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Knights of Columbus recognized for charitable works

OGDENSBURG The Knights of Columbus of the Diocese of Ogdensburg has been named the recipient of the 2007 Caritas Award at the annual Caritas Dinner hosted by Catholic Charities Nov. 7. In announcing the award, Sister Donna Franklin, diocesan director of Catholic Charities said, The Caritas Award is given for devoted and unselfish service to the people of the North Country exemplifying the spirit and ideals that Catholic Charities embodies in its mission: ideals of service and social action, of justice and charity. George Herbert, the K of C Northern Conference chairman, accepted the award on behalf of the 5,700 Knights of Columbus in the diocese. The Rev. John Yonkovig, pastor of St. Peters Church in Plattsburgh, nominated the Knights of Columbus for the Caritas Award. Noting 2007 is the 125th anniversary of the founding of the 1.7 million-member Catholic mens organization, the Rev. Yonkovig spoke about the Knights support for the hungry, for the sanctity of life, for Catholic schools and for promotion of family values. He emphasized the organizations concern for the handicapped saying, The Knights live the core principle of charity by reaching out in love to all who suffer from physical disabilities. Their work and financial donations make countless churches and parish centers accessible to the handicapped. The 52 active Knights of Columbus councils in the Diocese of Ogdensburg direct most of their works toward supporting local community needs. Councils give monetary support to parishes, convents, seminarians, community organizations and programs benefiting youth and the elderly. Many pastors rely on the knights for their expertise and labor in maintaining or improving parish facilities. K of C halls enhance many North Country communities serving as a center of family and community social life. Attempting to capture the scope of regional Knights of Columbus, activities several K of C leaders were asked to describe a program that exemplifies their councils dedication to charity. In several instances the men queried were working on a charitable program when they received our phone call. The programs they described are as follows: Ticonderoga Council 333 delivers Christmas fruit baskets to the widows of all its deceased members. Last year, they delivered 80 baskets. Champlain Council 3525 assists its parish whenever manpower is needed. Members recently refurbished vaults in the parishs two cemeteries. Keeseville Council 4689 works with other community service organizations to host Christmas, Easter and Halloween parties for the children of the community. Tupper Lake Council 2177 hosts a free Thanksgiving dinner for the community serving 300 or more people each year. OLVA Council 13127 in Plattsburgh sponsors a door-to-door food drive to stock community food shelves. This year, they collected bags at 300 homes. Msgr. Morris Dwyer Council 255 in Plattsburgh makes substantial monetary contributions each year to more than 30 church and community organizations. Mooers Council 6136 contributes money each month to its local food shelf, helps staff the food shelf and encourages members to contribute to the food shelf. Port Henry Council 384 assists individuals and families battling serious sickness by conducting several community-wide fund-raisers each year. Lyon Mountain Council 7215 conducts an annual Chinese auction with proceeds going to assist the Knights statewide charitable and benevolent programs. Peru Council 7273 responds to community needs. Members recently served approximately 450 dinners at a community fund-raiser for a child awaiting a kidney transplant. Morrisonville Council 6067 has held a fund-raiser benefiting Seton Catholic Central School for five consecutive years. Dannemora Council 2166 sponsors Project Gabriel, a program that assists women who have a crisis pregnancy. Saranac Lake Council 599 conducts four annual fund-raisers to benefit local organizations and programs. Members for the organization vary from council to council within Clinton, Essex and eastern Franklin counties, with as few as 27 at the Treadwells Mills Council to as many as 334 at the Ticonderoga Council. In all, 2,613 members are currently enrolled. In addition to being a correspondent for Denton Publications, John T. Ryan is also an active member of the Knights of Columbus.

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