Tomah’s Knights of Columbus Council 4125 received two major awards at the 118th annual Knights of Columbus Wisconsin State Convention held April 27-28 at the Red Lion Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton.

Council 4125 received the State Council Service Award. It was awarded for the restoration of the garage at the rectory of the Camp Douglas St. James Catholic Church in September 2018. New siding, soffit and fascia were installed by a crew from the Tomah council. Tomah Knights take on a major community project each year. The 2017 project was the renovation of St. Michael’s Cemetery on Hwy. A at Ridgeville in southern Monroe County.

The second award was the State History Book Recognition Award. Each year there are about 100 history books submitted at the state convention. Brother Knight John Timm has taken on the task for the past 10 years.

“It’s about 300 pages in a three-inch binder,” Timm said. “It is all hand-printed and represents about 30 hours of work. We were honorable mention last year, and it’s very gratifying to know that Council 4125 is a winner this year.”

The State Medallion Award is the highest award presented by the state council to an individual KC member. Six are awarded each year; one from each diocese and one at-large winner. Tomah Council 4125 was honored to have a medallion winner at the state convention this year. The awardee is McCann “Pat” Rice, a 61-year member of the Tomah council. Rice was Grand Knight for two years. As Grand Knight, Rice led Council 4125 to achieve the Star Council Award both years. Pat was a Fourth Degree member for six years.

Rice served on many committees over the years. He was chairman of a house restoration project, which was recognized as fourth runner-up for a Supreme Council Activity Award. Former state deputy Wenzel Felber said, “Pat started and ran for 50 years the county wide Knights of Columbus Christmas gift collection for residents of Rolling Hills. It is a huge project that collects hundreds of gifts each year.” A sentiment echoed by several senior KC members was that Rice could be counted on to volunteer for most any activity promoted by the KCs and was always there with a helping hand.

Rice was active in the Queen of the Apostles (St. Mary’s) Parish as an usher and eucharistic minister and served on the Parish Pastoral Council and the Building/Maintenance Committee. Pat served his country with six years of military service in the Army/Air Force.

Rice died in July 2018 at age 88. Several of his children attended the awards ceremony at the state deputy’s banquet April 27.

The state convention Saturday night Mass was concelebrated by Archbishop Jerome Listecki from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay and Bishop James Patrick Powers, Bishop of the Diocese of Superior.

Tomah attendees were Tony Felber, Wenzel Felber, district deputy Dennis Koranda, Grand Knight Dave Dechant, Larry Dechant and Larry Scheckel.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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