Recognizing the burdens facing a South Brunswick family with a young child battling a debilitating disease, the St. Cecilia’s Knights of Columbus chapter answered the call.
The Knights of Columbus St. Cecilia’s Council raised $1,000 during the holidays to aid the Fantel family of South Brunswick with medical bills incurred during the treatment and care of their son Ray. Just 4-years-old, Ray was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) when he was 5-months-old. The disease has left Ray in a wheelchair where he needs constant care.
“We just bought a conversion van so Ray can sit in his wheelchair (soon he will have a power wheelchair) and be locked in safely," said Ray's mother last year. "Now, we are in the process of building an addition on the house to serve as his bedroom, bathroom and therapy room. Ray is getting too big to safely carry up and down the stairs and our house is not set up properly for him. We are so excited about the addition because it will give Ray the space that he needs and the freedom to move where he wants in his power wheelchair."
The Knights of Columbus Council voted to use the annual “Breakfast With Santa” event to collect donations for the Fantels, while also matching donations up to $1,000. The event collected $600, as the Council added an additional $400.
“The Knights are a service organization and we look for opportunities to help those in need," said Grand Knight Manny Vitone. "This effort is just one example of the many things that the Knights do throughout the year to help others in South Brunswick.”
The "Breakfast With Santa" also provided an opportunity for the children of St. Cecilia’s Parish to meet Santa, while other attendees enjoyed a breakfast prepared by the Council members. In addition to raising funds for a good cause, the event offered a chance to build community bridges.
“The events we run are also important because they offer our parish community an opportunity for camaraderie and friendship," said Deputy Grand Knight Marc Kollar. "Our pastor, Fr. Dan Sloan, has made these events possible through his support of the Knights and the events we run. He truly embodies the spirit of Fr. Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus.”
Knights of Columbus St. Cecilia’s Council #7046 is located in the Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick, New Jersey. Established in 1978, the Council works to support St. Cecilia’s Parish and the surrounding community.