Knights Were Everywhere


Saturday April 27, was an unusually busy day for the Knights of Council 8157.  The first event Knights participated in was Special Olympics.  From a backyard summer camp for people with intellectual disabilities in 1962 to a global movement, Special Olympics has been changing lives and attitudes.  Envisioned by Eunice Kennedy Shriver and officially founded in 1968, the first Special Olympics was held in Soldiers Field in Chicago.  This past Saturday’s Special Olympics Track and Field event was held at Cedar Hill High School.  Knights participate in Special Olympics by presenting medals and ribbons to the athletes upon completion of their event.  Jim Kowalski, who is always involved in Special Olympics, along with Lilian Kowalski, Jeff Miller, John Espree, and Mike Moloughney helped with the presentations. “It is always an emotionally rewarding experience to see the smiles on the athletes as they receive their medal or ribbon”  says Jim.  The presentation lasted about 6 ½ hours.  Thanks everyone, for giving of your time to support Special Olympics. 

While Special Olympics was happening, seven Knight Hands with strong hands and warm hearts were participating in the semi-annual Property Improvement Program (P.I.P) in Duncanville.  Each spring and fall residents of Duncanville may submit an application for assistance to improve the appearance of their home.  The work generally involves fence repair/replacement, exterior siding repairs, some tree trimming, roof edge repair and lots of painting.  This spring P.I.P completed repairs to 5 homes.  Knights Hands did the repair to one of these houses located at 1326 San Miguel drive. 

David Dybala, the Director of Knight Hands, organized the whole affair, but he’ll be the first one to tell you that it was the expertise and energy of the guys that helped with this project that contributed to its success.  Dan Murphy, David Ybarra, Jack Ramsden, Jorge Ruiz, Mike Fitzgerald, and Larry Balagna all pitched in and rebuild a section of fence in the back yard, replaced rotten and warped fence pickets and most importantly, constructed a new fence with a gate to satisfy the Code Enforcement people from the City of Duncanville. 

This would appear to have been a time consuming task, but with these guys on board it only took about 4 hours.  Mr. Aquirre was extremely impressed and grateful and remarked that he would like to help on future P.I.P projects.  Thanks Knight Hand for a job well done. 

And not to be outdone, James Smith as Director of Concession, worked nearly all day at Valley Ridge Park during league and tournament games on Saturday.  Sunday’s tournament games were rained out.  Lots of other Knights worked on Saturday as well, specifically:  Miguel Hernandez David Hernandez, Benjamin Hernandez Jorge Caraveo, Marc Evans, Larry Balagna (he worked 2 shifts) Sheila Balagna, Mario Luna, Mike Fitzgerald (also worked 2 shifts), Hector Rubio, Jesse Zuniga, and Steve Zehnder.  From preliminary reports, it was a very busy time with 27 games played on Saturday – some well into the night.  Larry Balagna and Mike Fitzgerald and James Smith worked multiple shifts because there just simply were not enough Knights that volunteered to help this particular Saturday.  Please respond to Miguel Hernandez’s request for help in the future. To those who worked the various shifts this past Saturday a huge thank you to one and all.   Without monies generated from your work, this Council would not be able to fund all our charitable activities.