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A charitable evening

Knights of Columbus Bristol Council #906 will host its first Beef and Beef event to benefit a local food pantry

By Samantha Bambino

The Times

Phil Paolella has only two requirements for those looking to attend this year’s Knights of Columbus charity event. The first? Be willing to donate to a deserving organization. And second? Have a liking for beer. Simple enough.

On Saturday, April 28 from 7 to 11 p.m. at St. Mark School, the Knights of Columbus, Bristol Council №906 will host its first After Tax Day Celebration Beef and Beer, with all proceeds benefiting the Bristol Borough Community Action Group Inc. Food Pantry.

According to Paolella, a proud Knight of 45 years, the idea for the event stemmed from the nationwide organization’s core founding principle of charity. The Knights of Columbus was initially formed in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney of New Haven, Connecticut, who financially aided struggling immigrants and families suffering the death of their breadwinner.

Today, the organization stands as the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service nonprofit with more than 15,000 councils and 1.9 million members, 176 of whom belong to Bristol Council №906, which was established in 1904.

Many of the borough’s members are at least second-generation Knights, including Paolella. Growing up, he served as his father’s tiny shadow, watching in wonder as his hero selflessly helped others in need. Once he was old enough, Paolella followed in his father’s footsteps and was initiated into the organization.

Now, he works with a small team of members to select a different, deserving cause to assist each year. During a January meeting, one Knight suggested the 2018 recipient of their donations be the Bristol Borough Community Action Group Inc. Food Pantry. This member had recently visited the pantry, located at 99 Wood St., and was surprised at what he learned.

When people choose to give to a food pantry, it’s a natural inclination to assume the thing they should donate is food. While meals and nonperishable items are always welcome and needed, Paolella explained that monetary donations are also necessary. These cover costs associated with running the business, such as electricity and purchasing boxes and bags to package the food. However, this type of donation is something the pantry rarely receives.

After his fellow Knight suggested they assist the BBCAG, Paolella was immediately on board.

“I said, ‘You know what, you’re right. That’s where we should be,’” he reflected.

Shortly after, the idea for Council №906’s first-ever After Tax Day Celebration Beef and Beer was formed. According to Paolella, the reasoning behind hosting this type of event was that it’s appealing to the public, and there’s something for everyone. Attendees don’t have to be a Knight or even Catholic. They just need to be willing to help the food pantry while having some fun in the process.

Taking place in the St. Mark gym, the Beef and Beer event will provide guests with a hearty meal of beef, rolls, roast potatoes, green beans and salad. Beverages will include beer (of course), soda, coffee, tea and BYOB.

Throughout the evening, a number of activities will take place to help make it an enjoyable night. In addition to music and dancing, there will be a 50/50 and a Chinese auction. Paolella is asking for the community’s help with donations of gift certificates or other items of nominal value to be chanced off in the auction.

Visit facebook.com/KnightsOfColumbusBristolCouncil906 for more information and updates leading up to the event. ••

If you go…

The Knights of Columbus, Bristol Council №906’s After Tax Day Celebration Beef and Beer will take place Saturday, April 28 at the St. Mark School Gym, 1024 Radcliffe St. in Bristol, from 7 to 11 p.m.

Cost is $25 per person or $40 per couple in advance, and $30 per person or $50 per couple at the door.

Tickets will be available at the office of St. Mark School and by contacting the following members: Phil Paolella (215–781–9699), Steve Sannelli (215–788–7446), Sal Accardi (215–781–9794) or Mike Lenihan (267–907–5902). Tickets will also be sold after all Masses April 7–8 and April 21–22.

Samantha Bambino can be reached at sbambino@newspapermediagroup.com

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