Calais Knights of Columbus Collect $3,000 for Local Causes

By Lura Jackson

The Calais Knights of Columbus donated the proceeds from their most recent Tootsie Roll Drive on Sunday. Pictured left to right: Kathy Smith for the Calais Special Ed Program, Grand Knight Fred Hartman, Kristina Richard for the Woodland and Princeton Special Ed Programs, Troy Donovan and Betsy Craig for the Beckett Center, and Program Director Tom MacDonald. Each check is for $600.00. (Photo by Lura Jackson).

The Calais branch of the Knights of Columbus donated the proceeds of their largest annual charity function, the Tootsie Roll Drive, to local organizations in a jovial ceremony on Sunday the 19th. This year’s Drive netted $3,000, all of which will be committed to handicapped and charitable causes. 

The Knights collected donations for the Tootsie Roll Drive over Columbus Day Weekend, donning yellow aprons and standing in front of stores and buildings in Princeton, Woodland, and Calais. Donors had their kind gestures matched with a gift of the namesake sweet treats.

Recipients of this year’s proceeds were the Calais, Woodland, and Princeton Special Ed Programs, along with the Beckett Center, which will use its contribution to sponsor people for the Special Olympics. 80% of the collected funds will remain in the local area, while 20% of the funds are amassed from each of the branches in the state and pooled toward a chosen cause, such as purchasing an ambulance for a needy community.

The Calais branch has traditionally been among the leaders in the state for contributions despite its relatively small service area. Program Director Tom MacDonald said that since he’d joined the Knights in 1994, he estimates that the Calais Council has raised nearly $85,000 for the cause. He praised the generosity and kindness of local citizens and gave special thanks to the volunteers who helped orchestrate the Drive.

The K of C also hosts the Celtic Concert Series, which will resume in grand fashion on February 23rd, with multiple Tony-award winning Acadian Celtic musicians, Genticorum.