Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 1453, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Wheels are turning: KCs cover the miles to help fund seminary formation
by Eric Meisfjord, Editor, Inland Register
(From the October 15, 2015 edition of the Inland Register)
Eastern Washington Knights of Columbus have been raising money for Spokane Diocese seminarians through pledges and donations to 100-mile bike rides. (IR photo courtesy of Tim Drake)
Spokane Knights of Columbus have carried on what is now a tradition: bike rides to raise money for Bishop White Seminary.
According to KC Tim Drake, via email, the effort originated with Seattle Knights. Riders solicited pledges and donations for miles biked, with proceeds supporting the education of seminarians.
Florian Herda, a Knight from St. John Vianney Parish, Spokane Valley, took part in that effort. Although the Seattle project stopped, Eastern Washington KCs continued. Herda was joined by Greg Takasaki, who in turn took up the cause.
Takasaki also recruited other Knights to join him. The Spokane group grew to eight riders last year, Drake said, including two riders from the Knights Council at St. Joseph Parish, Colbert.
The added riders also brought a new group of donors, increasing the amount of money raised by the annual ride. Drake decided to increase the donation level by recruiting riders from Knights Councils in other parishes.
Bill Boniface, a Knight from Assumption Parish, Spokane, “enthusiastically encouraged me to sell it to his Council,” said Drake. They raised about $1,500 dollars this year, with Boniface joining the ride. The Knight riders from St. Mary Parish, Spokane Valley, included Deacon Mike Miller, a long-time bicycling enthusiast; together with a rider from St. Joseph Parish, Otis Orchards, an additional $2,000 was raised. Another five riders joined from the St. John Vianney Knights Council, and two other Knights provided “vehicle support.”
The intent is to raise money to provide scholarships to seminarians, Drake said; the remaining funds are used to help pay down Bishop White Seminary’s debt.
The St. John Vianney Knights solicit pledges and donations before and after Masses for several weeks prior to the event. “At St. John Vianney, this event has been going on long enough that parishioners need little advertising to know what it is all about,” said Drake. “They see us, and immediately pull out their wallets/purses saying, ‘Is it seminarian bike ride time? I can’t ride, but here is a donation.’”
The ride itself consists of 100 miles in one day on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes in one day. Any funds collected by individual KC councils are donated through that Council to seminarians of their choice or to the seminary for debt reduction. One-hundred percent of all money collected goes to the seminary and seminarians.
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