Knights of Columbus councils are known for serving the greater good of their parishes and their communities, and many times they work as individual councils. Recently, Councils 14360 at St. Matthew Norwalk and 11077 at Our Lady of the Assumption Fairfield realized that 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 working together to turn a beautiful June Monday into a day to remember for almost 150 people.
The two councils joined together to host the 1st Annual Sword & Shield Charity Golf Classic on June 13. On what could arguably be called a perfect Monday at Brownson Country Club in the Huntington section of Shelton, 95 golfers enjoyed breakfast before heading out to play 18 holes of golf and finished the day with and a great dinner. Both councils worked hard for nearly a year to raise funds for the organizations their councils support.
Representatives from two of the organizations were present at the event. ABRI/Homes for the Brave, has provided 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. Malta House 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.
Vince Santilli, CEO of Homes of the Brave attended the dinner and said “As a Knight of Columbus for over 31 years, I could not have been more proud to see this great tournament put on by two wonderful Councils. All of us at Homes for the Brave are so grateful and appreciative of the support from my Brother Knights.” Council 14360’s Grand Knight George Ribellino said “The #1 goal was to raise funds for the charities that need it. Homes for the Brave and Malta House are two wonderful organizations that simply want to help those in need.” This was a special day for Ribellino, as his three-year term as Grand Knight ends on June 30th, so this event was his last major undertaking. “It is bittersweet for me but at the same time the council will continue to flourish under our next Grand Knight, Scott Criscuolo,” he said.
Criscuolo has been George’s Deputy Grand Knight the past three years and he couldn’t have been more pleased with how the day unfolded. “Everyone enjoyed the sunshine and great golf conditions. However, most importantly, I was consistently told by those that came, that knowing where the funds were going made them feel good,” said Criscuolo.
Co-Chairman Greg Matera from Council 11077 was also thrilled with how things went. “It was an honor to be a part of the First Annual Sword and Shield Golf Classic. As a Knight we strive to bring good to those in need and to do it in a way that exemplifies the spirit, faith and respect of being a part of this great organization. Looking forward to building upon what we have started and continuing to grow this event for many years to come.”
Since the event was such a success, the Knights Councils have booked the 2nd Annual Sword & Shield Classic on June 12, 2017 at Brownson Country Club in Huntington, CT.
Other organizations the councils help support include Al’s Angels, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Friends of CT Fisher House, 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.
For more information on Homes for the Brave go to Homesforthebrave.org and for Malta House go to Maltahouse.org.