Monday, July 31, 2006

Here's To the Knights

The 124th Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus convenes tomorrow in Orlando.
"You're going to think Rome moved west," said Charles Leppert, 64, of Davenport.

Legions of Knights in plumed, 19th-century hats, colorful capes, sashes and swords will accompany about 80 bishops and archbishops and 10 cardinals -- including the primate of Mexico -- as they march into the ballroom of the Orlando World Center Marriott and Resort Center.

About a thousand Knights, representing 1.7 million around the globe, will be in Orlando to consider a variety of issues, from stem-cell research to immigration reform. The meeting ends Thursday.

Bishop Thomas Wenski, leader of the Diocese of Orlando and himself a Knight, will lead a convention Mass on Tuesday morning....

Nationally, the Knights donated $139 million to charity in 2005, including $9 million for hurricane relief, and 64 million hours of volunteer service, according to the organization.

Locally, one Orlando unit alone distributed 3,000 to 4,000 Christmas gifts last year and donated computers to area schools.

"That's what the Knights of Columbus is about," says Thomas Fusco, 67, of Altamonte Springs, a member for 44 years.
At a preliminary meeting yesterday, the Knights voted to send $100,000 in aid to Lebanon.