2018-2019 Faith In Action submissions


Faith

Project Title: Deceased Knights Memorial Mass

Project date: 11/2/18        Council number: 12290           Grand Knight: David Mitchell

Participation - members: 20  non members:25    Total participants: 45       Total volunteer hours: 45

Program Planning: Cost:  $25    Time:   20 hours         Members Recruited: 0  Donations: 0

Purpose and goals of program: This is a mass in memorial to the deceased knights of St. Benedicts Council #12290.  The goal is to honor those knights and their surviving family members.

Whom does this project benefit?:

What problem or need did this project resolve?:

Why did the council select this project?:

Describe the success of the project: We began with a rosary prayed by the members of our council and families of deceased knights, followed by the mass.  A roll call was done and as each name was mentioned a rose was placed in a vase on the altar steps.  Judging by how spiritually moving the mass was, it was a great success.

   



Life

 

Project Title: Council 4859 Efforts in Support of Catholic Men for Life Rally at the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Anchorage

Project date:   7/1/18 to present     Council number:   4859                     Grand Knight: Bill Fasser

Participation - members: 25            non members:    Total participants: 25         Total volunteer hours: 100+

Program Planning: Cost:      Time:                       Members Recruited:   Donations:

Purpose and goals of program: Council 4859 efforts in support of Catholic Men for Life Rally at the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Anchorage.

Whom does this project benefit?:

What problem or need did this project resolve?:

Why did the council select this project?:

Describe the success of the project: About 6 years ago, a contingent of Council 4859 members began the establishment of a Catholic Men for Life movement in Anchorage.

The idea behind the movement was to bring to light that fact abortions also affect the father. What better way to do a rally against abortions by conducting a mass (in the morning) followed by an all day rosary in front of the Planned Parenthood Clinic in Anchorage…which conducts abortions. By having men pray such a rosary has a profound effect and shows that men care about pro-life issues.  Over the 6 year period, the rosary vigil continues with other men (and their families) participating from other councils and ministry groups. The rally continues to bring men from other Christian denominations to participate.

Twice a year…on the Saturday before Palm Sunday (Lent)….and in the Winter (November)….these men, their wives, and children rally. Priests from Holy Family Cathedral and other parishes participate by conducting mass in the early morning hours prior to the event in an open area near the Planned Parenthood facility in Anchorage.

Besides having men from Council 4859 participate in these rallies, Council 4859 has also been providing the lunches/hot drinks/soda/water to all participants at each event.

Our hope is that these rallies will continue to gain strength as the years go by.  The event is currently underway at this writing with Knights praying weekly.

 

 

Project Title: Ultrasound – Pregnancy Center Support

Project date:                       Council number:   9830                     Grand Knight: Kenneth Kutney

Participation - members:             non members:    Total participants:          Total volunteer hours:

Program Planning: Cost:      Time:                       Members Recruited:   Donations:

Purpose and goals of program:

Whom does this project benefit?:

What problem or need did this project resolve?:

Why did the council select this project?:

Describe the success of the project: We have raised $12,500 and purchased a ultrasound machine installed at the Heart to Heart Pregnancy Resource Center in Eagle River.  As part of  ongoing Pregnancy Center Support we have committed to a  $250 quarterly donation.

Article from the Catholic Anchor and Star
Naomi Klouda July 2018

CatholicAnchor.org

A visit to the Heart to Heart Pregnancy Center in Eagle River has eased anxieties for thousands of pregnant women. Since 2001 pregnant women have turned to supportive staff who guide them through a variety of services and also offer maternity clothes and baby items free of charge. Baby items are sorted in clearly marked boxes and arranged in rows by sizes — diapers, baby bottles, booties, books, blankets, bags, formula, strollers and shoes.

“Parents can come in and pick out whatever they need, no questions asked,” said Alycia Thomas, executive director of the center. “We see about 150 people a month. Some days the line extends out the door.”

Now, thanks to the efforts of the Knights of Columbus from St. Andrew Church in Eagle River, the center also offers ultrasounds. The new machine will provide young mothers with the ability to see their unborn baby via a free sonogram.

On June 2, retired Anchorage Archbishop Roger Schwietz along with Father Arthur Roraff, both stationed at St. Andrew, blessed the new machine in a special ceremony.

“The ultrasound opens a window on the humanity of the unborn,” Archbishop Schwietz told the 30 or so people squeezed into Heart to Heart.

He said it’s appropriate to bless the machine as an instrument that allows more people to become knowledgeable about when life begins. He also blessed the hands that created the technology.

The center is pro-life but with a focus on offering a helping hand, said Thomas, executive director of Heart to Heart. The services are peer counseling, post abortion support and community referrals. In 2017, Heart to Heart served 1,513 families, growing incrementally from 434 families 17 years ago.

