Knights of Columbus photo
In Washington, D.C. celebrating award for Astoria Knights are Wayne Klemmer, Oregon State Deputy; Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight; Tina Prom; and Ray Prom, Grand Knight of the Astoria Council.
Knights of Columbus photo
In Washington, D.C. celebrating award for Astoria Knights are Wayne Klemmer, Oregon State Deputy; Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight; Tina Prom; and Ray Prom, Grand Knight of the Astoria Council.
ASTORIA — The Knights of Columbus from St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish here won a national award this month for aid and outreach to youth. The recognition came during the national convention of the Knights of Columbus, an event attended by 2,000 Knights from nine countries.

The Astoria Knights got the kudos for raising the floor of a parish auditorium by three feet, bringing it to street level so disabled students at the parish school and others could access the space easily. The auditorium is used every day by the students while also serving as the primary activity center for the parish.

It's a spot for breakfasts, luncheons, socials, dinners, receptions and Bingo.

It's now on level not only with the street, but with the adjoining kitchen, cafeteria and rest rooms.

Over a four week period a year ago, the Knights took on the massive project to help people and to save the parish some money. More than 50 members spent a total of 900 man-hours on the job. It involved installing concrete base walls, floor joists, sub floors and floor tiles.

The cost of the materials was provided via the estate of a council member — the late Bill Leahy. A lifelong member of the Knights, Leahy's father and uncle were charter members of the council in 1908.

Former students of the school also donated to the project. By performing the work themselves, the Knights saved about $30,000 in labor costs.

The Astoria Knights count almost 170 members, making it one of the larger councils in Oregon. The council began in 1908.

It averages more than a dozen projects and activities each month, most of them without  fanfare. The council also raises $1,000 to $2,000 each month and donates to 10 or more different causes each year — Star of the Sea School, St. Vincent de Paul, Special Olympics, the local pregnancy resource center, Boy Scouts, typhoon victims in the Phillipines and hurricane victims in Mexico are a sample.