Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

February 22, 2004

Knights of Columbus wronged in article

I am writing in response to an article by Liz Boch entitled, "Bill seeks to restrict street panhandling in Arundel" (The Sun, Feb. 15) in the Anne Arundel section. I must respond as the article cites erroneous information about the Knights of Columbus and this is, in part, attributed to me either by name or by inference.

First, members of the Knights of Columbus, and certainly those from our Council, never knock on anyone's car door or windows for solicitations.

Second, every Knight wears bright yellow aprons with large red letters identifying us specifically and indicates that we are a charitable group supporting children of very special needs - the mentally challenged.

Third, the Knights are not aggressive in any manner as this is contrary to our charitable purpose and because we are practical Catholic men who answer to the Highest Authority for our actions.

Fourth, we solicit donations at a variety of venues including organized events and at shopping malls and always with prior authorization. We do not solicit solely from median strips and resent the "panhandler" inference with which this story paints us.

Fifth, my Council, Father Michael J. McGivney 7025, has been in existence for 26 years. In that time, we have raised and donated over one-half million dollars for these special children, and this has all gone to such local charities as the Ruth Eason School.

Sixth, while our Council has only about 200 members, each year we raise approximately $100 per member and donate this to these special children. Over the past several years, this has amounted to over $250,000 in total collections for the Tootsie Roll campaign alone.

Finally, it is our privilege to donate these funds to the charities involved at our annual "Day of Fun." The day is set aside primarily as a day for these special children - a day in which no special child who participates goes away without a prize.

I hope my comments serve to set the record straight. Thank you for your time.

Larry Foster

Glen Burnie

The writer is Grand Knight of Council 7025, Knights of Columbus.

County's spending can be reduced

Years ago, county employees communicated on two-way radios. Now they have cell phones, pagers and two-way radios. Anne Arundel County could save money if so many county employees did not have the privilege of cell phones.

Before 1990, the only Anne Arundel County vehicles were for company employees on emergency calls. Now everywhere you look, Anne Arundel County vehicles are sitting at employees' residences. How much money could be saved on gas and repairs if employees were not permitted company vehicles for personal use?

Lawmakers need to form a committee to overlook and restructure state and county governments to find where monies could be saved. If any more is put on taxpayers, some will lose everything. If elected officials don't put an end to this situation there will be a lot more homeless families.

Robert and Sharon Thorpe

Brooklyn Park

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