“Our goal at Heart to Heart is for you to feel cared for and respected,” Thomas explained. “We want women to know they are not just a checklist for us.”

“Sometimes that’s all it takes, to see the baby as it is developing, to help a person decide whether to keep her baby,” said Tony Zielinksi, the past grand knight of the St. Andrew council who spearheaded the fundraising effort to buy the machine.

For the past two years, the Knights aimed to purchase the ultrasound machine for the pregnancy center. After moving to the downtown Eagle River Business Boulevard, the center finally held ample space.

“Once they had the location with the space, there’s also a process to get certified — that’s why it took two years as well,” Zielinski said. Since it’s a medical procedure, the center needs a supervising physician, though once staff are trained to operate the ultrasound, they can do it without a doctor present. It costs about $8,000 for the legally mandated 60 hours of training. They also needed to renovate the building to bring it up to code for medical equipment.

Zelinski’s group provided the labor for building upgrades. Construction materials were donated by Matt and Melissa Hickey, owners of Kozy Interiors of Eagle River. Thomas’ husband, Derek, did a lot of the renovation on the exam room, which can also double as space to meet privately with families for peer counseling. Local Knights raised just over $20,000 to help pay for the machine and training to use it.

Then at the last minute on June 2, an anonymous cash donation of $5,000 was added to the Knight’s total donation, bringing it to $25,000. The gesture was made after Archbishop Schwietz’s ceremonial blessing, much to Thomas’ surprise.

“This is amazing,” she said. “It is all coming together and really is a blessing.”

The Knights of St. Andrew with matching funds from the national Knights of Columbus Supreme Council funded the cost of the machine, plus shipping.

“It’s quite a process,” she said………….

  

 

Project Title: Special Olympics

Project date: Open          Council number:  12290             Grand Knight: David Mitchell

Participation - members:  23    non members: 4    Total participants: 27          Total volunteer hours: 94.5

Program Planning: Cost:  $139.63    Time:  8 hours            Members Recruited: 0    Donations: $6,257

Purpose and goals of program: Polar Plunge.  Winter Olympic events serve lunch & hot beverages & water.  Volunteered at the Bocci Ball, Golf, and Bowling Tournaments.  Fall Olympics, served lunch.  Provided honor guard for Jim Balamaci, President, celebration of life.

Whom does this project benefit?: Adult and child athletes with intellectual disabilities.  Additionally, the volunteers and residents of the Anchorage benefit from the opportunity to host and view the events.

What problem or need did this project resolve?: Special Olympics Alaska provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for the athletes, giving them opportunities to develop physical fitness and opportunities for them to interact with fellow athletes, volunteers, and the community at large.

Why did the council select this project?: The Knights of Columbus are a bronze sponsor of Special Olympics because we believe in its mission. We volunteer at the events listed in 3)a to make a positive impact on these special people.

Describe the success of the project: The Special Olympics gauges its success by all of the individual success stories of the participants. Our council measures its success by how well our contribution of time and money makes the Special Olympics events a success.

   



Community

Project Title: Wreaths Across America (WAA)

Project date:                       Council number:   9830                     Grand Knight: Kenneth Kutney

Participation - members: 16    non members: 12   Total participants: 28         Total volunteer hours: 200

Program Planning: Cost:      Time:                       Members Recruited:   Donations:

Purpose and goals of program:

Whom does this project benefit?:

What problem or need did this project resolve?:

Why did the council select this project?:

Describe the success of the project:  Council 9830 and its member-knights were again the critical component and pivotal players in the coordination and implementation of this year’s Wreaths Across America (WAA) ceremony at the Fort Richardson National Cemetery (FRNC).  The event is a highlight of the Christmas season and honors departed and fallen members of our military services.

This event is truly a group effort.  Brother Terry Michalski stepped up to be the 2018 Location Coordinator.   The Location Coordinator is responsible for organizing and conducting all aspects of the community’s ceremony. This includes; recruiting and organizing volunteers, reaching out to the community, including, veterans’ organizations and others with WAA experience, working with fundraising groups, communicating with local press, receiving the delivery of wreaths, facilitating the ceremony, and staying in close contact with national and regional WAA support staff. The Location coordinator also lines up guest speakers, as well as representatives from each military branch and “Gold Star” families (families of fallen military members) to lay Ceremonial Wreaths during the formal portion of the event.

The 2017 WAA ceremony was able to place over 1200 Wreaths on Veteran’s graves. That number has risen steadily from just a handful  in 2008 when WAA started holding a ceremonies here in Alaska.  These first wreaths were purchased and placed by the John A Forsting council to honor our fallen members and veteran knights.

