By Emily Booker
Local charities received much-earned recognition and support for their work when the Knights of Columbus Council 12633 honored 20 agencies at a dinner on May 16 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Lenoir City.
Don Hoyle, grand knight for the council, and Father Doug Owens, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle, presented representatives from each charity with a donation from the Knights.
“You are the leaders of the community,” Mr. Hoyle told the charity representatives. “We strive each year to find ways to put on programs that will bring in more money so we can make those contributions to the charities.”
Jerry Dougherty, council representative to the MR Foundation, presented two MR Foundation grants. The MR Foundation is a state-wide foundation sponsored by the Knights of Columbus that helps individual councils in Tennessee provide grants to agencies that serve children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Sunshine Industries, a sheltered workshop under the ARC of Knox County, received a $4,700 grant. Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR) received a $1,600 grant. Earlier in the year the council also presented a $4,800 grant to the Special Olympics of Loudon County.
Between council donations and MR Foundation grants, the Knights have contributed more than $35,000 to local charities.
It was also a night for honoring those who serve in the parish. Father Owens recognized four altar servers for their exemplary help throughout the year. “To be able to serve with a sense of joy and charity of heart is so very important,” Father Owens said.
William “Bill” Twohig was honored as “Knight of the Year” for his contributions in planning various programs such as baseball outings, Christmas parties, and the charity dinner. He is currently serving as the service program director for the council.
Stu and Jan McFadden were honored as “Family of the Year” for their contributions to numerous activities. “I refer to this couple as the ‘shadow couple.’ Needless to say, that is because they are constantly involved with things behind the scene that need to be done but make no big show of it,” Mr. Hoyle said.
The nonprofit organizations recognized at the dinner included St. Thomas the Apostle Church, the Child Advocacy Center, Adult Community Training, Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding, Loudon County Special Olympics, the Crisis Center for Women, the Good Samaritan Center, and Catholic Charities of East Tennessee Pregnancy Help Center.
Additional nonprofit organizations that were recognized were Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Monroe, Branches of Monroe County, Lenoir City Schools Family Resource Center, Catholic Charities of East Tennessee Jellico Project, Smoky Mountain Service Dogs, Habitat for Humanity Loudon County, Boy Scout Troop 770, Sunshine Industries, Boys & Girls Club of Loudon County, American Wheelchair Mission, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, and the Handmaids of the Precious Blood, a cloistered religious order of the Diocese of Knoxville that is located in Jefferson County. ■