Knights divvy Tootsie Roll proceeds with intellectually disabled

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West Central Area of Special Olympics Iowa volunteer Ray Strekal accepted a donation Wednesday morning from members of the St. Patrick’s Knights of Columbus St. Jude Council 1243, from left, Mike Wilson, Ben Williamson and Jon Wilson.


Proceeds from the September campaign by the St. Pat’s Knights of Columbus St. Jude Council 1243 for person with intellectual disabilities– the Tootsie Roll campaign — were shared this week with local stakeholders.

Knights Jon Wilson, Mike Wilson and Ben Williamson gathered Wednesday morning in order to present the donation checks to the West Central Area of Special Olympics Iowa, Perry Public Schools and St. Patrick Catholic School.

Ray Strekal of Perry, who started volunteering with the Iowa Special Olympics 10 years ago after retiring from 33 years of work at the Woodward Resource Center, accepted the $642 donation from the Perry Knights. The West Central Area of Special Olympics Iowa includes Audubon, Boone, Carroll, Dallas, Guthrie, Marion, Polk and Warren counties.

Laura Skeel, special education teacher at the Perry Elementary School, said the Perry school district currently serves about 120 special education students. Skeel said the $642 Tootsie Roll donation will help her department purchase additional supplies and equipment.

Kandice Roethler, principal of the St. Patrick Catholic School, welcomed the Knights to the office and accepted their donation.

The St. Pat’s Knights of Columbus can be seen each September, bearing Tootsie Rolls outside local grocery stores and sporting bright yellow and red bib aprons they wear that bear the words, “Helping People with Intellectual Disabilities – Knights of Columbus.”

Chicago-based Tootsie Roll Industries has manufactured the mildly chocolate-flavored, taffy-like, non-melting candy since 1907.

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