Thanks to area Knights, small treat makes big difference

Knights of Columbus council members in yellow vests handing out Tootsie Rolls after Masses will be a common sight in the coming weeks around the diocese. During the month of April, many councils will hold their annual Campaign for Intellectual Disabilities, commonly known as the Tootsie Roll Drive.

Tom Offerdahl, member of Knights of Columbus Bishop Trobec Council 5276, participated in the Campaign for Intellectual Disabilities in 2023 at a Sartell grocery store.

Knights of Columbus is a Catholic fraternal service order founded by Fr. Michael J McGivney dedicated to the principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. The Campaign for Intellectual Disabilities is one of many charity events hosted by councils throughout the diocese.
Bishop Trobec Council 5276 from Sartell and St. Stephen will hold their campaign from April 26 to 28. They will have knights present at the end of all Masses for the One in Christ Area Catholic Community. They are also present at the two Coborn’s stores in Sartell throughout the weekend.
“We act as the greeters at the stores,” said Tom Offerdahl, council member and business manager at St. Francis Xavier. “It is a lot of fun.”
“We try to give a Tootsie Roll to everyone we encounter, and always ask parents if it is OK to give a treat to their children before we do. It seems that if people don’t give money on their way in, they often end up donating on their way out.”
Last year, Council 5276 raised around $2,500 through the campaign.
“We gave the funds to Special Olympics, Camp Courage, Sartell/St. Stephen Special Education and to support ministries for those with special needs through the Diocese of St. Cloud,” said Offerdahl. “It’s a win-win. Everyone likes Tootsie Rolls and we support people with special needs.”
Each Tootsie Roll is imprinted with the Knights of Columbus logo and indicates they support people with intellectual disabilities.
“The Tootsie Roll is a visual reminder of why you give,” Offerdahl said. “In today’s world, it’s important to see signs and symbols of good things happening. The Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll is a good symbol bringing good news.”

Author: Amber Walling

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