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For a Council of our size, we are a pretty involved bunch of Knights. The programs and activities that we are engaged in throughout the year are many. Below is just a sampling of how our Council is involved in our community.
Because of the number of activities we are involved in, we found it prudent to list them here so that you can get an appreciation for what we as a Council do during the year. If you're not yet a member of the Knights, who knows, this collection of information might be the catalyst that will help you make the commitment. Here is a sampling of our local community involvement.
People With Intellectual Disabilities (formerly known as MRP)
St. Elizabeth Council supports the Special Education Class at Milpitas High School. The "MRP" is one of the Knights' major fund raising efforts throughout the entire U.S. There is a follow on event to the "MRP" and that is the thank you social that is done by.
Altar Server Recognition
Every year as the school year is coming to a close, our Council, in cooperation with the St. Elizabeth Church Altar Server Coordinator, recognize the dedication and service of the youth of our parish in their ministry as Altar Servers.
Keep Christ in Christmas
Before the Turkey is thawed and put into the oven, our Council members are standing outside of Church with a table displaying the best of Christmas cards that speak to the real reason for the season. The proceeds from this sale helps St. Elizabeth Council fund their many other activities held throughout the year.
Council Blood Drive
Three times a year, Brother Dick Jones, in cooperation with the Stanford Blood Bank, organizes and carries out blood drives to acquire this most precious gift of life. On average, Brother Jones signs up anywhere between 35 - 40 donors, some who have become regulars.
Three times a year, Brother Joe Byrne organizes food drives at Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas to assist needy families in our immediate area. These families are assigned to us by the St. Vincent DePaul Society and County Social Services. We have provided food bags, sometimes 4 bags per family, for up to 30+ families.
Relay for Life
Members of St. Elizabeth Council and their families assist in organizing teams for the annual Walk For Life that benefits Cancer research. There are some members of our extended family who are cancer survivors so this event holds special importance for them. Brother Skip Yenchik chairs this event.
Veterans Day and Memorial Day Observances
Members of St. Joseph Assembly are the primary participants in this event that are held on their respective days. In both instances, members of St. Joseph Assembly come to the Veterans Memorial adjacent to the Milpitas Community Center and participate in the flag raising ceremony and subsequent civic event that follows. On Memorial Day, those members of St. Joseph Assembly who are with the Color Corps proceed to Calvary Cemetary and do honor guard duties for the priest presider at the annual Memorial Day Mass.
Quarterly Council Potluck Dinners
At the close of every quarter, our Council hold a potluck dinner social that also doubles as an opportunity for the Grand Knight to recognize those members and families for their service to both the Council, the Parish, and the community. The awards presented at this event include Knight of the Month, Family of the Month, Knight of the Year, and Family of the Year.
The Parish Picnic
If there is one truism it is this, find me something to cook and serve and you'll find a group of Knights right in the thick of it. During the annual St. Elizabeth Church Parish Picnic, members of our Council man the tongs, forks, salt, pepper, and barbeque sauce and assist in the cooking of mouth-watering chicken and pork ribs. In addition to doing the cooking, you will also see our members acting as DJ (see the home page for Knight Sounds), as well as helping in the setting up, take down, and clean up.
Hospitality Weekend Host
During the spring and summer months, St. Elizabeth Church has a once-a-month hospitality weekend where members of the various Church service organizations offer refreshments after each of the Masses. These refreshments can consist of coffee, tea, juice, donuts, cake, homemade cookies, and exotic ethnic foods. Our Council tries to schedule their weekend to coincide with the birthday of the founding of our Council. And, what do we offer the parishioners? Why a (lot) of birthday cake, of course.
There are many national activities that the Knights of Columbus put on to benefit the youth of not only our Parish but also our community. Here is an example of a couple of those activities. Currently, Brother Guillermo Uribe is the chairman for both of the events listed below:
Basketball Toss: This is a competition that is open to both boys and girls from the ages of 10 through and including 14. Winners of our local competition can to on to the advanced regional and state competitions and even on to the national competitions.
The Soccer Challenge: This event is similar to the Basketball Toss except instead of trying to make as many baskets in a given number of freethrow attempts, the Soccer Challenge has the participants doing free kicks from a given distance into the net. The goal is to aim your kicks at certain areas of the goal net where the resulting score is higher.
Boy Scout Troop 110: St. Elizabeth Council holds the Charter for Boy Scout Troop 110. We are proud to assist these young men on their journey to responsible adulthood. We are also proud to say that a couple of our Council members have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and participate in activities of the Troop.
Ladies of Prayer
Held in May, the Roses of St. Elizabeth hold their annual one-day retreat and day of recollection. How do members of our Council get involved? Recall the earlier description about our activities with the Parish Picnic and translate that to a luncheon enviorement. As the ladies are participating in their activities, members of our Council are putting together a delicious lunch that features the receipe of a former member who passed away some years ago. Not only do our members assist in the preparation of the lunch but we also set up the room, decorate the tables, serve the lunch, bus the tables, and then clean up. To those members who participate, many annually, it's more of a fun thing than work.
At various times of the year, our Council puts on pancake breakfasts for the Parish. Sometimes these breakfasts are fund raising activities, other times, we do it to assist our Boy Scout troop, or at the request of the Pastor as a show of appreciation to the parishioners at large for their response to fund raising events.
Fourth of July Parade
The City of Milpitas used to put on the Fourth of July Day Parade that traveled along Main Street starting at the Calaveras Blvd. overpass and terminating at the Great Mall. Because of budget restraints as well as some major construction activities near the start of the parade route, the parade has been suspended for the time being but should be coming back to life in the not too distant future. Both our Council and Assembly participate, including family members, that include an honor guard consisting of the Color Corps of St. Joseph Assembly and members of St. Elizabeth Council carrying the flags of our Armed Services and the POW-MIA flag. The incoming Grand Knight and Faithful Navigator get to ride in convertables as well as having family members marching as well.
This Web Site
Founded, designed, and financed by Brother Ed Blake, www.kofc8747.org was created in 2004 to recognize that there was a new way to get the word out to people at large about the Knights of Columbus.
Why did we put this activity here toward the bottom of the list? Because you save the best for last. All of the above mentioned activities and events that we participate has a hidden agenda and objective. That, simply put, is to inspire Catholic men of our parish and community to consider joining our ranks and assisting us in attaining the goals and objectives of our Council and Assembly as well as the Knights of Columbus worldwide.
Recruitment drives are usually dictated by the State Council. We hold on average about three (3) recruitment drives a year but realize that recruiting new members is a 24/7/365 affair and that sometimes the opportunity to change someone's life and provide them with the opportunity to be a server to the Parish and the community can happen at the strangest moments.