Sun Lakes Knights Adjust to the Pandemic

Pictured are members of Council 9678 at their first “hybrid” meeting—a combination of in-person and electronic contacts (through the GoToMeeting video conference system)—that was held on March 15 at the Cottonwood Country Club in Sun Lakes.

Pictured are members of Council 9678 at their first “hybrid” meeting—a combination of in-person and electronic contacts (through the GoToMeeting video conference system)—that was held on March 15 at the Cottonwood Country Club in Sun Lakes.

Maynard Iverson, Chairman for Public Relations, Council 9678

Members of Council 9678 held their first “hybrid” meeting—a combination of in-person and electronic contacts (through the GoToMeeting video conference system)—on March 15, at the Cottonwood Country Club in Sun Lakes. For the past year, the Order met exclusively by “virtual” means (electronically). “Although the current attendance is nearly at the pre-pandemic level,” Grand Knight Ken Ford said, “many of our members do not like virtual meetings, so they have been anxious to get back to regular, face-to-face meetings! By gathering at Cottonwood Country Club, we are able to provide the social contact, and serve those who want the convenience of virtual technology. I like the flexibility of the new hybrid arrangement! We appreciate the CPCC management’s generosity in providing a meeting room. This has been especially helpful, since St. Steven’s facilities have often been unavailable!”

The hybrid meeting also showed off the new K of C Tablecloth and Award Display—an improvement project that Chancellor Larry Bramanti led in 2020, but had no opportunity to demonstrate. This also enabled getting acquainted with the new insurance field agent for the area Councils, Brother Gary Kwapiszeski. A graduate of Creighton University, he worked at Price-Waterhouse prior to retiring in Arizona. A licensed CPA, Gary offers Knights a wide range of products and services, including tax and estate planning, as well as affordable insurance. K of C Insurance is rated number one in the nation for service and value!

Brother Dennis McMillen, the Council’s newly-appointed IT director, managed the electronics for those who chose to attend through “virtual” technology. District Deputy Jim Walsh provided equipment and advice on the new system.

Council 9678 meets twice a month, on the first and third Mondays. The leadership (executive) meeting, held on the first Monday of each month, does most of the initial work on issues and recommends actions to the membership meeting, which is held on the third Monday. Besides official business decisions, the membership meeting features ceremonies, recognition and awards, educational and spiritual programs, refreshments, and fellowship. The Knights are guided by four “pillars,” or principles of operation: Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism. Prior to the pandemic, the Council conducted more than two dozen activities that addressed these principles. During the past summer, a number of planning meetings were held to update the Council’s Bylaws and Operational Principles. Currently, the Council’s program of activities is being reassessed in order to better meet the needs of the members, parish/diocese, and community. All the while, consideration is being given for the effects of the pandemic, subsequent facility and funding restrictions, and the aging/health challenges of the membership. Knights believe that, in difficult times, it is a mark of leadership … to adjust!

For information on joining the Order, contact Ken Ford, Grand Knight, at 480-216-6808. Field Agent Kwapiszeski can be reached at 480-940-1800 or [email protected]