I realize that this is an annual event in our Council but I am flattered and honored that all of you turned out for it.
First, I would like to thank all of you for putting up with me during the last Columbian year and apologize for my East Coast up bringing coming out from time to time.
I joined the Knights of Columbus at Holy Family Council in Indianapolis in 1981. We moved to Pleasanton in 1989 and I got pretty involved in my kids activities having being a little league and soccer coach also being involved as a member of PVC on their board of directors responsible for maintenance. My involvement as a parishioner at St. Augustine’s was in Bingo where I was a caller being recruited by a fellow instructor at the University of Phoenix. Dave Melander and I usually worked together at Bingo.
Worthy Past Grand Knight Paul Unpingco recruited me into the Council in 2016 and so here I am today three years later.
The Knights of Columbus has three principles which apply directly to our Council: charity, unity and fraternity. We do a very good job with the charity part having three major fund raisers (festa, crab feed and St. Patrick’s day) along with more direct activities like our coat and tootsie roll drives. The commitment to these and other events by the leaders and the Knights who volunteer is proof of our commitment to charity. Unity and fraternity are the driving forces that make our charitable works happen. But they are also fundamental to our relationships with each other to work together as fellow Knights and brothers. The way that we come together to fulfill our charity principle as well as come to the aid of Brother Knights and their families when they are in need.
I have always been a believer that things need to happen when they are meant to be. I have many personal examples but the best example of this for me are the 5 people sitting over at that table. My Family. I thank them for taking the time and effort to join us in this celebration of my term as Grand Knight and for their understanding with my leading the Council for the last Columbian year.
The 2018/2019 Columbian Year was rather eventful for me and I am sure that it was for all of you in the room. Things came together in our Council with the right people in place to handle the events and challenges that were put in front of us. This includes the officers in their staring roles, the clergy who we serve and the parish. It all started with the Council’s 50th anniversary and ended with the moving of the Priests to their new assignments. The response from our membership was overwhelming all during the year. I could not have done it alone and really counted on the membership both as a Grand Knight and as one of the newer members of the Council. I even know your name. I guess being GK is one way to get to know the members and their families.
The officers met every Thursday morning to go over the Council business and to allow a check in for certain decisions that I needed to make as GK. I always appreciated their perspective and advice in setting the direction of the Council. Sometimes it may not have come across that way. There was a lot of last minute maneuvering to keep things moving forward with all of the additional activities that were presented to us. The officers that attended this meeting were invaluable in making the necessary decisions and deserve a lot of credit for our successes during the last Columbian Year.
The Council had a number of accomplishments including:
Achieving a 70% return on the silent auction items over the 50% from previous years – (Credit Rob Fjerstad here) and he said those magic words that every GK wants to hear: “when we do this next year…”
Highest money available from our events for donations including those that come unexpectedly such as the $5k to Paradise, CA
5 Scholarships given to high school graduates
Start of 4 annuities for our priests
1 membership shy of achieving Star Council
Consumed more True Red this year than ever before
Sometimes there are accomplishments that maybe more memorable to individuals for (any other notable accomplishments from this year)
Thanks to all of you who made this happen and we need to continue starting with the Parish Census and Festa Italiana in October. Together we can make this year as good or better as the last one. As the nuns taught me: “good better best never let it rest make the good better and make the better best”. I always liked that one.
Being the GK really was a lot of fun. Being an engineer, getting things accomplished was the biggest payback and doing it for our parish on a large scale was very rewarding. However, I am glad that it is over because as I said I believe that things will come around when their time has come. Well that little boy over there is my next challenge. Being a grandpa is new for me.
Thank you all again for making the last year a very memorable one for me and I hope for you.