Danny Tetreault, John Paul’s Tetreault’s eldest son, accepts the “Knight of the Year Award” given to his father for years of devoted service and dedication to Council 3525. Danny accepted the award on behalf of the Tetreault family and encouraged others to follow in his father’s ideals of charity, dedication, hard work, determination.
CHAMPLAIN — The Knights of Columbus Father Francis X. Chagnon Council 3525 is celebrating six decades of life.
The group recently held its celebration in the Council Hall, which was formerly the Lyceum Theater, in Champlain.
Many Knights around the country are struggling, and some groups, such as those in Plattsburgh and Mooers, have lost their council homes, but this local council continues to thrive.
“We are unique in that we still have our Council home,” said Grand Knight Chris Trombley. “It is good to have a place to meet and be proud of.”
Trombley’s grandfather and friends were involved in the Knights of Columbus, and he was proud to join when he was sponsored in 1988. He’s long admired the organization and its principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism.
For Trombley, charity and unity stand out the most. He enjoys belonging to the community and involving himself in a good cause.
He’s proud to follow in the footsteps of people he admired. For Trombley, it is about being part of something bigger than himself.
The Knights of Columbus, like the American Legion and the fire department, represents the backbone of the community.
“What is unique about ours is that we are part of a bigger community,” Trombley said. “We have 277 members from Champlain, Mooers, Rouses Point, Chazy and Plattsburgh.”
And despite the overhead costs, the Father Francis X. Chagnon Council 3525 continues to have a Council Hall to meet at, though that is not a requirement for an active council.
“We are coming off the heels of a renovation project and dedicated the kitchen to John Paul Tetreault, who recently died and was instrumental in running the kitchen for years,” Trombley said.
The Knights of Columbus is the largest fraternal organization of its kind, and was founded in 1882 by the Rev. Michael J. McGiveny in Connecticut. The organization was meant to provide insurance to the widows and children of Catholic men.
Council 3525 was named after the Rev. Francis X. Chagnon, who took over St. Mary’s Parish in 1887.
The Supreme Council chartered Council 3525 on April 23, 1952, and three months later officers executed a lease to rent the former Lyceum Theater.
“We just raised more than $3,500 for the Mooers food pantry, and to me that was really inspiring,” Trombley said.
Council 3525 provides scholarships to high school students, supports the parish priests and has donated thousands to St. Mary’s Academy.
At a recent 60th anniversary and kitchen dedication event, an Officer of the Year award was given to Francis Mercaldi. Tetreault was named Knight of the Year. More than 170 members and their families attended the event, which raised more than $500 for charity.