Special Olympics Florida

Knights of Columbus host first Special Olympics Florida Walkathon

Written by:  Jesse Meadows, Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

A local chapter of the Knights of Columbus raised over $2,800 for the Special Olympics Florida – Lee County last weekend.

“We are the very first people in Lee County to ever do something like this for Special Olympics Florida.   I feel honored,” Grand Knight Dennis Robinson said at last week’s town council meeting, where Mayor Tracey Gore presented the Knights with a proclamation that February 23 was to be deemed Special Olympics Florida – Lee County Day.

“If you’re not familiar with Knights of Columbus and Special Olympics, Knights is the largest lay Catholic organization in the world, with about 2 million members. We work directly with the church and parish priests, but our biggest thing is our community and our charities,” Grand Knight Dennis Robinson told council at the meeting.  The biggest of their causes, he said, is Special Olympics.

The Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Color Corps led the first lap of the walkathon in full regalia on Saturday.

“Eunice Shriver, who started Special Olympics in 1968, had a special needs sister.  Her husband Sargent Shriver was very big in the Knights of Columbus.  Ever since then, we have sponsored Special Olympics ,” said Robinson.  At their last state convention, the Knights presented Special Olympics Florida with $20,000 , he said.

Robinson led the walkathon, followed by members of the Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Color Corps in full regalia, which includes a tuxedo, cape, and sword.

Special Olympics athletes and the public followed on the quarter-mile course around the parking lot at the Church of the Ascension.

All the funds raised at the walkathon on Saturday will be donated exclusively to the Special Olympics Florida – Lee County, and the Knights plan to continue the event annually.