Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Drive

L to R: Charity Williams for Princeton, with Chaplain Fr. Kevin Martin; Kathy Smith for Calais, with Program Director Tom MacDonald; Troy Donovan representing the Beckett Center with Grand Knight George McLaughlin; and Leslie Monk for Baileyville with Trustee Gary Madore. Each recipient received a check for $752.24, with an additional $752.24 going to the Knight’s State Office to be combined with Other Council’s Funds to make additional donations around the state. A total of $3,761.20 was collected during the Knight’s Tootsie Roll Drive. Of that amount, 80% was distributed to local programs and 20% went to statewide programs, resulting in 100% going to charitable, and educational programs! (Submitted photo)

Each year over Columbus Day weekend, the members of the St. Croix Council #149 of the Knights of Columbus join other councils across the state of Maine for their annual Tootsie Roll Campaign. At that time, volunteers station themselves at busy spots and offer Tootsie Rolls in exchange for donations for people in Maine who are challenged with physical or mental handicaps. 

Each January, the local Knights return 100% of the funds raised over Columbus Day weekend to local communities. This year was no different as on Sunday, January 27th, representatives of the St. Croix Council distributed over $4,200 to three area schools and a non-profit program for mentally challenged adults. This was the 27th year the Knights have made contributions to these organizations. 

Receiving checks for $752.24 each from the Calais Knights were the Special Education Departments of Calais, Baileyville and Princeton, and the Frank N. Beckett Center of Calais. Kathy Smith accepted the donation on behalf of Calais Special Ed Department, Principal Charity Williams accepted the donation on behalf of Princeton Schools, Leslie Monk for Baileyville and Troy Donovan accepted for the Beckett Center. In addition, the local Knights donated another $752.24 to the state office of the Knights of Columbus to be joined with other councils to make statewide larger donations. 

The St. Croix Valley Council of Knights of Columbus is comprised of approximately 65 members from the communities of Princeton, Woodland, Alexander and Calais. According to Grand Knight George McLaughlin, the Calais Councils are consistently among the top 10 Tootsie Roll Fund earners in the State; this year they were fifth in the state. This year’s total was $3,761.20! The Calais Knights are celebrating their 123rd year in the St. Croix Valley.