Something a little different this month: the following is the speech given by President Joe Mascari at the 65th Anniversary Celebration of the Columbian Home on Saturday, May 18, 2024.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Board of Directors, Our Esteemed Columbian Home Members and their Guests,

It is with great joy that we gather here tonight to celebrate a remarkable milestone in the journey of the Columbian Home – our 65th Anniversary. On March 23, 1959, 14 members of the Knights of Columbus Council 528 formed the Columbian Home of Allentown. A vision was born of unity, purpose, community, and faith. Today, we stand as a testament to the enduring power of that vision – stronger, and more vibrant than ever. Please take some time tonight to read about the history of the Home – literature has been placed on each table. (For those of you from Northampton, I will read it to you after the speech.)

Reflecting on the past 65 years should fill our hearts with nostalgia and admiration for all those who have contributed to our organization’s growth and success. Mike Garger and Pat Gavigan, may they rest in peace, and Judge Larry Brenner, who is with us tonight and hopefully eating in peace, are three of the many people who helped us grow. Our present Board of Directors: Joe Brogan, Steve Selvaggio, Dianne Mascari, Ed Barry, Sean Gallagher, John Ammon, Ken Walsh, Mike Keenan, Diane Weber-Gallagher, Jim Gallagher, and Erma Dantonio devote countless hours and energy to making this a place we are proud to call “Home.”

Each one of you, our members, has played a vital role in shaping the identity and impact of the Columbian Home. Your unwavering support has been the driving force behind our achievements. This milestone is not only a celebration of our past accomplishments, but also a reaffirmation of our shared values and aspirations.

Looking ahead, let us embrace the future with the same spirit of innovation and resilience that has defined us for the past 65 years. Let us continue to strive for excellence in all that we do here at the beautiful Columbian Home.

Our major project this year is the complete renovation of our kitchen. The equipment is outdated, the space cramped, and the demands on the facility are great.

So, while we are here together for tonight’s celebration, we continue to ask for your support. We need you – all of you – to join us in making this kitchen project happen.

Our Columbian Home Family Tree is taking orders for leaves to honor a loved one (deceased or living) or commemorate a special occasion or person. The silver leaves are $250, the gold leaves are $350, and the emerald leaves are $500. If you prefer, you may contribute to the Community Captains Wall. A 1.5 by 4” plaque is $1000, a 3×5” plaque is $2500, and a 6×8’ plaque is $5000. Additionally, if you purchase a $5000 plaque, my wife and I will treat you and a plus-one to dinner here at the beautiful Columbian Home. Retail value = priceless. This offer is good for tonight only, so please take advantage of my generous mood. We are now accepting applications for all levels of donors, and we gladly accept cash, checks and credit cards. Any one of our Board Members will be happy to help you.

Thank you again for your support. Please enjoy dancing to the music of Kristen Morgenstern, help yourself to a piece of cake, and have a wonderful time.

As always, I will keep you in my prayers.

All the best,