The Cemetery, however, has over 7000 graves. Our members were determined to increase the number of graves honored.  We used Wreaths Across America logos and artwork to produce custom posters for 21 local businesses and veterans’ organizations.  We also purchased a qr code to place on each poster that would let people easily go to the WAA web page for the FRNC right from their phone.  We approached managers at supporting business and asked them to display the poster in their business and consider sponsoring wreaths.

The total wreaths sponsored for the 2018 WAA Ceremony at FRNC was 3,032. Dozens of volunteer organizations sponsored wreaths and/or facilitated wreath purchases, including our own K of C Council 9830, and K of C Council 11745, Boy Scouts, Civil Air Patrol, VFW Posts, American Heritage Girls, and Military Base Spouse and Retiree organizations.

Due to logistics issues, the national cutoff date was actually a week after the date the truck needed to leave Vermont to deliver the wreaths to Alaska in time for the ceremony.  This was complicated by the fact that the Fort Richardson Spouses’ Association waited until after this date to place most of their 1000+ orders. The good news is that these orders will be filled in 2019, meaning FRNC will start the 2019 season with 1300 additional wreaths.

The day of the 2018 event, 22 December, 16 Knights and over a dozen family members from Council 9830 showed up at 0800 with personal pick up trucks to unload, segregate and haul wreaths to the sections of the cemetery designated for this year’s event.  Members of the Alaska Military Youth Academy staged the wreaths at the end of each row for placement by the public during the formal ceremony. Our own Grand Knight Ken Kutney and Captain of the Guard 4th Degree Knight Bob Barndt donned their Regalia and stood as honor guard at the grave of our founder, John A. Forsting

Brother Terry Michalski did a Yeoman’s Job as this year’s Master of Ceremonies. The entire event was enjoyed by an appreciative crowd which was estimated to be 20-30% larger than in years past.

Between lining up ceremony participants, making up posters, contacting businesses, continuous coordination with WAA headquarters in Vermont, posting on social media, communicating with the  press (including 1 interview), networking with the Base and FRNC Staffs, compiling the list of Grave Specific Wreaths purchased, acting as a POC for public inquiries (mostly about grave specific wreaths), and his work the day of the ceremony, Brother Terry estimate his total volunteer time put towards Wreaths Across America in 2018 to be somewhere between 80 and 100 hours. The 30 or so volunteers that helped the day of the event easily added another 100-manhours.

A most rewarding experience came a couple of days after the ceremony when Terry got an email from a woman in another state asking if he could place a wreath on her parents’ grave at FRNC. Fortunately, he had set aside several extra wreaths for contingencies and had one left. As the snow fell Christmas Eve Day he drove back to the Cemetery, found the grave, placed this one last wreath and emailed her a picture. Her thank you card with an old picture of her with her parents made the whole effort more than worthwhile!

   

 

 

Project Title: Habitat for Humanity

Project date: Open            Council number:  12290         Grand Knight: David Mitchell

Participation - members: 30 non members: 2   Total participants: 32          Total volunteer hours: 1024

Program Planning: Cost: $180     Time: 50 hours       Members Recruited: 0   Donations: $2322

Purpose and goals of program: Habitat for Humanity's Mission: Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.  Our council's goals are to support this mission because of our belief in their goals.

Whom does this project benefit?: The familes that we help Habitat to build the houses for, who also actively participate in building their own homes.

What problem or need did this project resolve?: Affordable housing for low income families is a nationwide problem.  Habitat for Humanity works to alleviate this housing challenge on family at a time.

Why did the council select this project?: The Knights of Columbus support Habitat for Humanity.  Our council actively supports it locally through volunteer hours and donations.

Describe the success of the project: The success is with each home built for a family that has an affordable mortgage.

       



Family

Project Title: Council 4859 Support of Holy Family Cathedral Family Activities for 2018-19 Fraternal Year

Project date:   7/1/18 to present         Council number:  4859                 Grand Knight: Bill Fasser

Participation - members: 20       non members:  0  Total participants: 20         Total volunteer hours: 100

Program Planning: Cost:      Time:           Members Recruited:   Donations:

Purpose and goals of program: Council 4859 Support of Holy Family Cathedral Family Activities for 2018-19 Fraternal Year.

Whom does this project benefit?:

What problem or need did this project resolve?:

Why did the council select this project?:

Describe the success of the project: For 2018-19 Fraternal Year, Council 4859 members participated in key Family oriented events at Holy Family Cathedral:

1. Each Sunday of the month, our council holds a Sunday breakfast for the parishioners. This event has become a staple for the parish to come together and fellowship while enjoying breakfast for the whole family. We traditionally turn a profit at these events except for those that are free for all, like at our Annual Ministry Fair

2. “Fat Tuesday” is an event having Catholic roots in Mardi Gras. It is a feast/celebration that occurs the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (the start of Lent). It is a time of one last celebration in which we clean out our pantries and use up the fat, eggs, and dairy before the fasting and abstinence of Lent begins. Council 4859 provided a pancake and sausage dinner on February 5th, 2019 to the families of Holy Family Cathedral for this event.

