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Knights come to rescue of those in need

By: Ashley Cisek News Messenger Intern
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Upcoming events Oktoberfest When: Oct. 17 Where: McBean Park Pavillion Tootsie roll drive When: Oct. 23 Where: In front of Raley’s and Safeway Thanksgiving Meal (non-denominational) When: Nov. 22 Where: St. Josephs Church, 280 Oak Tree Lane Contact: Knights of Columbus online at kofcsj.com Lincoln’s Knights of Columbus support more than the Catholic Church, according to Knights Council 9202. Originally established in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney as a fraternal benefit society to help support the families of members, the Knights of Columbus is now a national nonprofit Catholic fraternity that assist their communities through various fundraisers, regardless of race or religion, according to the Knights of Columbus Web site. “What we do as members is the more important thing,” said Grand Knight of Lincoln’s Knights of Columbus, Bob White. “Community is high on the ladder of things to do.” Lincoln’s council runs several fundraisers throughout the year for Lincoln youth programs, college scholarships and community development, White said. “For the youth, we run a free-throw competition,” White said. The Knights of Columbus International Free Throw Competition is an event for boys and girls, ages 10 and 14, White said, which starts at the district level, and then to regional, state and national level. The competition provides youth with local recognition. This year’s Northern California Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition was held in January at Twelve Bridges Middle School. At press time, next year’s event dates have not been set as the Knights are still determining site date availability, White said. “Similarly, we run a soccer challenge,” White added. The Knights of Columbus also give scholarships to some Lincoln High School seniors. “There’s no requirement that the recipients have any affiliation with any church,” White said. “Of course, we evaluate each response.” Lea Marie Riedel, a 2009 Lincoln High School graduate, was awarded the Knights of Columbus award last year. “Another thing that we sponsor is through the Wheelchair Foundation,” White said. The Knights of Columbus have teamed up with the Wheelchair Foundation – a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create awareness of the needs and abilities of individuals with physical disabilities - to raise funds to give wheelchairs to those who can’t afford one. “We put enough money out of our treasury to provide three people around the world with wheelchairs,” White said. Last year, the Knights also gave a wheelchair to a Lincoln man. All Knights of Columbus events are volunteer run and all their proceeds go to local charities or to host additional fundraisers, according to White. “In order to (donate), we have fundraisers,” White said. “(And) everyone is invited, you don’t have to be Catholic. Much of what we do is non-denominational.” For more information about Lincoln’s Knights of Columbus or to find out more about its events, visit online kofcsj.com. The Lincoln News Messenger profiles a nonprofit organization every week. If you would like to see an organization featured, please e-mail brandond@goldcountrymedia.com or call 774-7967.