by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville — Pancakes, waffles, bacon, ham, eggs, and toast come out of the Rendez-Vous Centre’s kitchen in a steady stream whenever the Knights of Columbus (KOC) get together to hold a community breakfast. The local Catholic Fraternal Order holds a monthly breakfast nine months out of the year, taking a break in July, August and December.
“It’s a fundraiser for us,” said Knight Henry Lamoureux. “Actually, right now, it is our biggest fundraiser. We have a lot of charities asking us for money and that’s how we help them.”
Fellow Knight Gene Scantland said the St. Anne Council 5010 of the Knights of Columbus have helped individuals as well. Whether it was buying a local graduate a suit to wear for graduation or a computer for another student to do his work on, the Knights of Columbus assist when and where they can. Additionally, the group purchases bibles for the Grade 4 Class at Ècole Notre Dame Elementary School, donates money to summer camps, runs the annual KOC Food Hamper program, and co-hosts the local blood donor clinics.
As a Council, the Knights have been running a community breakfast in Morinville for more than a dozen years. About a dozen Knights and other volunteers make the breakfasts successful every month.
It takes about 150 community members through the door at each one for the event to break even. With 200 attending breakfast, the Council can have funds available to help those they assist.
“We used to do casinos, but the Bishops said no to casinos, so we found a different way of raising money,” Lamoureux explained, adding the monthly breakfast is a good value for $7 per person.
More than a fundraiser
Fellow Knight Gene Scantland said beyond the fundraising side of the event, there is another opportunity for members to socialize. “It’s good for all our guys to get together,” he said. “It’s good companionship. It’s good visiting. Tell a few jokes.”
The local council has about 100 members of which 40 are actively involved. Lamoureux said the group is looking for more members. “Like every club, we are always recruiting. If you don’t, you die,” he said, adding many of the members are getting older.
The Council has two regular meetings each month locally, and members are eligible to visit other Councils in and out of the province.
Scantland has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for more than 30 years. “It’s the companionship and helping people,” he said of his long participation. “It’s a good way to stay out of trouble.
Fellow knight Lamoureux joined in 1970 and become really active in 1991 after selling his business. “It’s something to do,” he said. “You meet new people. A lot of our recruits are strangers to us when they join. Then you get to know them.”