Updates from 2023 going into 2024

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It’s been a few months since my previous blog post. In this post, I’m sharing about what’s happened since then.

It's been a couple to few months since I've made my last blog post, and quite the bit has happened since.
Now that I have the time, I think it's appropriate to give you all the updates of what has transpired in the meantime. 

To give you a full account, we have to take it back to December.

As you've read in my last blog post, which was published on December 1st, on November 18th I was exemplified as a 4th Degree, Worthy Sir Knight of the Order of the Knights of Columbus. It was a beautiful ceremony and I am thankful for the honour of having attained this degree and title. My favourite part was, I was Knighted alongside two fellow Portuguese, one of whom I've been developing a great friendship with. To this day, we are in very regular contact, somuchso, that we see each other on a fairly regular basis and have been bouncing great ideas off of each other since, as well. The best part about this friendship thus far, is that we will be participating in a Romaria (A pilgrimage that is native to the Azores) together, in Mississauga, this coming March. Although not back home in the Azores, I'm still pretty ecstatic to be able to participate in my first Romaria. I've serviced the Pilgrims before, back in the Azores, providing myself as a Templar in service to the Pilgrims, but this will be my first time actually doing the pilgrimage, or any pilgrimage for that matter, for the first time.

Honestly, I'm stoked!

Okay, back on topic.

So what was done in December? 

Firstly, on December 15th, by invitation of the Catholic Womens League and the Young Adults Group of Sts. Martha & Mary, we as Knights of JFK Council participated in assisting the CWL and YAG with their Christmas event which was held on that date. The Knights were responsible for manning the bar and for running the 50/50 draw (raffle). This event was very well done and I applaud the CWL for having done such an excellent job on creating a beautiful and memorable event for our Parish and community. A big thank you to the CWL and the YAG for including us to this event. The 50/50 draw grossed a litte over $300, of which we gave 100% of our profits directly to Sts. Martha & Mary R.C.C. on the very same evening.

Also in December, The Knights of Columbus - JFK Council 5523, donated $12,000 to worthy charities and/or causes in our locality, in the spirit of Christmas giving, which was spearheaded by D. Vince Fernandes, PGK. The charities received a cheque of $2,000 each. The charities were: Victoria Order of Nurses, St. Vincent de Paul, Our Place - Peel, Sts. Martha & Mary Parish & the Vita Centre. The remaining $2,000 was utilized in a very special way, as we utilized that money ourselves for our 'Coats 4 Kids' campaign, which was taken head on by Br. Brian M and myself, on behalf of JFK Council. The campaign was an extreme success and a 'big W' in the bag for our Council, espescially considering we were able to stay well under budget by around $700 and we were able to provide 28 brand new winter jackets to a local school. This was actually heartwarming and truly fulfilling, being able to provide warm coats to the children that truly needed it most. This is near and dear to my heart, because I can remember a time when I was a kid and I couldn't afford a new coat myself. My mother worked too hard to be able to keep us afloat, and so, it wasn't in our budget to have new coats. But I did have this one jacket, and man was it ugly, but I loved it.... I can only imagine how we had made these kids days' with brand new fashionable and quality jackets. This campaign really did hit home for me, and I hope I have the opportunity to do this again, and again, and again.

And that is how 2023 ended.

January of 2024 was a relatively quiet month. I handed out Knight of the Month awards to Knights of my Council that had deservingly achieved the recognition, and also, JFK Council was selected to host the Western Zone meeting, which took place on January 9th. Unfortanetly, I was unable to attend due to having been sick and it is with great regret that I did miss it, espescially considering JFK Council was the Council to host it. In my absence, I assigned 2 Past Grand Knights to represent the Council as the Grand Knight, Worthy Sir Knight, Frank M., PGK. and D. Vince F., PGK. Thank you for holding down the fort in my absence gentlemen, you guys are truly a blessing.

Lastly, JFK Council hosted a St. Valentines Dinner and Dance, which took place on the 10th of February. On paper, the event was a major success, having completely sold out and becoming one of the highest profiting events in quite the while for the Knights of Columbus - JFK Council 5523. In reality however, the success didn't come without its hitches, which made itself evident on the day of the event. Without having to go into details, issues arised during the event which was beyond our control, but taking full responsibility, we worked diligently to rectify the situation and do right by those afflicted. We were able to correct any and all issues at hand, immediately. Although we had a swift, actionable response which rectified the situation, the truth is, is that it shoudn't have happened to begin with, and with that, the Council took in a learning lesson from what transpired. All in all, the event was still a success and we were happy to have our patrons enjoy themselves. If I may say so myself, I truly believe that our upcoming events will be 'bangers', meaning, we expect they will do extremely well, in terms of revenue and in experience for our patrons. If the St. Valentines event was ranked a 7/10, we're looking forward to making sure these upcoming events will be 10/10's.

To end off, these were the major updates that have transpired in the months leading up to today, since my last blog post. I'll be publishing blog posts in the coming weeks, with pictures and/or videos to go a bit more in fuller detail of the aforementioned events. For now, this will suffice, as I just wanted to let you all know things are going well, and just wanted to give you all the necessary updates.

Thank you all for your continued support and thank you for keeping up.

Yours Truly,
D. Chev. Steven d.C Arsenio, KOTJ, GKKofC.

Last modified: March 3, 2024

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