Did you know this about the IW Knights of Columbus?
IW Knights in Action with other Catholic organizations. The story begins several months ago when one of our Knights, Tony Koester, received a call from a friend of the council, Benedictine Priest Father Ralph (“Rafe”) Wright of the St Louis Abbey at the Priory with a request for help.
Father Ralph described the predicament of the son (Travis) of a former Abbey employee. It seems Travis was the victim of a mistaken-identity shooting. A shotgun cartridge penetrated his back just above the hip and pellets lodged near the heart and in the spine. He was now confined to a wheelchair – paralyzed from his pelvis down. Additionally, he found himself unemployed after his long, painful recovery and due to a lack of handicap accessibility he was virtually trapped in a North County rental house. Tragically, Travis had lost his mobility along with his earning power from a good construction-related job but still he needed to support himself and a very cute 3 year old red-headed son.
Tony was asked if he could help raise the capital, assemble the manpower and materials to construct a wheelchair ramp to the rear of the house. Tony enlisted fellow Knights Ron Weiss and Denny Demeter and together they went to work organizing the project including: 1) cooperating with two St Vincent DePaul conferences in order to obtain a commitment for the necessary capital to build the ramp; 2) designing the ramp and obtaining a construction permit from the local municipality; 3) obtaining the material (at a significant discount) from Handyman Hardware (owned by a Catholic family); 4) obtaining the consent of the landlord to make the modifications to the property; and finally 5) constructing the ramp.
Recently, on a warm and sunny Saturday morning, all the various people who helped with the project joined Travis, his young son, mother and father along with Jennifer Brinker, a writer for the St. Louis Review, to celebrate the completion of the project. Ironically, in the background of the meeting site was a newly constructed swing set for the use by Travis’ young son. It was built from the material from the old porch which was replaced by the new ramp. It was constructed by Travis with the help of a friend. Certainly, Travis’ new freedom by virtue of his new ability to enter and exit his home was an important element in the ability to build the new playground for his son. But the very low cost and ease of access of the materials was another key factor. Travis along with his mother and father all told us what a God-send was this project along with help provided by each of the guests.
Keep your eye open for the story in the St Louis Review.
We would like to talk with you about becoming an IW Knight. Please visit us on-line at our web site: www.IWknights.com/AboutUs. Or call Rob at: (314) 973-2373.
Please shop our book and CD Rack-in-the-Back. Suggested Donation for the CD’s is $3.00/title – books on the top shelf are FREE.