Grand Knight Jerry Orbino reviews some of the thank you cards and posters St. John Paul II Catholic School students sent to Knights of Columbus Council 6168. The council's recent Father Willie Golf Tournament raised $8,000 for classroom needs at the school.
The 22nd annual Knights of Columbus Father Willie Golf tournament netted $8,000 for teachers at St. John Paul II Catholic School in Lecanto, making it the most successful fundraiser in the history of the tournament.
The goal of the tournament, held at Citrus Hills Oaks Golf Course recently, was to raise funds for teachers who had specific classroom needs. Sixteen educators split the money which came out to $500 each.
Knights of Columbus Council 6168 has supported the school for years with consistent donations to keep Catholic education alive in Citrus County, Florida. St. John Paul II is the only Catholic school in the county.
Principal John Larkin could not thank the Knights enough. “The Knights are always a great and consistent supporter of the school,” he said.
Many teachers helped out the Knights by registering golfers, distributing goodie bags, delivering lunches and selling tickets. Multiple local and corporate sponsors also supported the event.
Participating golfers were pleased. “God himself created the loveliest day with low humidity, temperatures in the low 80s, and clear blue skies,” one observed. Eighty-four golfers competed.
Steve Marchigiano, Council 6168 trustee and the Father Willie tournament manager, thanked all who participated. They made the event “a great success,” he said.
Grand Knight Jerry Orbino, in turn, applauded Marchigiano for his leadership in making this year’s Fr. Willie such a great success.
The tournament is named after Father Willie McEwan, the Council 6168 chaplain from 1979 to 1986. He was a popular priest with a great passion for golf; he was known for his contributions to the council, the church, and the community. He served as a priest at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Beverly Hills from 1978 until his death in 1991.
The Knights of Columbus history of support for St. John Paul School peaked in 2014. At that time, the school was at risk for closing because of declining enrollment and needed facility repairs. The Knights set up a fundraising plan with the six Catholic churches in Citrus County to help raise more than $80,000 for repairs.