Grand Knight Message
Greetings 4504 Family,
Spring has come, and summer will soon be here. With the nice weather, vaccinations, and fewer restrictions, it looks like we will get the opportunity to make the most out of this summer. Coming down to enjoy the Columbian Club's grounds would be one way to do that. We are truly blessed to have "the hidden Gem of Union." It is nice that we can enjoy the warmer months in the Tony Sibilia Picnic Grove, Tiki Bar, or snack shack, where we can gather, relax, and have great conversations with our friends. I know every time I walk through that grove with the shady trees and the cool breeze, I give thanks for it. And while all this is a blessing, it does come at a cost. Time. Any amount of time, whether it is an hour or more, help is always needed to maintain our hidden gem. Brothers and sisters have been busy preparing the grounds for this season. New mulch was applied to the playground and the grove areas. Cleaning and repairing took place wherever it was needed on the grounds. In just a few hours of time, with many hands at work, so much can be accomplished. This means more time can be spent enjoying, relaxing, and using the amenities we are lucky enough to have entrusted to us.
Please keep in mind that work parties are not limited to members; your family and friends are more than welcome to attend, and breakfast and lunch are provided. As the saying goes, there are no strangers, just friends we have not met. This is not just a time to "work" but a time to get to know one another and put our various skills to use for the good of the group.
If you have questions, please ask any officer; we will gladly answer all questions.
We are finally shaking off the winter blues, and it's with new vigor and strength as we move forward. COVID restrictions are lifting; more people are getting vaccinated. It's immensely satisfying the see our hall rentals increasing, and social activities begin to thrive again. Dare I say things are returning to normal?
I am looking forward to another German night and the JFK Assembly Horseshoe Tournament. Soon I will be reregistering the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery for Wreaths Across America 2021. The great news is through research, we have found documentation of the gravesites of two previous uncounted veterans. This year we will be locating the gravesite of LT Col Francis Barber, who died 14. Oct 1783 at the age of 33. And the family plot for George C. Barber Lt US Army, who died of yellow fever on October 11th, 1853, at the age of 26. We believe his marker is in the family plot of his father, George C Barber, an elder of First Presbyterian Church. This will increase this year's wreath goal to 174. With each passing year, research is revealing more of the site's history, allowing us to honor more of our nation's heroes. This year's WAA ceremony will be on December 18th. Please look for more details as we get closer to the date.
Looking back over this calendar year, it's been wonderful to see how much we accomplished. We completed our new manger and were able to display it at the town hall during the Christmas season. Our annual Horseshoe Tournament was well attended and helped to raise money for Wreaths Across America. The Wreaths Across America ceremony was held as usual and with a record number of volunteers participating in helping honor our veterans. During the spring, restrictions were lifted enough, and we were able to publicly collect for the Intellectual Disability Drive and start Rose's for Life again, for the first time in over a year. We even had new Intellectual Disability collection bins that were used to supplement our street collections. Our
Mini Park sign was completed and will be installed this month. The Columbiettes, despite all the Covid challenges, held their first-ever virtual Tricky Tray, which was a huge success! Our Food Drive for Sister Ann's Pantry and coat drive for St. Joseph's were also very successful, thanks to the generosity of Council family and friends. I hope Mike Eger can get some rest now.
The Family Picnic and St. Patrick's Day parties were great events for all who attended, giving us a momentary escape from our isolation. This year, we were also able to hold our annual Fish Fry with both dine-in and take-out options. Although the state convention was virtual, Brother Knights still met at Wildwood this year. Even PGK Andy Schopfer joined us for a great weekend of fun, food, and camaraderie. We were able to do all of these things safely and successfully during a pandemic! If we can accomplish all of this during such a difficult time, it shows that we can manage anything when we come together as a Council family.
It was truly an honor to have served as your Grand Knight this past year. I thank all the entities for your support and friendship. There is an old saying, "always leave a place better than you found it." I remember this whenever I go to the beach or the park. I can honestly say you, the Council, Columbiettes, Swim Club, Columbian Club, and the Assembly have left me better than when you found me. Thank you to Our Worthy Chaplin, Monsignor Anselm, for your support and kind words. I trust that you will all give the incoming Grand Knight, Phil Cababe, and all the newly elected officers the same warm welcome and support you have shown me throughout this past year. I will keep you all in my prayers and will continue to assist you in my new position as trustee.
I pray the Lord continues to bless us and our families.
Leonard Joseph Komar Jr.