The Baldwinsville's Knights of Columbus organization is in dire need of a financial (and a participation) jumpstart. So much so that the members put their home for more than 30 years up for sale last year.
In an effort to save the organization, member Joe Trionfero asked the knights to take the building off the market for 90 days so he could develop a way to help save the program.
"Our biggest problem is the combination of our dwindling active membership and our rising operating costs," said Grand Knight Tom Dailey. "Like many other clubs, the knights struggle because it has become so difficult to recruit, retain and activate members."
Like many other members, Trionfero has been a knight for 12 years, but has only been active for approximately a year. After hearing about the demise of the club, he has had a change of heart. He has also received inspiration and drive from the dedication of ten long time members of the organization who consistently demonstrate selflessness, despite the rarity of the quality in today's world. Those members are Salvatore Caruso, Paul Gaffney, Julie Kuno, Norm Gee, Bill Mulvaney, Jack Ladstatter, Jim Finan, Tom Penafeather, Hugh Sweeney and Dick Connelly.
"Norm Gee's at the club Tuesdays from early in the morning until late night non-stop," Trionfero said. "Sal's up there 40 to 50 hours a week. On several occasions he has put together a funeral reception at last minute's notice."
Trionfero added that Sweeney and Gaffney are charter members and the foundation of the club.
"These guys aren't patting themselves on the back either," Trionfero said. "In a society where everyone is looking out for themselves, these men are selfless and it's a very rare quality."
Being a Knight
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic organization for men. There is also a sister program called the Columbiettes. The Baldwinsville Knights of Columbus Club started Feb. 12, 1961 and contributes many programs and services to the community.