The Knights of Columbus at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church in Calgary have taken the slogan and mission of putting their faith into action to a new level.
Over the past four years, the Saint Don Bosco Council has raised more than $100,000 for its church and different local charities with its unique and highly-successful Men’s Night Out fundraising dinner.
“One of the events I look forward to each year is the Men’s Night Out. It provides an opportunity for men to gather together for great food, good conversation, first-class libations and an opportunity to exercise the corporal acts of mercy by serving the poor through the donation made to St. Vincent de Paul. The MNO also serves the parish of St. Peter’s through the generous donation made to the Capital Campaign, Rock of our Faith. To date we have received $80,000.00 directly from the fundraiser dinner,” says Father Jonathan Gibson, Pastor at St. Peter’s.
Other recipients of the funds raised by the event are Elizabeth House, which helps young mothers or young females who are pregnant, and youth programs associated with the church and the community.
This year’s dinner, which is the fifth annual, takes place Friday September 27 at the Dalhousie Community Centre. For more information and for tickets, visit https://stpetersmensnightout.com/
“The St Peter’s Men’s Night Out event is a great opportunity to get out and share some fellowship while supporting local charities. Proceeds are directed to local charities. The need of local charities has increased over the past few years due to the downturn in the local economy. The Men’s Night Out Event is proud to support programs focusing on our youth, the hungry and the needy population,” says Peter Dugandzic, Grand Knight of the Saint Don Bosco Council.
The event attracts about 200 people each year and last year Bishop William McGrattan, of the Calgary Diocese, was in attendance. It features an all-you-can-eat gourmet dinner by Roma Catering, a free bar, numerous prizes totalling more than $10,000 and more than 40 silent auction items.
“The MNO is an opportunity for all the members of our community to respond to God’s call for us to serve each other, to support those in need and to do so cheerfully,” says Lorand L. Szojka, chairman of the event’s organizing committee.
St. Vincent de Paul’s mission is to “serve those in need, making no distinctions of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender or political opinions. The Society stores, packs up and delivers food every 30 days to 50 families in northwest Calgary. It also supports those in need with overdue bills, rent, moving and/or medical expenses.
“St. Vincent de Paul relies completely on the donations of generous sponsors. Your gifts make it possible for St. Vincent de Paul to deliver over 600 food hampers helping over 100 families in our parish community,” says Rina McDermott, President, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Peter’s.
“Additionally, we have been able to pay rent for families facing homelessness, utility bills for those about to lose this basic need and provide transportation or medical assistance to those in crisis situations. Of course, our year would not be complete without being able to provide Christmas hampers to over 70 families. That’s a lot of turkey and toys that your generosity will help to provide. Your donation does make a difference.”
Elizabeth House provides pregnant and parenting mothers faced with crisis to raise their child in a safe, supportive home environment. Women can stay while they are pregnant and up until their child’s second birthday. Each resident is provided with her own furnished bedroom, access to shared amenities, weekly groceries and staff support.
Youth programs supported by the MNO include the One-Rock Music Festival; a Knights of Columbus Scholarship for $1,500 each year; Boxes of Coats for Kids to distribute each fall; and other programs to promote community engagement.
The Knights of Columbus have also actively supported the improvement project at St. Peter’s which includes expanded conference and meeting rooms, parish hall upgrades for breakfasts and dinner events, technology upgrades to support live streaming and video libraries and expanded parking and lighting.
Professional Media and Journalist