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Knights of Columbus host Super Bowl fundraiser for Special Olympics

Jan. 18, 2013

Menomonee Falls - Menomonee Falls residents can sit and watch the Super Bowl this year with a special purpose.

The Knights of Columbus is hosting the fourth annual Super Bowl Party at noon Feb. 3 at N9169 Water Street in Menomonee Falls. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Wisconsin Special Olympics.

"It's always a great success," said Rick Plumley, member of the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus.

A luck of the draw dart tournament and cribbage tournament start at 1 p.m. Sign-up is from noon to 1 p.m. There is a $10 entry fee donated in some form to Special Olympics. Prizes will be awarded.

There will be a raffle during the event that features a signed Aaron Rodgers NFL football, Grand Knight John Rawlings said.

Refreshments and snacks are available throughout the event. Proceeds from drink sales also go to Special Olympics.

The Super Bowl fundraiser was started after the state's Knights of Columbus organization called on local councils to give money to help send the state Special Olympics team to a national competition. Drew Dederich, a member of the Menomonee Falls Knights of Columbus council, said they had already asked members to donate a considerable amount of money to other causes that year; therefore, he decided to plan a fundraising event.

"Youth and people with special needs are two of the people Knights of Columbus help so this fits right in with our mission," he said.

Sponsors Falls athletes

About $900 was given to the state chapter and ultimately to Wisconsin Special Olympics after the first Super Bowl party. Because of the success of the first event and numerous Special Olympics teams in Menomonee Falls including basketball, bowling and baseball, the Knights decided to make it an annual event.

"We decided to do it the next year and give money to Special Olympics, but not necessarily at the state level, but we give it at the local level," Dederich said. "We sponsor the baseball, golf, basketball and bowling teams that are in Falls."

With a daughter in Special Olympics, the cause is particularly close to Dederich. Over the last few years, the Knights of Columbus have paid for basketball uniforms and bowling shirts for the local athletes, as well as donated money so individual athletes could attend national and international competitions. For example, Swimmer and Falls resident Becca Stelpflug went to Athens, Greece, to compete in the 2011 Special Olympics World Games.

"We are able to help people that don't normally get opportunities to participate in sporting events. You or I can go play baseball or basketball whenever we want but it's not always that easy for someone in the Special Olympics to go do it," Dederich said.

The Super Bowl party is one of many Knights of Columbus fundraisers that benefit the local community.

April is Tootsie fundraiser

In April, members will stand outside grocery stores and churches in Falls handing out Tootsie Rolls for their annual Tootsie Roll Drive. Each candy features the Knights' logo, as well as information about where money raised is donated. About $5,000 is typically raised during that drive, Rawlings said.

For information on the Super Bowl event or to get involved with the Knights of Columbus fundraisers, call Rawlings at (262) 506-4307.

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Super Bowl Party, benefiting Special Olympics

WHEN: noon Feb. 3; 1 p.m. dart and cribbage tournaments, $10 entry fee; plus, a raffle drawing featuring a signed Aaron Rodgers football

WHERE: Knights of Columbus Clubhouse, N9161 Water St., Menomonee Falls

CONTACT: Grand Knight John Rawlings: (262) 506-4307

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