KC Hall Closing, but, the Council Marches Forward
Council #889 Blog * Written by Ed Friesen
June 8, 2018
This letter is written with very mixed emotions. At the end of May, Faribault KC Home Inc., the corporation that owns and operates the hall & clubrooms, received two purchase offers on the building. A committee of Home Inc officers, council officers and a couple other members met to review the offers. That committee recommended to accept an offer from the City of Faribault. With the council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 5, an email notice was sent to council membership alerting members that the purchase offers would be on the June 5th meeting agenda.
The Home Inc. portion of the June 5 council meeting was lengthy with thoughtful discussion. We all enjoy going to the club. It is our “Cheers” where everyone knows your name. Supreme launched the “Building the Domestic Church while Strengthening our Parish” initiative in August 2014. With that initiative, Supreme has been encouraging councils to become parish-based and move away from having home corporation facilities. The August 2017 Columbia magazine featured an article “Honoring our Legacy, Serving our Mission,” which discusses councils moving away from home corporations to become parish-based.
It is no secret that our hall has had financial difficulties for a number of years. We discussed closing the hall previously four years ago. While we have reduced Home Inc.’s debt, it has been done so by using volunteers and not having an employed manager. The building requires a number of repairs and improvements, including tuckpointing or new stucco façade on the front side of the building. Unfortunately, there is not a consistent and sufficient revenue stream to employ a club manager and support the necessary building upkeep. The average age of a council member is increasing. Sadly, we have more members entering eternal life than we have joining the council.
A motion to proceed with the purchase offer from the City of Faribault and to amend Home Inc.’s purpose in Article II of its Articles of Corporation, was passed.
What is next?
The purchase offer will be on the City Council’s June 12 meeting agenda for approval. Assuming the City Council approves:
Using templates provided from Supreme, Faribault KC Home Inc. will have up to 3 years to establish a new facility. If a new facility is not established, Faribault KC Home Inc. will be dissolved, and its assets will be distributed to the council. The membership has discussed taking our time with making any decisions on the use of proceeds from the sale, whether we pursue a new facility or fund charitable causes. The coming weeks and months will bring much discussion and ideas to consider.
We will vacate the hall by September 15.
We plan to hold our council meetings at Divine Mercy Catholic Church and St. Patrick’s Church, possibly on a rotating schedule.
We will continue to have a charitable gambling license. We will be able to hold raffles for charitable causes (instead of paying property taxes). We will try to establish off-site locations for bingo and/or pulltabs. The good news with the sale of the hall is that we will be able to give away a much higher percentage of our charitable gambling revenue instead of paying allowable operating costs.
We will need to find storage solutions for records and other items.
Change is always difficult. The current KC Hall has been in use for 50 years and is the 2nd facility owned by Faribault KC Home Inc. Often, when people think of the Knights of Columbus in Faribault, they think of the building. The building has provided both an identity and a home.
But, becoming parish-based can provide an opportunity for a new start, a rejuvenation. As Supreme states, becoming parish-based can “help Catholic men become better husbands, fathers, sons and grand-fathers, and to strengthen Christian family and parish life in keeping with Father McGivney’s original vision for the Knights of Columbus.” The council will now be able to focus more energy into our mission of serving our Church and Catholic community.
Please pray for our council and Brother Knights as we enter this period of transition and forge a new beginning and identity for the Knights of Columbus in the Faribault area. Together, in unity, we are stronger. This change is a new opportunity for us.
Ed Friesen, Grand Knight
Larry Muehlenbein, President, Faribault KC Home Inc.