Service Club Welcomes New Grand Knight

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"Faith in action" is the mission of the Knights of Columbus worldwide.

And it is a mission often repeated here in the Rim Country when the local brotherhood of St. Philip's Catholic Church decide to invest their hearts and hands in a community project.

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John Schreur is the Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, a service organization 50 members strong, working at St. Philip's Catholic Church and in the Rim Country.

Knights in aprons were seen at the recent Payson Area Habitat for Humanity 5K, where they served up pancakes in the early hours before the race.

Each year, they raise several thousand dollars for Special Olympics with their Tootsie Roll drives in the spring and fall.

"We try to get involved in as many things in the community as we can, because we want to give back, we like to be involved," said Grand Knight John Schreur.

Father Michael McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in 1882 as a fraternal benefit society, offering low-cost life insurance to immigrant families facing destitution if a breadwinner died.

According to www.kofc.org, Knights have raised and donated nearly $1 billion to charity and given nearly 400 million hours in humanitarian service in the last decade.

The men, who are members of the Knights at St. Philip's Catholic Church, range in age from mid-30s to mid-70s.

"That range gives us a really good mixture of ideas and different outlooks for what we can do inside the church and outside in the community," Schreur said.

Locals may have seen the Knights' "weenie wagon" at Paws in the Park events.

At past Electric Light Parades, the Knights have provided free hot dogs, cookies and hot chocolate from their weenie wagon. They have given scholarships to graduating seniors.

"The main reason we exist is to help," Schreur said. "It could be something as simple as a ride or help with food bills."

Jack Lynch and Robert Pieri encouraged Schreur to accept the responsibility of being the Grand Knight for 2007-08.

Schreur said he sees the position as a "learning process" and he is "looking forward to getting to know each Knight better and being able to help in the community."

To learn more about the Knights of Columbus, contact John Schreur at St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church, 511 S. St. Phillips St. or call (928) 474-2392.

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