3. Each year, Holy Family Cathedral has a Thanksgiving Lunch for the families of Holy Family Cathedral on Thanksgiving Day. For Fraternal Year 2018-19, Council 4859 prepared the dinner. This years’ event saw 13 turkeys and all the trimmings relished by 150+ parishioners.

4. Unfortunately, our annual St. Nicholas party for the children was cancelled due to the Nov 30 earthquake and was not rescheduled.

 

 

Project Title: Coats for Kids

Project date: 19 November 2018      Council number: 9830          Grand Knight: Kenneth Kutney

Participation - members: 14    non members:  0  Total participants:  14         Total volunteer hours:

Program Planning: Cost:      Time:                       Members Recruited:   Donations:

Purpose and goals of program:

Whom does this project benefit?:

What problem or need did this project resolve?:

Why did the council select this project?:

Describe the success of the project:

On 19 November 2018 numerous members of Council 9830 (Listed below) distributed 56 coats in concert with the annual Thanksgiving Basket to Needy Families Program at Joy Lutheran Church.  Forty-eight hats were distributed on by the council on behalf of the Eagle River chapter of the American Sewing Guild.  We took sizes for an additional 16 children for whom we could not fit with a jacket. Tony Bromirski and his bride Caryn took some of the remaining coats, exchange them and found the requested sizes.  While the story may end here it started many months prior.

The coats for Kids program from KofC Supreme had been a core program for our council for many years.  When in 2018 we were informed that free shipping of coats to Alaska was no longer offered, virtually doubling the cost, we knew there must be a better way.  Since the thickness of insulation on the coats provided by Supreme was inadequate for our northern climes, we had already been thinking outside the box and had been looking into securing a source for Alaskan Quality outerwear.  The program lead and POC, Brother Tony Bromirski approached our local COSTCO in an attempt to have coats donated or provided at a deep discount. Working over the summer he made little progress with the managers he spoke with.

When crunch time came we were able to take our $2,400 budget and purchase coats as they hit the shelves.  Many times a week council members would check for coats to arrive and pass on the information to the POC.  Once winter coats were available Brother Tony and his Wife showed up early one Saturday morning and purchased 72 boys and girls quality winter jackets in a variety of sizes.

In search of a better distribution method, this past March Brother Tony Bromirski and Worthy Grand Knight Ken Kutney met with the principal and staff at Fire Lake Elementary.  The discussion centered around how to get coats in the hands of those without the resources to fill basic living needs, the poorest of the poor.   We now have a procedure in place where coats will be distributed through the Fire Lake School Nurse Brittany.  She has also informed other elementary and secondary school nurses of the program to insure widest distribution to those in need across all Chugiak and Eagle River schools.   Our plan for 2019 is to purchase another $2400 in COSTCO coats and get them where they can do the most good.

This was one of our best attended service projects in recent memory.  In addition to the POC Tony all the credit should go to the following Knights.

Here is a list of participant.

 

  • Ruben Diaz
  • Josh Cordes
  • Jim Yeargan
  • Ken Cramer
  • Paul Mordini
  • Alan Szeczyk
  • Gregory Fast
  • Gene Augustine
  • Mike Simpson
  • Mark Woscek
  • John Ditzler
  • Father Arthur
  • Ken Kutney

  

 

 

Project Title: Second Course Family Ministry

Project date:    9 Monthly Meetings          Council number:  12290              Grand Knight: David Mitchell

Participation - members:  6  non members: 36    Total participants: 42          Total volunteer hours: 756

Program Planning: Cost:  0    Time:  36 hours          Members Recruited: 0  Donations: 0

Purpose and goals of program: Series of pot-luck dinners for families to gather and discuss the day to day challenges of being united as husband and wife while maintaining individuality. The goal is to strengthen the family; Chiefly with strong faith content.

Whom does this project benefit?: Parish families from Saint Benedict's and families through out the diocese of Anchorage. Open to all parishes and additional families from the area are also invited. Largely a fellowship ministry aimed to address any family questions.

What problem or need did this project resolve?: Couples learn from mentor couples or families that have questions on raising children in the faith and day-to-day struggles, They gain insight from others. Largely a fellowship ministry where mentor couples have given advice to others and discussed variety of topics to strengthen the family unit.

Why did the council select this project?: Council Members and their famil ies were asked to help start a program for young families so that they have additional support in the parish. Family is also one of the basic units of society and strengthening the family with committed marriages, is a living example to the rest of society.

Describe the success of the project: We have gained support from additional parishes in the Diocese of Anchorage. We are open to topics relevant to those in attendance and we provide a respite for parents and encouragement.

 

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