The Pella Knights of Columbus added a business donation and telethon component to this year’s campaign for persons with intellectual disabilities, resulting in the group’s largest donation ever to Christian Opportunity Center.
Travis Eisenbarth and Joe Lickteig presented COC Executive Director Rod Braun with a check for $5,962.97, topping last year’s record donation by more than $500.
Mark Wiskus and the Wiskus Group, an estate and retirement income planning company, were instrumental in the business donation approach and inspired the Knights to expand the fundraiser.
This year’s fundraiser once again featured a competition between local Pella students’ teams and groups. The annual trophy will remain in the Pella Community High School trophy case, as the Dutch cross country team raised the most money, followed closely by the Pella Christian High School football team.
Rod Braun, Bob Fessler, Derek Sparks, Nicole Van Wyk, Lorri Grubb, and Dave and Bella Van Gorp were interviewed by Joe Lickteig and KNIA KRLS Pella News Director Andrew Schneider as part of the campaign, which raised money for both Pella Community High School and Pella Christian High School Special Education Programs, Iowa Special Olympics, and COC.
The campaign ran the final full week of August and was coordinated by Art Halstead, Travis Eisenbarth and Mike Linde, who managed 50 Knights, friends and families for seven days, resulting in 200 volunteer hours.
Since 1999, Pella Knights of Columbus donations total more than $50,000 in support of COC. Its 2015 donation of $5,413.30 was the largest prior to Thursday’s presentation. Last year, Pella Knights of Columbus were in the top 3% for dollars raised per Knight.
The Pella Knights of Columbus are part of the larger Iowa Knights of Columbus, whose tagline is “Go Make a Difference!” For more information visit http://iowakofc.org/ or connect with Pella Knights of Columbus #12334 on Facebook.
Founded in 1969, COC provides residential and vocational support and services to more than 300 people with disabilities in Marion, Mahaska, Polk, and Warren counties. For more information visit http://christianopportunity.org/ or connect with Christian Opportunity Center on Facebook.
Christian Opportunity Center hosted a dedication ceremony in memory of Barb Driscoll in Indianola on Friday. Barb passed away July 5, 2015 due to complications from cancer.
Barb began her employment with COC as Vocational Services Manager in Oskaloosa in December 1988, one month before the vocational services program began. After some organizational restructuring in 1994, Barb was named Regional Team Leader for Indianola/Des Moines and witnessed considerable growth over the next two decades, including new services in Des Moines and the acquisition of Winifred Law Opportunity Center and Total Living Centers, Inc. in Indianola. She left COC for a little more than one year in 1998, but returned as Regional Director for Indianola/Des Moines.
COC Executive Director Rod Braun and Associate Director John Eilers shared memories of Barb at the dedication, as did her brother Jim Foreman, co-workers, and people supported. The tree planted in memory of Barb was described by her daughter-in-law Hannah Driscoll as “perfect” because it is a “mighty oak.”
Founded in 1969, COC provides residential and vocational support and services to more than 300 people with disabilities in Mahaska, Marion, Polk and Warren counties. COC’s mission is to integrate Christian values in teaching skills for life. For more information on COC and its services visit http://christianopportunity.org/.