Back in October 2021, Knights of Columbus Bishop Fenwick Assembly 100 (4th Degree) Faithful Navigator George Ribellino invited Carol May from House of Heroes to speak to the 4th Degree Knights at their monthly meeting. Ribellino saw a project that HOH was working on and felt this was something that Assembly 100 should be doing,
“Since the main principle of the 4th Degree in the Knights of Columbus is patriotism, what better way to show our patriotism is by assisting a local veteran in need,” said Ribellino.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Assembly voted on raising the money to sponsor a project in the local area. This would be the first project for House of Heroes Connecticut in Fairfield County. The Assembly raised the funds with various fundraising projects and support from the local councils.
The Assembly worked on its first project on Saturday, August 27, 2022, for a WWII U.S. Navy Vet in Darien. More than 30 Knights and friends did extensive yardwork, deck repairs and staining and other repairs, including making a bathroom safer and more accessible. In addition, Assembly 100 member Jimmy Connors, a plumber, installed a new faucet and member AJ Cossuto, owner of AJ’s Landscaping, donated the mulch to spruce up the garden beds.
The membership loved the mission and the work from the project last year, so they decided to host their annual Patriot Dinner to raise funds for another project in 2023. The Patriot Dinner, held in April 2023, raised enough funds to sponsor another project.
“I received such overwhelming positive response from the project in Darien, that the membership was all in favor of doing a fundraiser to host another project,” said Ribellino.
House of Heroes Executive Director Carol May brought two projects on Saturday, August 26, 2023 to the Knights of Columbus Bishop Fenwick Assembly in Norwalk as they assisted next-door neighbors Richard Zanvettor, a Vietnam Army veteran, and Ann Geter, the widow of long-time Norwalk Fire Department Engine Company 4 firefighter Ralph Geter, who lost a battle with cancer in 2021. As part of the work that was done, Zanvettor’s home was outfitted with a brand-new basement access door donated by The BILCO Company.
The volunteers did a major yard clean-up on both houses. In addition, the crew repaired the front porch, hung a new front door, and fixed the walkway to the house for Ann Jeter.
“It is a special privilege to collaborate with the Knights of Columbus to honor and serve these most deserving veterans, who have given so much to our nation and their communities,” said May.
“I want to thank my great crew of 25 Brother Knights and families by putting their faith in action by helping those in need,” Ribellino said.
House of Heroes Connecticut is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that recognizes, honors, and serves military and public safety veterans and/or their surviving spouses in need for their sacrificial service to America. Part of a national organization founded in Columbus, Georgia in 2000, the organization provides one-day, no-cost home improvements with a priority placed on safety and accessibility. For more information, visit www.hohct.org.