They function like a fine tuned machine, from the placement of advertising signs in advance to the full day of preparations the day of the fish fry. Dressed in green KC shirts, every member tends to their job and the result is delicious. This year’s fish fry March 9 served a record crowd of 710 people. Pictured, from left, are some of the KC members who worked at the fish fry: Andy Rohe, Wes Dammann, Keith Kerkhoff, Craig Langel, Kevin Rohe, Lynn Odendahl, Joe Odendahl, Dave Irlmeier, Dale Ehlers, Greg Sporrer, Pete Croghan, Lyle Sporrer, Dale Stangl, Scott Renze, Denny Kasparbauer, Harvey Dales, Alex Sporrer, Cory Arp, Jerry Croghan, Marty Kerkhoff, and Jim Muhlbauer.
KCs work to help others
The principals of charity, unity and fraternity have guided members of the Knights of Columbus to be a blessing to others for nearly 20 years. The Manning-Manilla KCs have approximately 80 members and their charitable giving benefits people of all faiths throughout the area.
“If they are one of God’s children, we will try and help,” said Wes Dammann, Grand Knight. The KCs host only a few fundraisers during the year; an annual fish fry during Lent, the Scott Halbur memorial pro-life soup supper in November, and the Tom Hey memorial golf tournament each summer. Through generous support of these events, the hearts and hands of KC members can be felt by numerous groups and individuals each year.
+ The KCs support the local senior citizens center with a cash donation.
+ They support the New Hope Village home in Manning with a cash donation.
+ They purchased a new wheel chair for the local VFW to loan out.
+ They donate to the IKM-Manning After-Prom party.
“We purchase 40 to 70 winter coats to donate to children each year. Most of these coats stay in our local area, and if there are coats left, we take them to local shelters,” said Dammann.
+ The KCs support the fire departments in Manning and Manilla.
+ They provide prizes for children in the Kinderfest Parade.
+ They supported the city of Manning’s adopt a family at Christmas with a cash donation.
+ They purchase gift cards for patients in the VA Clinic in Carroll to help veterans in need to buy groceries.
“We also started giving veterans hats and gloves this year,” he said. “We will continue this next year. Laurie Stein and Lisa Tank help us with these projects for our veterans.”
Dammann estimates the group disburses $7,000 to $9,000 each year.
Additionally, the Knights of Columbus donate cash and food items to the local food pantry and also donate pork for the pantry freezer. They also donate pork to shelters in both Omaha and Des Moines. “Most years we donate between 2,200 and 3,000 pounds of pork. We also collect clothing at the church that we take to shelters,” said Dammann.
The group often works together with the Catholic Daughters who help to pay for meat processing at the locker and assist with food when the fundraisers are held.
Dammann said the Knights of Columbus have donated approximately $15,000 over the past five years to pro-life clinics to help purchase ultra sound machines and help the clinics provide services to patients at no cost. The charitable giving of the organization is readily offered when people are in need; when a family is facing an extreme hardship, the KCs do what they can to help.
“We have a great group of guys,” he said, “I just help guide our members so that, as a group, we can help other people. We are blessed to have many, many people that step up to get things done, and we appreciate the support shown to our group when our fundraising events are held.”