Council Raises Funds for Special Needs Community during pandemic

By: Gary Merritt - Fri, Jun 25, 2021 12:01 PM

George J. McCarthy Council 2975 in Grand Haven, Michigan, consists of members from St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish, Grand Haven and St. Mary’s Parish, Spring Lake. Ours is not a large council by any means, but with dedicated members we have hosted several events and fundraisers.

Last year we lost long time member, and our council Advocate, Tim McGraw, Former State Special Olympics Director. Only months earlier, he’d lost his wife, Linda, to Alzheimer Disease. He and Linda were both avid supporters of Area 12 Michigan Special Olympics. Not only were they in attendance as state and regional events, they were key to the success and growth of our annual Snowflake Dance during the Christmas season for the special needs community, where they were known as Mr. and Mrs. Claus.


With our sources of income, Bingo, and summer rib and fish fry events on hold and the Lenten Fish Fry dinners approaching, the Board began to plan in December 2020, to prepare for the Lenten Friday night fish fry events with a similar venue to the summer drive up dinner sales. 

On Fish Fry Fridays, some volunteers arrived as early as 3:00 PM while others arrived hours prior to the sale time. After the sale required a cleanup crew tasked with cleaning the kitchen equipment which included a weekly sanitization of the deep fryers.

With the overwelming succes of the program, our Grand Knight, Robert Wassick, and former District Deputy, Bill Bernesser, encouraged our council to submit this endeavor to State Council for consideration of a State Program Award during the State Convention.


Did we win an award? Nope, but the time we Brother Knights and families spent together on this project, drew us closer together. It’s the way Tim and Linda would have wanted it. Besides, it’s how God works through us and in us. First, we understand Tim’s and Linda’s lives were rich with memories, both those they have already lived and those still in the making.


By David Bukala, Council Program Director, Chancellor and Lecturer.. He also serves as Faithful Pilot for the Bishop Baraga Fourth Degree Assembly. He is in his fourth year as a member of the Knights of Columbus.