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Challenge issued…. Challenge CRUSHED!!!!!

Thank you seems so understated.  This year’s Turkey Challenge faced hurdles like none of us could have imagined.  A once-in-a-lifetime pandemic ravishing the world.  Countless families in our community in greater need than ever.  Council 50 closed for months and open with limited capacity and hours.  Untold stories of suffering.  So we entered this year’s Challenge somewhat sheepishly, not knowing how much we could expect you to do while managing your own family adversities.   We couldn’t have our usual Turkey Challenge culmination event in the hall so we shifted Saturday to a drive through chicken wing event.  And like always you showed up in droves.  

To put this in perspective, last year we donated an incredible $3,500 which was matched by a local retailer for a total donation of $7,000.  This year there was no retailer match so in the midst of unprecedented need we asked you to do more than ever to meet the demand.

Your efforts resulted in more than a staggering $7,500 raised for local charities.  $7,500!!   As you know all too well I’m not a man prone to loss of words, but when I heard that figure I was speechless.  I’m also not a man often prone to tears but I have to admit I welled up a little bit with pride in all of you!

There are a number of ways we can calculate the impact of what we accomplished.

7,500.00= more than 31,000 meals at places like the Food Shelf and Loaves and Fishes;

= approximately 625 turkeys if purchased at local retailers;

= more than 3,100 turkeys with the Food Shelf’s buying power from Foodshare. 

To anyone who has ever visited places like the Food Shelf and Loaves and Fishes and looked into the eyes of those needing assistance, you are struck by the notion that the balance of the ledger between giver and given is best summed up by the mid-sixteenth-century martyr John Bradford “There but for the grace of God, go I”.

There really are no words to express our gratitude to all of you.  Every year our expectation of your generosity is sky-high and yet you always surpass it.  We call, you answer.  Again and again.  The brotherhood of Council 50 is unmatched, in my opinion, anywhere.    

This holiday season, as you gather with loved ones in whatever way you can, even if the hugs and kisses are “viral”, a word that I hope someday can be thrown out like the trash from the holiday feast, I hope you reflect on whatever forces and influences formed your inner core and character, and know that you are made of the right stuff.  And that when we come together as one force, there isn’t a mountain we can’t move.

What you should all take away from this is one unshakeable truth.  No matter what challenges life may bring you, no matter how bleak or hopeless things may seem, if you are a member of Council 50, family of a member, or friend of the club, you have an army of several hundred people, who will ALWAYS have your back!

Saturday our very worthy Grand Knight was good-naturedly teasing me about the quotes I included in our last posting.  He asked me who I was going to quote next.  I already gave you one but the last seems obvious:

“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, that you do unto me”


On behalf of Grand Knight Joe Tiroletto and all of the officers of Council 50, God bless you and Happy Thanksgiving!

Fraternally Yours,

Paul Cunningham