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Sweet result: Knights of Columbus fundraiser brings $1,270 donation

Giving a donation in return for a Tootsie Roll from a Knights of Columbus member does more than just

Knights of Columbus Grand Knight Tom Manning presents Peggy Campbell, Carter County Schools assistant superintendent and Jaclyn Wilson, Unaka Elementary principal, with a check from the Knights of Columbus Council 10743. Also pictured are Knights of Columbus George Bratton, Knight of Columbus and Unaka Elementary School teacher Hugh Buckles and Knight of Columbus Jimmy Townsend.

Knights of Columbus Grand Knight Tom Manning presents Peggy Campbell, Carter County Schools assistant superintendent and Jaclyn Wilson, Unaka Elementary principal, with a check from the Knights of Columbus Council 10743. Also pictured are Knights of Columbus George Bratton, Knight of Columbus and Unaka Elementary School teacher Hugh Buckles and Knight of Columbus Jimmy Townsend.

satisfy a sweet tooth. It also helps supplement the education of special education students throughout the county.
On Friday, Knights of Columbus Council 10743, a Catholic men’s fraternal organization from St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in Elizabethton, presented the Unaka Elementary special education department with a donation of $1,270.38.
Unaka Elementary Principal Jaclyn Wilson said the money would be used to purchase technology needs for the school’s two special education classrooms.
“This will help tremendously,” Wilson said. “There will be no delay in when those students are tested. We can test them all at once, and we can test them more often to better monitor their progress.”
Knights of Columbus Grand Knight Tom Manning said the organization has donated more than $20,000 to the county’s high school special education programs and close to $10,000 to the county’s elementary special education classrooms.
“We have been doing this now for 50 years,” Manning said.
So, where does all that money come from?
It’s collected during the annual Tootsie Roll Drive that members conduct each fall. Local Knights of Columbus members stand outside the Elizabethton Wal-Mart and give out Tootsie Roll candies to shoppers entering or leaving the store. The candy is free, but donations are accepted.
Donations that are collected are given to the Tennessee MR Foundation of the Knights of Columbus. Manning said the organization is dedicated to supporting individuals with intellectual disablities.
Of the money collected, half is given back to the local council to distribute as they wish. The other half is placed into a grant program so local chapters can ask for additional funding for more projects they would like to do.
“It is good because most of the money we collect stays local,” said Knights of Columbus member George Bratton. “We can use more than we collect if it is going to a worthy cause.”