Knights of Columbus Emphasize Helping Community
Murphy, Jean, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Jean Murphy Daily Herald Correspondent
Mount Prospect Knights of Columbus
- Meets: The first Wednesday evening of the month at St. Raymond's Church.
- Contact: Jack Baggot at (847) 253-9188
Remember the men you saw on local street corners late last month, handing out Tootsie Rolls in exchange for donations for the mentally handicapped? Those were the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men's fraternal organization.
In Mount Prospect, the Knights of Columbus Council 6481 is organized to draw men 18 and older from five local parishes: St. Raymond's, St. Emily's, St. Thomas Becket and St. Cecilia, all in Mount Prospect, and St. Alphonsus in Prospect Heights. Established in April 1973, the council's membership numbers about 160.
"For our size, the Mount Prospect Council is usually one of the top producers nationally for the aid of the mentally handicapped each year," says Alex Fritzler of Mount Prospect, a past Grand Knight, a term for president. "We usually raise between $16,000 and $18,000 each year."
The Knights are in the middle of their biggest fund-raiser of the year, the Christmas wreath sale. The money raised in that sale is distributed between the five churches and the Carmelite Sisters of Des Plaines.
The Knights in Mount Prospect have traditionally devoted most of their club energy to charity - the most important of the Knight's basic tenets. But fraternity, unity and patriotism, the Knights' other principles, also play important parts in the local council's activities and priorities.
The Knights of Columbus was first organized in New Haven, Conn., by the Rev. Michael J. McGivney in 1882 as a way to ensure the welfare of widows and orphans in his parish. Consequently, for the Knights of Columbus, service to others is more than a pledge, it's a tradition.
During one recent year, the more than 1.5 million Knights of Columbus members in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines and the Caribbean contributed more than 32.4 million volunteer hours and raised $92. …