NORWALK, Conn. — The Norwalk-based Knights of Columbus Bishop Fenwick 4TH Degree Assembly No. 100 recently hosted its 2nd Patriot Dinner, which raised a total of $2,000 for veterans of American Legion Frank C Godfrey Post 12 Norwalk and American Legion James B. Whipple Post 86 Wilton. In addition a portion of the funds was donated to the young men and women of the Norwalk Public Safety Cadets Post 1913.
The fundraiser dinner took place on Saturday, April 14th at the Knights Hall (next to St. Ann Club), 16 Hendricks Ave. in Norwalk. The dinner was a sell out with 105 guests which included members of both American Legion Posts, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and members of the Knights of Columbus.
The American Legion is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that advocates for veterans via grass-roots involvement in the legislative process. Legionnaires’ sense of obligation to their community, state, and nation drives an honest advocacy for veterans in Washington. The Legion stands not behind politics, but behind veterans, focusing on the issues and people that affect veteran’s rights and quality of life. The Legion posts are very active in Norwalk and Wilton by hosting such events as tending Veteran’s graves and performing the Veteran of the Month ceremony to commemorate a deceased Veteran.
Commander Rich Olson, American Legion Post 12 Norwalk and Don Hazzard, American Legion Post 86 were presented checks by Knights of Columbus Faithful Navigator, George Ribellino. “Post 12 is most appreciative of the continued support of the Knights of Columbus. They are always present at our big events such as the Veteran of the Month Flag ceremony,” said Commander Olson.
Commander Hazzard went on to say, “Post 86 is most grateful to the Knights of Columbus for hosting the dinner to help raise fund for both Legion Posts.”
The goal of Faithful Navigator George Ribellino has been to conduct a fundraiser once a year for a specific veteran’s organization since he took over in September 2016.
“Last year we raised funds for Homes for the Brave in Bridgeport which does great work for our veterans and the Assembly voted to have the dinner for the American Legion Posts in Norwalk and Wilton,” said Ribellino.
Assembly Member Al Latte was in charge of the catering part of the dinner. Ribellino went on the say, “I am so appreciative of Brother Al for leading the Sir Knights and the great dedicated members of the St. Ann Club in the kitchen in preparing a fabulous meal. I am thankful for him and the Brother Knights who helped set up, prepare, serve and clean up.”
“I really have to thank Brothers Dave McCarthy and Al Latte for helping make this dream become a reality. Once the plans came together the other Brother Knights were excited to help and everything wound up coming to together,” Ribellino said.
In addition, K of C Assembly No. 100 wanted to do something for the youth and future leaders in our community so they decided to help the young men and woman in the Norwalk Public Safety Cadets Post 1913.
“My daughter is a member of the Norwalk Public Safety Cadets and I see what the program has done for her by helping her grow into a disciplined young lady, so we’re thrilled to help such a great group of young adults,” said Ribellino
The Norwalk Public Safety Cadets assisted with serving and clean up. Ribellino went on to say, “I was so impressed at how the Cadets jumped right in and made the attendees feel right at home. I am so thankful for the help they provided. We were happy to return the favor with a donation for their hard work.”
The Public Safety Cadet program is a shared program between the Norwalk Police and Fire Departments for youth ages 13-20. This program gives youth the opportunity to learn about both departments, while participating in community service and learning leadership.