By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Knights of Columbus Council 81 was formed in Marlborough Sept. 9, 1893 and is observing its 125th anniversary serving Immaculate Conception and St. Matthias Churches. Members are proud to be among the historic first 100 councils formed during the earliest years of the order, which is one of the largest Catholic men’s fraternal organization s in the world with nearly two million members.
A gala celebration of promoting charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism will take place Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Marlborough Country Club, with Grand Knight Roland Johnson, leader of the local group, presiding.
Also participating will be Knights of Columbus District Deputy and Past Grand Knight Michael Gibson of Marlborough.
An active member since 2007, Johnson said: “As a Catholic family man, I have always had a strong faith, but once I joined the K of C it broadened my faith and enriched me in ways I was not aware of before – taking part in various charitable activities, helping the elderly, assisting in home projects for those who cannot do various physical labor or even assisting or doing what we can for our veterans.”
The local chapter is involved in various events throughout the year. Each October members raise money on Columbus Day weekend passing out Tootsie Rolls to raise funds for people with intellectual disabilities. They recently partnered with the Special Olympics to volunteer in their events and to cheer the teams on. During the year they join forces with other councils and support the Worcester State Hospital, have a pizza party, and play games. Some members help veterans at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, wheeling them around, and enjoying their stories and future plans. This past winter and spring they worked extensively with a local mother who needed a wheelchair ramp built and installed for her young son.
Proceeds from the anniversary event will be distributed among the three local organizations that Marlborough Knights support – Special Olympics, Veteran Support Alliance, and Roland’s House homeless shelter. They also support a variety of Marlborough school clubs and sports activities, the food pantry, and Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital golf tournament.