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Missouri Strong!

Community Activities

Chuck Paquette
Community Activities Director

Strong Knights, Strong Communities

We are called to serve those in need. Our community programs help us to reach more people in need, helping many from our family to our Country. These programs are build to help us reachout and to others, showing our strenth and vigor as we build our Communities, Churches and our Family.

Community Activities Chairmen

Chuck Klingsick
Developmental Disabilities Chairman West

Victor Bender
Developmental Disabilities Chairman East

Matt Gray
Life Services Chairman

John Myers
Coats for Kids Chairman

Tim Vargesko
Soccer/Basketball Free Throw Chairman

Chris Nelms
Website Coordinator

Bob Hook

Bill Lueckenhoff
Essay Contest Chairman

Ken Wehmeyer
Mariner Editor & Publisher

Pat Kennedy
Publicity & Social Media Chairman

Legislative & MCC Liaison

Tony Dohmen
State Council Historian

Jay Locker

Developmental Disabilities Drive
51st Annual ‘Tootsie Roll’ Event
2023 Goal = $700,000
October 6 thru 8 2023*

(*Councils are asked to conduct their drive the weekend of October 6-8; however, if there are special circumstances that your council cannot conduct its drive that weekend, the insurance purchased by the State Council to cover the DD Drive is effective every weekend in October.)

Thank you to every Knight’s hard work, generosity, and dedication to the DD Drive, the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center moved out of the hospital and into the second floor of the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Foundation building in May of 2013. This new facility has more than doubles the size of the center from 4,200 sq. ft. to 10,500 sq. ft. It also has its own parking lot which is located just steps away from the door. When the Center opened back in 1982, it was served by a staff of just 3; now the Center can boast of a staff of over 20 dedicated staff members.

As members of the Missouri Knights of Columbus we are committed to supporting organizations who are dedicated to the health, education and welfare of persons with developmental disabilities. This is highlighted each year by our “Drive for Persons with Developmental Disabilities” (formerly known as the “Tootsie Roll Drive,” and more recently as the “MR Drive”).

Knights of Columbus Developmental Center at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center

One-half of all proceeds collected in this annual drive go to support the Developmental Center which was started by the Missouri Knights in 1982. The Center specializes in diagnosing and treating thousands of children afflicted with: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Developmental Delays, Learning Disabilities, Dyslexia, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Prader-Willie Syndrome, Hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorder. This is done by a staff of Child Psychologists, Educational Diagnosticians, Social Workers, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, Special Family Therapists, and special consultant “Higgins” (a Goldendoodle) the therapy dog. Other programs in place include: Parent Education, Developmental Screening, Professional Training and Developmental Education.

Turn-Around Funds

Half of the proceeds collected goes back to your council to use to support local programs for persons with developmental disabilities. All the funds need to be sent to Jerry and then a check will be sent back made out to your charity. Over 230 different agencies across the state received support through these funds last year.

Councils who do not have a specific agency in their area which works with the Developmentally Disabled are encouraged to request that their turn-around funds be donated to the Missouri Knights of Columbus Developmental Center or to Special Olympics Missouri. You can indicate your preference on your Developmental Disabilities Drive Disbursement Request Form.

Turn around fund request forms must be completed no later than June 30, 2024.

The State Council has entered into an agreement with Schnucks Markets for the 2023 drive. The process documentation has been added to the Community Forms link below. Look for ‘2023 Schnucks Stores Dev Disability Drive Process’

Community Forms

Grand Knight’s Checklist for 51th Annual DD Drive


  • Appoint a Chairman for
  • Contact Developmental Disabilities Chairman (East or West) and report the Council DD Drive Chairman’s name, phone number and email address.
  • Set a Council goal for the DD
  • Contact the pastor to discuss parish DDDrive bulletin announcements and parish
  • Select desired collection sites for the Council DD Drive and obtain permission and/or


  • Decide how many cases of Tootsie Rolls to A minimum order of 33 cases required for free shipping, but Councils can combine orders. The Council’s District Deputy and the DDDrive Chairmen will help facilitate.
  • Order Tootsie Rolls by Friday, August 18. A fillable, email‐able PDF order form is available on the state Send a copy of theTootsie Roll Order Form to the State Community Director.
  • Check aprons and order new ones if necessary by Friday,September 1 to ensure
  • Arrange for promotion of the local drive through local news sources


