In March 2022, the City of Chesterfield passed an Ordinance that banned ALL forms of solicitations that take place at intersections within the city of Chesterfield in Response to a decision by U.S. District Judge Stephen Limbaugh against St. Louis County in May 2021. As a result of the new city Ordinance No. 3185, the IWKnights alone could stand to lose over half of what we normally bring in for our 5 charities that are supported by the annual Drive. Take a look at the following stats for our annual DD Drive from 2014-2021:
- Average collection total: $16,518. (not counting individual contributions and sales of leftover tootsie rolls)
- Average % collected on streets: 52%.
- Average $ collected on streets: $9937.
- High mark on streets of Chesterfield: 65% ($14,200) in 2021.
Our Past Grand Knight Jim Ressler wrote letters to Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nations and Ms. Barbara McGuiness, councilwoman for Chesterfield City Council Ward 1, which you can read by clicking here and here. Based on those letters, We have put together a form that you can fill out and send a letter to Mayor Nations which you can see below. When you click on the Send letter button, it will send the letter in the form of an email to Mayor Nations with a copy of the email going to you and/or your member of the Chesterfield City Council (if you live in Chesterfield) .
Below is an example of the letter that will be sent to Mayor Bob Nations and your Member of the Chesterfield City Council (if you live in Chesterfield, MO):
Mr. Bob Nations, Mayor
City of Chesterfield
690 Chesterfield Parkway W.
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Dear Mayor Bob Nations,
This letter is to bring to your attention the impact of a resolution and decision by the City of Chesterfield that will affect many persons with developmental disabilities in the St. Louis area. I am a member of the Incarnate Word Knights of Columbus Council #9981 since 2010, our council continues to serve in fundraising for several worthwhile K of C causes, The DD drive is most meaningful to me because of it helps children and their families get help and thrive while living with autism, downs syndrome, and other disabilities. You can read more about the IWKnights Developmental Disabilities (DD) Or Tootsie Roll Drive by going to iwknights9981.com/dddrive.
On Aug. 1, 2022, City Clerk Vickie McGownd sent an email to Donald Mueller, a member of the Incarnate Word council 9981 of the K of C. Don requested permit for Oct. 6-9, 2022 to collect donations to our Developmental Disabilities (aka "tootsie roll") drive on street corners in the city of Chesterfield, a benefit Incarnate Word's K of C council has enjoyed in Chesterfield for over 20 years. Unlike previous years, Ms. McGownd denied the request by citing city Ordinance No. 3185, which now prohibits solicitation of any kind upon a roadway. Ms. McGownd provided Don Mueller a copy of the resolution in Bill 3383, signed by Mayor Nation and dated on 21 March 2022. The first reading of Bill 3383 was held on 3/7/22, of which our council members were unaware.
By the restrictions in Ordinance 3185, Ms. McGownd was correct in denying our request. I'm writing to make you aware of the consequences of this decision by the City of Chesterfield and offer a solution that benefits all. The Knights of Columbus have an annual drive for persons with developmental disabilities on the Columbus Day weekend in October. We receive donations in the streets, at a few grocery stores, and our church parishioners. We collect on the streets of Chesterfield on Thursday afternoon, Friday and Saturday from 7:00 AM to 6 PM. Our average collection in the City of Chesterfield the past 8 years is $16,518, from which an average of 52% are raised come from the streets of Chesterfield, with a high of 65% ($14,200) collected on the streets in 2021. This Ordinance will also halt the yearly "Old Newsboys" collection and the Monarch fire department's "boot" collection on the streets of Chesterfield.
We distribute 100% of funds collected to five chartable organizations in St. Louis and Missouri (see iwknights9981.com/dddrive.for information on the charities supported by the drive). The impact of losing the privilege of collecting on the streets of Chesterfield is great and could cause these organizations to cut back their services. In the latest Chesterfield Citizen, it states that this Ordnance was passed to discourage "street beggars" in Chesterfield. If that is the primary motive of the ordnance, then it should be amended to allow legitimate charitable organizations to obtain a permit to safely solicit donations on the street corners and major intersections of Chesterfield. I suggest the following changes to the Ordinance:
Require applicants for a permit to solicit in Chesterfield streets to provide the following:
- Letter of IRS 501 c(3) status as a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization.
- Liability insurance policy covering the members of the organization and other volunteers from personal liability from accident in the service of the organization for the specific event.
- A list of the members of the organization participating in the charitable solicitation in Chesterfield.
- A report of funds collected on streets in the City of Chesterfield for the dates requested.
In addition, Chesterfield can restrict solicitation at street intersections with traffic signals which have a raised median or broad shoulder on which to stand.
Please consider making these changes to Ordinance 3185 to prevent the terrible harm caused by loss of donations to the Knights of Columbus and other charitable organizations. These amendments would show Chesterfield is led by benevolent persons who support their citizens volunteering of time and talent to help others. If any action on this matter can be taken before Oct. 1 2022, it restores K of C council 9981's ability to contribute to the 2022 DD Drive.
You are welcome to contact me by email or my phone number below.
Bryan V. Hewing
Deputy Grand Knight, Incarnate Word Knights of Columbus Council #9981
3416 Olive Blvd.
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Cc: Councilmember Barbara McGuinness (Ward I)
The parts of the letter above that are in bold print would be filled in by the form below. When you click on the Send letter button on the form below, it will send the letter in the form of an email to Mayor Nations with a copy of the email going to you. if you live in Chesterfield and select a member of the Chesterfield City Council, a copy of the letter will be sent to them as well.