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Knights of Montana will converge on Havre


A group of knights will congregate in Havre this weekend.

The gathering is the state convention of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men's lay organization with councils in 48 Montana communities.

"All of the state officers will be here," said Herb Vasseur, a member of the local council who is organizing the convention.

Vasseur said the group will be joined by national representatives from Kansas, and that he has received about 150 registration forms and expects more before registration starts Thursday.

"I'm looking for roughly 200 at the banquet," Vasseur said.

The statewide business of the organization will be taken care of during the convention, including election of state officers and the person who will represent the state at the national convention, usually held in August, Vasseur said.

The local council bid two years ago for the convention, which is held in different communities around the state. The last time Havre hosted the convention was about 1982, Vasseur said.

A public craft sale is set for Friday and Saturday in the Parish center, with the proceeds going to the Montana Highway Patrol's Project Hope. The project, which started in 1984, helps children with life-threatening illnesses, fulfilling wishes like trips to Disneyland, computers and entertainment centers.

A highlight of the convention is an awards luncheon Friday at the Parish Center, where a check will be given to MHP and food presented to the North Havre Community Services Food Bank and to Sister Judith Meander's ministry to the poor.

The councils around the state will bring food to the convention or mail checks to the Havre council to buy food, Vasseur said.

The organization holds chariable fund-raisers throughout the year, he added. A Tootsie-Roll sale will be held in May, raising money for the Havre Day Activity Center. Vasseur said 80 percent of the money from that fund-raiser stays in Havre.

A sloppy joe feed will also be held soon to raise money to send a group from St. Jude's Catholic Church to Minnesota for a week to work on projects helping the elderly and disabled.

"That's kind of where our money and funds and efforts go, is to charities," Vasseur said.

The convention schedule is a mix of business meetings, activities for the wives of the men at the convention and social and religious events.

Another event open to the public is a community breakfast Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon in the Parish Center.

The Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 in New Haven, Conn., where the organization has its international headquarters.

The group donates time, money and commodities to many charities, and has more than 1.6 million members in 12,000 councils around the world. The mission of the members is to exemplify "charity, unity, fraternity, patriotism, and defense of the priesthood," the organization's Web site said.

The organization also established a life insurance program to provide for the widows and orphans of deceased members.

On the Net: The Knights of Columbus: http://www.kofc.org


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