Knights of Columbus councils are known for serving the greater good of their parishes and local communities, and many times they work as individual councils. Two years ago, Councils 14360 at St. Matthew Norwalk and 11077 at Our Lady of the Assumption Fairfield discovered if they joined together to work on a major project, they could do even more for both of their parishes and communities. This realization led to the two councils hooking up to host a charity golf tournament which started in 2016.
The two councils once again came together to host the 2nd Annual Sword & Shield Charity Golf Classic on June 12. Although the weather was hot and steamy with temps reaching 95 degrees it did not stop the golfers from having a great day on the links at Brownson Country Club in the Huntington section of Shelton. The golfers enjoyed breakfast before heading out to play 18 holes of golf and finished the day with raffles and a great dinner. Both councils worked hard for nearly a year to raise funds for the organizations their councils support.
“It was a labor of love some days, but in the end these wonderful men from both councils come together and put on a wonderful event,” said K of C St. Matthew Council 14360 Grand Knight Scott Criscuolo.
Representatives from four of the organizations were present and spoke about their respective organizations at the event. Kathy Beardsworth spoke about ABRI/Homes for the Brave, which provides safe housing, vocational training and job placement, mental health and addiction services, and life skills coaching to help individuals, especially Veterans, leave homelessness behind. Members of Malta House’s board attended and golfed in the event. Kim Petrone spoke about the mission of Malta House which promotes the dignity of God-given life by providing a nurturing home environment, support services and independent living skills to pregnant and parenting mothers of all faiths and their children. Nancy Biggar, Event and Fundraising Coordinator for Friends of Fisher House CT explained that Connecticut has broken ground on its first Fisher House on the VA hospital grounds on West Haven. The Fisher House Foundation builds and maintains long term residential facilities near military hospitals nationwide due to the need of families of seriously injured soldiers needing a place to stay during the long rehabilitation process. Around $750,000 is still needed to make the goal of 3 million dollars for completion of the construction process. Lastly, Fran Lichtenberg explained that Off the Streets, serves the homeless & at-risk-of-becoming-homeless in Connecticut. OTS provides much-needed security deposits & simple household basics (furnishings & necessities) for eligible candidates that gets them off the streets and into a permanent home.
“It is so nice to see representatives from the organizations that both councils assist every year attend our event. It puts everything we do into perspective, said Sword & Shield Charity Golf Classic Co-chairman and St. Matthew Council member George Ribellino, Jr.
The Tournament is supported by many local businesses who bought sponsorships. “The Sword and Shield Gold Tournament sponsored by the Knights of Columbus is an ideal for business to participate in worthwhile causes in Fairfield County. The Homes for Heroes is especially important to me as many veterans, including a close relative of mine, often have had difficulty fitting in after leaving the military. Groups like this provide the support to vets that many families cannot or are unable to give their loved ones. Keep up the good works, “said Ernie DesRochers, Senior Vice-President/Managing Director, Northmarq Capital. In addition to Northmarq Capital other major sponsors included ECS Transportation, AJ’s Landscaping, Brean Capital, Financial Advisory Services, Creed Law Firm and Our Lady of the Assumption Parish.
Co-Chairman Greg Matera from Council 11077 was also thrilled with how things went. “I am proud to work with a great group of Knights who are also fabulous individuals. Together, we will continue to grow our event for many years to come”.
Since the event was such a success for the second straight year, the Knights Councils have booked the 3rd Annual Sword & Shield Classic on June 11, 2018 at Brownson Country Club.
“It’s great to see how so much hard work comes to fruition on a beautiful day. Standing with my Brother Knights being able to help so many great organizations is such an honor. Is it June 2018 yet? Can’t wait to do this again, “said Council 14360 member and Sword & Shield Financial Director Anthony Armentano
Other organizations the councils help support include Al’s Angels, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Disabled American Veterans, and Notre Dame Convalescent Home.
With more than 1.8 million members, the Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic lay organization. It provides members and their families with volunteer opportunities in service to the Catholic Church, the community, families, and young people. In 2015 the Knights of Columbus at all levels of the organization raised and distributed over $175 million to charity and rendered 73.4 million hours of volunteer service. Go to saintmatthewknights.com for more info.