Congratulations to Our Council for Achieving STAR COUNCIL for 2011-2012!

As Grand Knight, I want to congratulate my council, 12796 of St. Elizabeth Church, Rockville, MD, for achieving what the Knights call “Star Council”. There are 4 requirements of which every member has or can have a role in fulfilling.

The four requirements are:

  1. Meet Membership Recruitment Quota
  2. Meet Insurance Member Quota
  3. Submit all required reports on time
  4. Host or send a candidate to at least 4 First Degree Ceremonies (new requirement)

There is also the final requirement of submitting the Columbian Award application in June.

How does each member contribute to all four requirements?

Membership Quota

First, recruiting new members is not the role of just the Grand Knight. It’s the role of every single brother Knight. And as Grand Knight, I’ve repeated the last 2 years that I don’t just want numbers; I want real Catholic gentlemen who want to contribute to Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism, the four pillars of our fraternal organization. I want quality over quantity, and if that meant I wouldn’t get Star Council as Grand Knight, then I’m OK with that (mostly).

But between this year and last, we got a total of at least 14 new members that hands-on and eager to contribute. Our council did in fact achieve the requirements for Star Council in 2010-2011 (last year), but we decided to clean up our books by suspending members who have been in arrears for years and did not want to participate any longer, and that knocked us out of our membership quota. Every council and every organization worldwide runs into attrition as members move on, have life changes or just run into issues in their lives wherein they can no longer participate.

I was not the only man recruiting 14 other men into the council. Even those for whom I was marked as the sponsoring member, I probably had help. It may have been another member mentioning to that candidate about the Knights a year before. It could have been exposure to other Knights at one of our events like the Pancake supper. No matter, what, it’s the whole council who contributes to membership, whether you know it or not.

Actions speak louder than words, but words are also necessary to invite a Catholic gentleman to be a member of the Knights.

Insurance Quota

Ok, you’re thinking “How in the world do I have anything to do with reaching our insurance quota?”. Well, while we have an excellent Fraternal Benefits Advisor, Richard Morin, we can’t reach our quota without two other things happening:

1. YOU taking part in the program in some way and
2. YOU promoting and supporting the program

If we had half our council bad-mouthing the benefits of the Knights of Columbus, no one would ever participate in our excellent programs. But in fact many member have accepted Rick into their home to discuss what we have, knowing that nothing is mandatory, including meeting with Rick. Whether it be an annuity, a term life, blended life or whole life policy through the Knights, we have had 100% of our quota filled by men taking up the challenge to make that decision.

So thank you to those men understanding the need to protect their loved ones financially, and to our members for promoting and supporting our fraternal benefits!

Report Submission

Ok, now you’re really wondering how you have any part to play in the Grand Knight submitting the committee reports on time. Well, let me ask you this: How can we have committee reports if we didn’t do anything in that committee? We have Church, Community, Council, Culture of Life (Pro-Life/Widows), Family and Youth committees and need to report on one activity each quarter for each committee. As Grand Knight, I can go do something for each of the six committee reports, but it would look like a sad, sad council that we run, right?

So, it’s because of YOU, our council, that I was able to write up some excellent committee reports, including photos (that I hope to post someday to this site) and submit to the state. Thank you!

First Degrees

First, go back and re-read the Membership Quota section above, then come back here. Now you know how we get new members to send to degrees. Second, if you’re on our first degree team or attended one that we hosted, or escorted a new candidate to a degree, or you were one of those 14+ candidates who became a Knight, you’ve helped us obtain this requirement. Our council has had its own First Degree team for about 4 full Columbian years now, and this year we hosted 3 First Degrees and recently just sent 2 new members to Montgomery Council in Derwood, MD to make the 4th required degree. Thank you!

What’s Next?

Well, the council is just 4 new members away from DOUBLE STAR council, which we’ve never achieved, and very few councils achieve in a year. We have 2 months to complete this requirement, and there are many First Degrees we can send candidates to, OR we can always host our own with just 24 hours’ notice.

Think we can do it? I can.

Congratulations to all my brother Knights of Council 12796, and to our District Deputy Richard Earenfight and District Warden Wes Chin for helping us obtain this prized award! I look forward to the day that our Past State Deputy presents us with the award in person.


Vivat Jesus!
Grand Knight

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