The Clarendon County Disabilities and Special Needs Board got a boost for its programs recently, after a check was presented by the Manning-Santee chapter of the Knights of Columbus.
A fraternal organization of Catholic men, the Knights of Columbus raises funds for local charities through Operation Hope.
“We go out once a year to several retail stores and sell Tootsie Rolls,” said Grand Knight Hart Klee. “We have donated to the Clarendon County Disabilities and Special Needs Board for about the last five years. Our funds, wherever they are raised, are used for those with intellectual disadvantages.”
Klee said 85 percent of the money collected each year during Operation Hope – typically held in the fall – is distributed locally.
“The other 15 percent goes into the statewide Columbus Hope Foundation fund, and they still distribute about 10-12 percent for big grants, so the bulk of the money still stays local.”
Klee said the local Council of the Knights of Columbus No. 15223 has about 54 members.
“We also visit the sick and do other community activities,” Klee said. “But our big fundraiser is the Tootsie Rolls.”
Klee said the organization also helps families within both Catholic parishes.
“Both parishes have food trucks,” he said. “So we are active with that as well.”
Klee was joined in his presentation Monday by Trustee Ralph Rossoni and Advocate Gus Schoeck. Disabilities and Special Needs Board Director Ryan Way said the money presented by the Knights of Columbus will go toward summer camp programs at Camp Bob Cooper.
“It’s one of the biggest things our clients look forward to each year,” he said. “This will help send about three of them to camp. We are grateful for this donation and look forward to continuing our work with Knights of Columbus.”