be early for the 6:30 p.m. start and help us welcome our new members and answer questions to our prospective new members. The regular Council business meeting will start at 7:30.
· Free Throw Challenge
Neil Cronin will have a report on the progress of this program.
· Upcoming Program Ideas
In the November “Special Edition” of the Grand Knight’s blog, we discussed several options for upcoming programs. We hope you have given some thought to that and have some fresh ideas for the upcoming year.
Our newly elected Supreme Knight, Patrick Kelly, described the nature of the crossroads where we find ourselves:
“On every front, the end of the pandemic is an invitation to action. Charity is our highest calling, and it demands our renewed focus. Where there’s pain, let us heal. Where there’s grief, let us comfort. Where there’s need, let us meet it, in new and creative ways.”
So let’s answer that call to action with some fresh programming in the new year. Let us know how you think we should respond, and where you can volunteer to help us meet the new challenges.
Other Meeting Agenda Items
· Reminder – Use of Group Email:
When you receive a group email from email@example.com, the “Reply” button will be sent to all the members on the list. So please don’t hit “Reply” unless you have something to add of general concern to everybody in the group and you want everybody to see it. Instead, if you just want the Grand Knight to know you got it, or will attend, or have a personal question, address your email directly to GrandKnight@kofcmarlboro.org, and it won’t annoy everybody in the group. This will help keep the chatter down and make the group email system more productive. And remember, the email address “GrandKnight@kocmarlboro.org“ will work for the current Grand Knight as well as whoever is Grand Knight for years to come.
· Prayers / Intentions:
I have almost nothing to report, which is good news in and of itself. Rich Uber is recovering nicely, and Andy Tivnan is still hanging on for a heart transplant.
· Other business?
If you have an item to add to the agenda, please let me know.
If you have any news to report, email GrandKnight@kofcmarlboro.org.
See you all Tuesday night.
Mike Tremblay, Grand Knight