Grand Knight Gil Wist reviews 2016
Good Evening everyone and thank you for coming out to our Installation of Officers and wind up. It is so nice to see such a great turnout and a special welcome to the CWL members that are here tonight and to our widows. It has been a truly great honor to have served our council as Grand Knight over the past two years. We have such a great group of dedicated knights it makes my job very easy. Allan, I am sure you will do a great job leading this group as they don't so much need a leader as they do a guide. I found it convenient at times to just get out of the way and let them do the work as I knew it would be done well.
I've heard many times that we as Knights don't often seek recognition for the things we do. Tonight I am going to change that as I am going to take some time to blow our own horns. As most of you know we are a very active council so I would like to highlight many of the things we did this past year and to thank many of the people responsible for doing these things. Some of this I will do in chronological order and others in certain categories.
We started the year in September with an appreciation supper for our priests and sisters. This was very well attended and very much appreciated by all who attended. A special thank you to Andy Wilson who did most of the work in organizing this event.
Our next big event was our second annual celebrity dinner which saw us turn over $60,000 to the Children's Hospital Foundation bring our contributions to this cause to over $110,000 in only two years. Garry Maier deserves a lot of credit for driving the bus as he puts it, but there are many others who deserve thanks as well.
Another fundraising event we helped organize and support was the Kayden Kot fundraiser which netted close to $30,000 to help with Kayden's medical expenses. I am sure I can speak for many of the people who worked at this event that it is so gratifying as you can just feel the love that goes into supporting an event like this.
The last fundraising supper that we helped organize was the Bishop's Dinner which moved from TCU Place to our Cathedral Hall and was very well received. A special thank you goes to Shawn Scherr who really stepped up and helped organize this event.
In addition to help organize these dinners we also supported a number of other fundraising dinner either by buying tickets and sending people to them or by working the bars and turning over the proceeds to the organizing committee. These included Bosco Homes, In support of Life, Blackstrap Youth Camp, Zoo Gala, Prader Willi Foundation, the CWL wind up, as well as their convention banquet and Major Degree banquets.
So you don't think all we do is organize suppers and work bars at them I will now move into some of our ongoing projects starting with the Nativity Scenes. Last year we made and sold 100 wood nativity scenes and around 20 coroplast cardboard ones. Over $11,000 was netted from these sales and this money was turned over to St. Anne’s Senior Citizens residence where it was used to buy some much needed medical equipment. A special thank you needs to go to Dan Bittner, Laurent Bussiere, Dick Hollier, Joe Brule, Wayne Koshman and others. This group is once again working on this years sales and are more ambitious than ever with plans to make and sell 200 scenes and donate the proceeds to the Blackstrap Youth Camp.
While on Nativity Scenes a new project started this year was a Sunday display of Christmas Creches which featured numerous creches made by elementary students in our neighborhood schools. A special thank you to Merv Kuzminski whose efforts I am sure brought joy to many young children as well as went a long way to Keeping Christ in Christmas.
Another Keeping Christ in Christmas project we support is setting up a manger scene at Market Mall. Joe Brule and Dan Bittner are responsible for keeping this project ongoing. Still in the Christmas theme of Keeping Christ in Christmas we donated a $1000 to Saskatoon K of C Chapter to help cover the costs of having the Christmas message displayed on two billboards in the city. I would also like at this time to mention our Christmas Gobo Light Display on the Cathedral Roof. A special thank you goes to Dan Bittner who organized and helped set up this display.
Still on the Christmas theme we helped organize our Parish's Christmas Hamper project. Sixty hampers were made up and delivered. This was a project not only supported by the Knights, but also the CWL (Donna Dube). A special thank you to all those people who helped pick up food, organize the hampers and deliver them.
A last item before leaving the Christmas season involved the large Christmas Tree that so beautifully decorates our sanctuary during this season. A special thank you goes to Cecil Dust and John Benesh who are responsible for this project.
Other ongoing projects that we do to help our parishioners to socialize as well as for our fundraising is our Famous All You Can Eat Breakfasts and our Sunday Sundaes. Thanks to John Benesh, Pat Daley and Shawn Scherr who organize the breakfasts and John Benesh and myself who organize the Sunday Sundaes. Our breakfasts are probably the one event that gets more knights involved than any other activities we do.