  • Learn about the Continue to Give facility for online
  • Coordinate with other Councils in the Council’s area through the District Deputy to maximize
  • Recruit and assign members to work at a specific collection
  • Contact Special Olympics or other agencies for their and assistance at the collection
  • Assign one person to monitor on collection sites,collect proceeds regularly, and restock workers with tootsie Rolls on the day of the Drive.
  • Write businesses and ask that they make or match a contribution for the
  • Appoint a committee to account for the proceeds of the
  • The Financial Secretary will receive all necessary DDDrive forms via mail, or forms are available on the state website and


  • Verify that everything is ready and participate in the DDDrive!
  • Publish information & asolicitation for DDDrive contributions in the parish
  • Deposit the funds from the DD Drive into the Council account, and then forward a Council check made payable to Columbian Charities of Missouri, directly to the Columbian Charities Treasurer, as soon as possible following the DDDrive.
  • Inform the local media and parish membership of the achievements and


  • Complete all reports and mail to the Columbian Charities Treasurer and the Community
  • Request turn around funds from Columbian
  • Complete Final Report by December 1 for awards at the State

Please visit the Community Forms link for copies of all forms needed for the drive: Tootsie Roll and Collection Apron Order Forms, Final Report, and Turn around Fund Request Forms. There is also a Sample News Release and Sample Business Appeal Letter.

Chuck Klingsick
Developmental Disabilities Chairman West

Victor Bender
Developmental Disabilities Chairman East

Jerry Herbert
Columbian Charities Treasurer
eMail Jerry for his USPS Information:

Note: Use a separate form for each program you are supporting, copy form if needed.

Community Forms

Coats for Kids

John Myers, Chairman

The Knights of Columbus developed the Coats for Kids program which Allows Missouri Councils the opportunity to purchase new winter coats for children at a discounted rate and distribute them to children in need in the councils local community. Since Coats for Kids began in 2009, over half of million coats have been distributed. Every Knights of Columbus Council is encouraged to participate in the Coats for Kids program. Coats may be ordered through KnightsGear.com website, or some Councils have arrangements with local retailers. If a case of coats is outside the Council’s budget, please work with the Council’s District Deputy or Chapter to partner with a nearby Council to be a part of this wonderful program. Immediately after the Council’s event is finished, complete the Fraternal Programs Report Form(#10784).

Type of Coat Coats Per Case Number of Cases Cases Requested Total Coats
Youth 12 6 72
Teen 12 4 48
Light 24 4 96

Life Services

Matt Gray, Chairman

Blood Drives

In 1938 the Knights of Columbus was the first national organization to establish a blood donor program to be implemented throughout the Order. Knights families continue to support this life‐ giving program today, but we need the Council’s help in reporting blood donations. As part of our coronavirus response, Leave No Neighbor Behind, please schedule a drive of the Council’s own, or support one scheduled in the Council’s area, and then send in a report on the number of units collected using the Blood Drive report form on the state website.

Blood Drive Report Form

Wheelchair Mission

An important part of our Life Services program is our partnership with the American Wheelchair Mission, which provides brand new wheelchairs to people in need. Due to the generosity of Knights families throughout the U.S., thousands of wheelchairs have been donated around the globe. A donation of $150

will help deliver one wheelchair to someone in need. Just as important, past generosity allows State Council to provide a free wheelchair to our neighbors in need.  Purchase of a large

container of 110–280 wheelchairs, depending on size, is required to receive Featured Program credit. Please consider holding a Wheelchair Sunday drive this year! Make checks payable to Columbian Charities and note Wheelchair on the memo line.

Agape House & Prison Concern

The Agape House (pronounced agapē) provides families of prisoners a place to stay overnight when they are visiting family members who are incarcerated. Agapē, which translated means “Christian Love,” treats all of its guests with respect, love, and caring. Each Council, Assembly, and Auxiliary is asked to donate $50 to this worth while cause. Make checks payable to Columbian Charities and note Prison Concern on the memo line.

Habitat for Humanity

While Habitat has not been a typical partner for Missouri Knights, Knights families in other areas have strong relationships with their local Habitats to provide homes for the homeless and at risk. Knights of Columbus Councils work closely with Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit Christian

organization,  to build homes for    families in need at substantially reduced costs. Each year, Councils throughout the Order donate a considerable number of volunteer hours and dollars to this worthy cause. In order to satisfy program requirements, Councils may donate a minimum of $1,000 or 200 service hours to Habitat for Humanity projects in their community to receive credit for the Featured Program. Contact the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the Council’s area for information on upcoming projects at www.habitat.org or by eMailing: volunteer@habitat.org.

