Newest Knights lend hand to disabled Taneytown council helps to purchase van with candy sale

January 18, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Charter members who formed the St. Joseph, Taneytown Knights of Columbus Council No. 11631 got their first lesson in what the Catholic men's organization is all about during the annual K. of C. Tootsie Rolls drive.

The Knights -- formed in June and the newest of the District III councils -- handed out the free candy at local parishes and shopping centers, collecting more than $700 in donations to benefit those with mental and physical disabilities.

Combined with the efforts of the other four District III councils, $12,000 was collected last fall for Arc of Carroll County, John Zielinski, a district deputy for the Maryland State Council of the K. of C, said.

Arc, which until 1993 was known as the Carroll County Association for Retarded Citizens, will use the money to help pay for a new 15-passenger van, he said.

The new van is the eighth in as many years to be provided by the Knights to assist the nonprofit organization in its daily transportation of about 70 people with disabilities, said Tim Atkinson, executive director of Arc.

"We already have retired four of the eight vans donated by the Knights of Columbus, because each had nearly 200,000 miles on it," Mr. Atkinson said.

Mr. Zielinski said the other councils involved in the District III van project are Westminster Council, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen of Sykesville-Eldersburg, St. Bartholomew of Manchester-Hampstead, and St. Michael's of Poplar Springs in Howard County.

The Knights of Columbus is an international organization dedicated to church, family and flag, he said. Recent K. of C. enrollment membership figures list nearly 11,000 councils in the United States and 113 in Maryland.

Each K. of C. council is headed by a Grand Knight, elected for a one-year term, and the Taneytown Knights elected Kenneth Tregoning, 51, as its first leader.

Mr. Tregoning, who lives in Union Bridge, is a lieutenant with the Maryland State Police, serving as commander of the Golden Ring barracks in eastern Baltimore County.

As a member of the Westminster Council last year, he was named the Knights of Columbus Policeman of the Year for 1994 in Maryland. He was chosen from among 24 nominees.

Mr. Tregoning said he became interested in the organization in 1994 after accompanying a friend to a meeting of the Westminster Council at St. John's parish.

"Nobody twisted my arm [to join]," he said. "I was impressed by the welcome I received, and by the camaraderie and sincerity of the men in the council, but even more so by the charitable works they were doing."

Mr. Tregoning said he was asked in April to help form a new council in Taneytown and has enjoyed the challenge.

"We had about 12 or 13 men at our first meeting, and now we have 34 in the council," he said.

Anyone interested in joining the Knights of Columbus or in information about the new council, may call John Zielinski at (410) 795-6539.

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