UNION COUNTY — During the Knights of Columbus Aug. 21 meeting, Garry O. Kosteck, Grand Knight of Council 2544, presented The Arc of Union County’s Executive Director, Frank Caragher with a donation.
Addressing the membership Caragher thanked them for their support stating, “It is a privilege to provide programs and services to 1,000 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The funds from the drive will be used to support programs with funding gaps. Although we receive State dollars, local donations and foundation support, it still doesn’t cover all the costs associated with providing services. We are grateful for the hard work that you do each April on behalf of children with special needs.”
The coordinator for this year’s Council 2544 Special Children’s Drive was Brother Matt Lorence and over a three day period in April, an estimated 25 Knights member’s stood outside of local businesses each wearing a brightly colored vest, requesting donations from weekend shoppers. Parishioners from St. John’s the Evangelist RC Church, Dunellen, and our Lady of Fatima RC Church, Piscataway, supported this drive. The monies collected are then sent to the New Jersey state council where 10% of the total is used to support the NJ Special Olympics. The remaining funds are sent back to each council to be shared with their choice of non-profit agencies.
The Knights of Columbus, Council 2544 have proudly been supporting their district since 1924. Grand Knight Kosteck stated, “The Special Children’s Drive is only one of many philanthropic works done on behalf of the community each year by the Brothers of Council 2544.”
Also invited to the awards ceremony was Tom Baffuto, the Executive Director from The Arc of New Jersey; a human rights advocacy organization actively committed to full community participation and inclusion across the lifespan for all individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Mr. Baffuto shared examples of how by advocating for people with special needs The Arc has helped to change legislation. Tom concluded by saying, “It is through diversity that we all live in a rich community.”
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