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Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Drive nets $1,873 for St. Coletta’s of Illinois

Dec 3, 2023

Developmentally disabled children, adults benefit from community generosity

Developmentally disabled children and adults from St. Coletta’s of Illinois are among those benefitting from a Tootsie Roll Drive this past September.

On Dec. 7, members of Knights of Columbus Council 10858 from St. Michael Parish in Orland Park delivered a check for $1,873 to St. Coletta’s of Illinois. The donation was generated by the Knight's annual Tootsie Roll Drive.

“We support life from inception to the end of life,” explained Grand Knight Dan Davis. “That includes children and adults with intellectual disabilities.”

For 75 years, St. Coletta’s of Illinois has been providing residential and vocational training services to developmentally disabled children and adults from the south and southwest suburbs.

Its therapeutic day school, the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. School for Exceptional children, serves developmentally delayed students ages 3-22 while its Community Day Services program works with adults, helping them build adaptive learning skills, improve economic self-sufficiency and become more independent.

Knights of Columbus Council 10858 has been a generous supporter of St. Coletta’s programs and the developmentally disabled for many years. In October, it delivered more than 30 pizzas to St. Coletta’s Tinley Park campus so the adult participants could have something special to enjoy at their annual Halloween party.

Proceeds from the Council’s recent Tootsie Roll Drive will be used to purchase essentials, such as food and personal hygiene items, so participants can lead healthier, more comfortable lives.

The need for essentials has risen since the pandemic, said CEO Heather Benedick. The nonprofit has met the need by dipping into its donation fund to purchase food staples, such as breakfast bars, instant oatmeal and cans of spaghetti or ravioli.

“This is not something the Department of Human Services funds,” said Benedick. “These types of needs are not factored into the cost of providing services.”

That’s why St. Coletta’s is so appreciative of the Knights of Columbus and all donors who support its school and Community Day Services program.

“We could not carry out our mission without the generosity of compassionate individuals and service organizations like the Knights of Columbus,” said Benedick.

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