Another ongoing project we started two years ago is a barbecue evening for the seniors at Sutherland Seniors home. This has been well received by the seniors and helps to give us a visible presence in our community.
Other ways we support our parish include Baptismal Passports where a small passport is given to each family at the Baptism of their child. A special thank you to Bill Reiter who looks after this project. Still with the parish theme our ongoing Mass and prayer cards which Andy Wilson does such a good job of organizing. Our support for our youth groups mainly the Peru Mission group not only in helping them with their fundraising, but in purchasing wheelchairs for them to distribute in Peru.
Some one time events we are involved in include setting up and taking down chairs for Christmas and Easter. Another onetime major project was in patching and repainting the walls in the hall, the hall entrance way, bar room, servery and our meeting room. Special thanks to Joe Brule, Dan Bittner, Dick Hollier and myself for tackling and completing this project.
In addition to helping and supporting all of these projects we have provided financial support for many groups including Columbus Bosco Homes, K of C Indoor Games, Blackstrap Youth Camp, Mt. Carmel's Rock the Mount, Coats for Kids, CCO, and Queens House. There was also the support for our seminarians and the latest Sanctum Survivor where we supported Bishop Don during his homeless jaunt around the city. Actually the money went to support a new HIV Centre being established on Ave M.
A new project we started last year was in establishing university entrance scholarships for sons or daughters of members of our council. A special thanks to Allan Ronellenfitsch for looking after this project.
The engine that enables us to support these many worthwhile causes are the proceeds from our wedding bars. We are very fortunate to have this fundraising activity and I would like to recognize Shawn Scherr for all the hard work he puts in to coordinate the bars. Being one of the bar captains I greatly appreciate all the effort he puts into keeping supplies stocked, getting permits, picking up alcohol etc. I would also like to acknowledge our bar captains Darren Dale, John Deptuck, Shawn Scherr and myself and many others would who have worked at a bar this past year.
As you can see we are a busy council indeed. I won't even get into other K of C projects that members of our council are involved in, but suffice to say that Blackstrap Youth Camp, Indoor Games and In support of Life to mention three, are areas where our council members are very actively involved.
Now I would like to move into making two special presentations. The first one is to our Knight of the Year. At this time I would ask John Deptuck to please come forward to be recognized. John puts a tremendous amount of time into not only our council, but into other areas as well. He was our chancellor this year and as such attended most meetings and always has some very positive comments to make. He is one of our bar captains and with that role probably works at over a dozen events over the year. John also helps at most of our breakfasts and is often the last person to leave. In addition to working with our council John is an integral member of the organizing committee for the Saskatoon K of C Indoor Games where he serves as treasurer. As such he puts in countless hours dealing with the finances. Outside of the Knights John is an active slow pitch umpire. All of this he does in addition to keeping his accounting business ProCity Accounting running smoothly. Please join me in recognizing John Deptuck as Knight of the Year.
Our next presentation is for Family of the Year. As you can see one family is here tonight in great numbers and it gives me great pleasure to call them all forward. Would Garry and Kathy Meier and their family please come forward to be recognized. Probably the most demanding position on our executive is the position of Financial Secretary. It is the Financial Secretary who keeps us on track, up to date in collecting membership dues and up to date in keeping track of our membership. With a membership of over 250 this is a very challenging task and Garry handles it with great efficiency. Our number of members who have not paid their dues is the lowest it has been in many years. This is due to Garry's diligent manner in collecting these dues. A major area that Garry took on two years ago was in taking on the task of Chairing the Celebrity Dinner, and what a job he did. Organizing a dozen knights to work together for one cause was not an easy thing to do and Garry has done a great job of it as the results speak for themselves. Standing at Garry's side and doing probably as much work is his wife Kathy. She takes on the most challenging task with the celebrity dinner, that being in charge of the silent auction.
Garry and Kathy have been members of Holy Family Parish longer than most of us and have been regular contributors to the life of our parish. Their children were baptized here and received the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation here. Please help me in recognizing Garry and Kathy Maier and their family as our Knights of Columbus Family of the Year.