Phonothon in its 39th year

Tuesday, September 4, 2018
(Sentinel Photos by Kim Fickett)

LE MARS — Phones will be ringing across Plymouth County on Wednesday, Sept. 5 for the 39th annual Knights of Columbus Phonothon.

From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Le Mars, Knights of Columbus members will reach out to residents asking for their support of Life Skills Training Center and the Iowa Special Olympics program.

Grand Knight Justin Freking said 90 percent of the event’s proceeds are donated to the nonprofit vocational training facility Life Skills which provides vocational/employment training for persons with disabilities. The funds raised support the organization’s programs and services.

Evan (Gus) and Bob Puetz, pictured at right, will serve as this year’s Knights of Columbus Phonothon Honorary Chairs. This year’s event will be held Wednesday, Sept. 5. Each community will either make calls or send letters to their community members asking for pledges.
(Sentinel Photos by Beverly Van Buskirk)

The Iowa Special Olympics program receives the remaining 10 percent of proceeds. Over the years, the Knights of Columbus have become the largest single contributor to the Special Olympics.

“This year’s base goal is $54,000 and the challenge goal is $56,000,” Freking said. “With the support of all the residents of Plymouth County, these goals can be reached.”

The Le Mars KC’s will host a chamber coffee from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the KC Hall, 120 First Ave. N.E., to kick off this year’s event. Residents are encouraged to call 546-5862 to make their pledge.

In Remsen, a chamber coffee will be held from 8-11 a.m. at the VFW Hall where coffee, doughnuts and refreshments will be served. Residents in that community may call 712-786-2075 to give their pledge.

The communities of Kingsley, Hinton and Akron will also be accepting pledges. In Kingsley, the KC’s will be doing a mailing instead of making calls. Hinton residents can call the community center at 712-947-4002/4003 to make a pledge, and Akron KCs will call from their parish hall.

Freking said this year’s Le Mars event will also feature honorary chairs, Evan (Gus) and Bob Puetz.

Life Skills Marketing Development Coordinator Shelly Thomson said Gus began the Phonothon with 10 other individuals, while Bob has participated in the event for the past 38 years in several capacities.

“You never know what the outcome of the phone call will bring, but even at the bad times, people of Plymouth County always reach deep in their pockets and donate something,” Bob said. “And in the future, I see lots of young guys joining the Knights and working with the Knights. I know that they will continue to support Life Skills, because community working with community and acts of kindness is what the Knights of Columbus stands for.”

Freking said the Knights of Columbus are so grateful for the Puetz’s dedication over the years.

“We are very grateful for Gus and Bob Puetz as they have been instrumental for the Knights of Columbus,” Freking said.

Thomson said the support of the KCs and the community through the phonothon is so appreciated by the team at Life Skills and the individuals it serves.

“Every year they are just so great to work with. The group of individuals, and the leadership has changed in the four years, but each year they bring to the phonothon unparalleled excitement and dedication,” she said.

This year’s phonothon dollars will go towards buying a new straight truck to be used by the laundry facility.

The KC Phonothon was first held in 1980. Over the past 30 years, the KCs have raised $1,379,804.

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