4th Annual Patriot Dinner brings in $1,100 for Norwalk Youth Programs
NORWALK—The Knights of Columbus Bishop Fenwick 4th Degree Assembly No. 100 recently hosted its 4th Annual Patriot Dinner on Saturday, July 10th at the St. Ann Club in Norwalk. The dinner raised over $1,100 for the Norwalk Police Activities League. In addition, a portion of the funds raised through a raffle will help the Knights of Columbus purchase supplies for the Cadet Post.
The dinner was attended by over 130 guests which included members of the Sons of American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and members of the Knights of Columbus. The title sponsor for the dinner was Assembly member Mike Purdy and his company Riverside Cemetery in Norwalk
“I am so appreciative of Brother Mike Purdy and his company Riverside Cemetery for being a sponsor which helped offset the costs so we can donate more funds to PAL,” said Assembly 100 faithful navigator George Ribellino, Jr.
Guest speaker was former Norwalk Public Safety Cadets Captain and new member of the West Hartford Police Department, Officer Noah Velez Officer Velez spoke about how the Cadet program run by Norwalk PAL helped him grow as a person and deal with adversity in his journey and dream of becoming a police officer. The crowd was so impressed with his story and gave him a standing ovation.
The Norwalk Police Activities League (PAL) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing the youth of Norwalk with positive alternatives to the all too available paths of idleness and delinquency that can ultimately lead to crime. The league provides various cultural, educational, and athletic experiences to these youngsters who are in the greatest need of leadership, guidance, and understanding.
Ribellino had a vision of a fundraiser once a year for a specific Veterans or Law Enforcement Organization when elected to lead the Assembly in September 2016. “One of my goals, when I took over as the Faithful Navigator of the Assembly, was to assist an organization that works and helps our veterans and our law enforcement”, he said. Assembly member Al Latte oversaw the catering part of the dinner. Ribellino went on the say “I am so appreciative of Brother Al for overseeing the kitchen. I am thankful for him and the Brother Knights and members of St. Ann Club who prepared a delicious Italian meal.
In addition, Assembly 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. This was a tradition that was started with the first dinner in 2017.
“My daughter is the Captain of the Norwalk Public Safety Cadets and I see 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 grateful for the help they provided. We were happy to return the favor with the donation of supplies.”
Officer Matt Sauer spoke fondly of the Cadets, “These kids are amazing.”
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.
At the end of the evening, Ribellino presented a check for $1,100 to Officer Matt Sauer and the Norwalk Public Safety Cadets.
“We would like to thank the Knights of Columbus for graciously hosting this patriot dinner to benefit Norwalk PAL. Through your generous donations we can continue to provide enriching programs to our youth of Norwalk, “said Officer Sauer.
Bishop Fenwick Assembly 100 4th Degree Knights of Columbus has been based in Norwalk, Conn., since 1914. The Fourth Degree is the outgrowth and culmination of the desire of the members to manifest their love for country and pride in their Catholic American heritage. In 1882, the Reverend Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus to provide mutual aid and assistance to its members and their families. At that time, the Order had only three degrees, exemplifying the principles of Charity, Unity and Fraternity. In compliance with the wishes of the body, the national board of directors met in August 1899 and approved the addition of a Fourth Degree to the work of the Knights of Columbus. The new ritual was adopted on the 9th of December that year and went into effect in 1900 with its primary purpose to foster the spirit of patriotism through the demonstration of one’s love for its country and by responsible citizenship. It is the highest Degree in the Knights of Columbus, giving a greater knowledge and appreciation for our Catholic heritage.