Helping Hands

The Helping Hands Program is designed to recognize the important work many Councils already do to care for the most disadvantaged members of our communities–the homeless, the addicted, the elderly who may feel isolated and abandoned, and many others. Through this program, Councils will aid the needy through the activities they feel best suit their community, such as serving at or running a soup kitchen, repairing the facilities of a local service organization or something entirely unique.The requirements for this program are very broad in order to allow Councils to serve their community in whatever way is most needed. Some needs may be physical, while others are social, emotional or spiritual. Whatever the need, Councils are encouraged to assist and creatively support their broader community.

Disaster Preparedness

Communities can be brought to a halt when disaster occurs – from large natural disasters to local crises. As community leaders, Knights of Columbus will ensure that their members, families and parish communities are prepared through a campaign that promotes planning and education. This program motivates Councils to take a holistic approach to emergency situations by promoting readiness in times of crisis, assessing response capabilities, and learning how to properly respond well ahead of a disaster. Councils can also fundraise and teach (where able) in anticipation of larger efforts to assist brothers in need. To begin, contact the Council’ l o c a l department of emergency management or police to inquire about the procedures in place in the Council’s community in a disaster situation. Remember the Council’s parish: meet with the Council’s parish priest on an annual basis to identify specific needs of the parish in the event of a disaster and determine how the Knights can assist.

Essay Contest

Bill Lueckenhoff, Chairman
The Missouri State Council is conducting an essay contest and will change topics from year to year. Please note that this contest is separate from the Supreme Catholic Citizenship Essay. The State Essay Contest is open to all students attending Catholic Schools and to Catholic students in grades 6 through 8 attending parochial, private (including home schooled) and public schools throughout the State. Essays will be judged for each individual grade level.
The 2023-2024 Essay Topic is as follows:
“What is the importance of the Eucharist to me in my life?”
During August and early September, Councils and Assemblies should contact schools to encourage participation. During October through January, student essays should be written and judged at the local level.
Councils must judge local entries and submit only their top one (1) essay selection per grade level for State judging by January 31, 2024.
Essays must be submitted to the Essay Chairman, Bill Lueckenhoff, by eMail at wdlueckenhoff@embarqmail.com  by the January 31 deadline.

Essays must be 350 to 500 words; a student’s original work; reflect the assigned topic; be printable on 8 ½” by 11” paper, double spaced, with one-inch margins. All entries become the property of the Missouri Knights of Columbus and will not be returned. Plaques will be awarded to the top three winners in each grade level in the State.


Youth Sports

Timothy Vargesko, Chairman – Basketball
Richard Weiberg, Chairman – Soccer

Our soccer and basketball free throw contests are each long-standing programs, and Councils are encouraged to contact their local schools and sports teams early to organize their participation.

Children ages 9 – 14 can compete at the Council, District, Regional and State levels.




Basketball – Free Throw

Order Kits (Supreme)




Ages 9 to 14 as of

September 1, 2023


January 1, 2024

Council Contest

September 16 -25th



Council Awards

Council’s choice: Trophies or Plaques
(No Bonds or Cash)

District Contest

October 1 – 16th


February 1 – 15

District Awards


Regional Contest

October 16 – 30th


February 16 – 29

State Contest

November 6th.



Regional & State Awards


International Awards


Score sheets are not returned to the participants, and each winner’s sheets forwarded to the next level of competition. The international competition is not in-person, rather, each state winner’s score sheets are compared. An estimated number of participants should be kept at each level and forwarded to the State Chairman for their information.

Social Media & Website

Chris Nelms, Website Coordinator (Webmaster)
Bob Hook, Communications Chairman (Constant Contact)
Jay Locker, Photographer
Pat Kennedy, Publicity & Social Media Chairman

Many of our leaders, members, families, and prospects are on the web, and the coronavirus pandemic has made it even more important, as people use web resources to shop, make connections with friends and family, find information, and hold meetings and classes of all sorts. Our State Council technology team is leveraging the state website and our social media presence on Facebook and else where to spread our message of charity, unity,fraternity,and patriotism.

The State Council continues the build & elaboration of a new website for 2021–2022 on the popular WordPress platform to replace UKnight as the development environment, to make the content on the website more accessible and the facility to search and make revisions easier for everyone. Look for these changes soon, and meanwhile, LIKE our Facebook site, under Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council. Visitor posts to the Facebook sites how in local Knights of Columbus Council, Assembly, Auxiliary, and Chapter events are encouraged but will be reviewed by a moderator.

Regular communications are sent to fraternal leaders via Constant Contact. Grand Knights and Financial Secretaries with an email account should send their name, email address, Council number, and office to technology@mokofc.org with the header “StateDirectory–[CouncilNumber].” This information will be strictly confidential and only used for Knights of Columbus business.

