Every third Wednesday of the month, the Old Lions roar, buck up for a kid in need, chart new speedlanes to help the school that had a hand in helping their parents form their lives and plan the annual banquet, decal drive and the golf outing.
These meetings tale place at the venerable Father Perez Knights of Columbus Hall. Father Perez is located at 422 W 111th St, Chicago, IL . In my youth the Knights met at a hall at 84th & Ashland and that was the site where young guys joined 16" softball teams, bowling leagues and waited to come of age Catholic gentlemen.The value imparted in home, reinforced in the parishes and the high schools of the south side were honed like a great set of Swiss knives. The KCs actively sought out the means and manpower to protect the unborn, help struggling families through acts of charity and encourage Catholic worship - 'Hey, spend more time with you wife an kids, a little less at the Sea Breeze lounge and here and get to Mass, Hickey, you're a mess.'
Our Church was the stronger because of the Knights, in my opinion. Today, fewer young people get active and that is a shame.
The Father Perez Council seems to be more vital than many other benevolent associations, including other KC Councils. The Knights at Perez have long made their facility open to the Leo Alumni Association.
The meetings of the Alumni Association always begin with the sad litany of recently departed Leo Men, followed by prayers. President Larry Lynch took over duties from Dan Stecich in February and the transition is smoother than an Ed Joyce '70 pick up line at Leo Dance in the Sixties. Ed was slicker than snot on a doorknob - still is.
The Minuets of the previous meeting is called for a vote and after the more veteran Alums like President Emeritus Rich Furlong, Don Hogan, or Bob Sigel ask for clarity on a statement or typo. The minuets are approved and seconded - always by Jack Benedek '67.
Leo High School, represented by President McGrath, VP Mike Holmes, or yours truly, reports on the activities at the school. Last night, I requested some immediate help for a Leo senior whose mother had just been laid off, passed my Irish Shandon cap, which was much too shallow, transfered the cash to a larger vessel and counted several hundred dollars, which President will give to the boy's mother today.
My report included
- Senior college acceptances - every graduating senior has been accepted to solid colleges including teh United States Coast Guard Academy, Loyola, St. Joe's in Rensselaer, Northern Illinois, University of Illinois & etc.
- Leo chess team captain and Catholic League Champion Dexter Dale honored at City Hall
- Big Shoulders Fund lend a shoulder day with 80 Price Waterhouse interns
- Loyola University Aruppe College two year program
- St. Patricks Day March
- Chicago Blackhawks visit to Leo
- Q & A on plans for the future
The questions are always of the " How can we help?" variety.
President Larry Lynch calls for a report from the various commitees taskled with selling tables or tickets for events. Then we close with a prayer and "The Bar is Open!"
The Alumni always have hot trays loaded with good eatin' treats - last night was Italian Beef and St. Joseph sweets table.
God Bless all Knights and every Leo Man!