Missouri Catholic Conference

James Baldwin, Chairman

Former US Speaker of the House Thomas ‘Tip’ O’Neill was well known for his aphorism, “All politics is local. ”We are fortunate to live in a democratic republic, and as Knights families exemplifying our charism of patriotism, it is important that we take part in our government consistent with our Catholic‐formed conscience. The Missouri Catholic Conference represents the priorities of our state bishops. To receive the Missouri Catholic Conference newsletter and action alerts, log on to mocatholic.org.

State Museum

Tony Dohmen, State Historian

After many years, the Missouri Knights of Columbus has our own museum. The State Council archive is located at Father Helias Council #1054 in Jefferson City. Over the last few years, many items dealing with the Missouri State Council have been collected in this amazing historical archive of more than a century of Knights ’history in Missouri. Councils are welcomed to consult with the Historian to determine if any materials they might Tony want to donate are of a state wide historical nature worthy of being retained in the State Archive.

The Mariner

 Ken Wehmeyer, Editor in Chief

The Mariner is the Missouri Knights of Columbus quarterly state newspaper, received by mail by every Knights family and by Knights widows by request. It contains news of what Knights families, Councils, Assemblies, Auxiliaries, Agencies, Districts, Chapters, and the State Council are doing all around the state. Publication deadlines are the 5th of September, November, March, and May.


Mariner material should be in possession of the Mariner Editor, Ken Wehmeyer via eMail at wehprint@sbcglobal.net, ON OR BEFORE each deadline date. If you wish to send copy via USPS, eMail Ken for his postal mail information well in advance of the deadlines. Please allow two or three days prior to the actual deadline for the articles or photos to reach the editor’s desk if sending via postal mail. 

For all articles sent by regular mail, or by fax, type written is preferred, and in sentence case, in order to avoid as much misspelling of proper names as possible. However, if unable to type, please write or hand‐print copy as legible as possible to avoid typographical errors. With this latter thought in mind, many district deputies and chairmen fell into that category of not being able to type, but they still did a fantastic job of making their copy legible. If submitting via email, please do so in Microsoft Word format (.doc, .docx), or just type the article in the form of an eMail for conversion. Confirmation of receipt will be provided if requested.


Pictures submitted should be in positive form if by regular mail. It can be a colored print; it can be a Polaroid or instamatic print; it can be a digital print. But please remember WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET! IF USING A CAMERA PHONE OR DIGITAL CAMERA, MAKE SURE TO TAKE THE PHOTO OF THE SUBJECT AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE. THE LARGER THE ENLARGEMENT, THE GRAINIER THE SUBJECT. PHOTOS CANNOT BE SENT VIA FAX, NOR MAY A COPY‐MACHINE PRINT OR PHOTO COPY FROM A DIGITAL PRINTER BE USED.

If submitting a photo via email, which is preferred, please provide it in jpeg format, and limit the size to no large rthan 8”×10” or 1536×1024 pixels. It is most important that all photos be properly identified, and please try to answer the basic 5‐”W” questions in your copy: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, and WHY. Again, please avoid larger size than 8×10. Image scan been large do reduced to fit proper spacing. Regardless of how submitted photos PLEASE try to submit a good photo for publication. In several cases where a member will cut a photo out of a local newspaper and try to submit it for publication. Some of these are just so badly reproduced in the local newspaper that they cannot be used.

Articles or photos should be submitted via a district deputy, a state Council officer, director, or chairman. Councils who do not see their submitted articles in the next issue may contact the editor.


The address list for the Mariner editor is generated from Supreme Council’s Missouri roster only. Changes of address are entered through Member Management at www.kofc.org.

Columbian Charities

Jerry Herbert, Columbian Charities Treasurer

Columbian Charities of Missouri, Inc., is the charitable IRS 501(c)(3) arm of the Missouri State Council. Its treasurer, Jerry Herbert, is the point of contact for donations that involve the Missouri Knights of Columbus. Jerry will be receiving and distributing checks to the Councils for the following Programs:

  • Drive for Persons with Developmental Disabilities
  • American Wheelchair Mission
  • Agape House/Prison Concerns
  • Missouri Religious Vocation Fund
  • Sympathy Card / Memorial Board Donation
  • Family Involvement Events–KC Royals & St. Louis Baseball Games
  • Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO)
  • Meet Life Campaign
  • Roses for Life
  • Knight of Columbus License Plates

When submitting the Council checks to Columbian Charities please make note on the check’s memo line which program the check supports.
This will expedite the processing for the Council and Jerry.