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Columbian Squares News



My Brother Knights,
With the New Year comes the beginning of the second half of the '08- '09 Columbian Year and a new policy for which Knights involved in the oversight of Squires Circles should be aware. It has to do with the liability insurance that is required if a Circle is to operate under the auspices of the Columbian Squires and their sponsoring Council or Assembly.


In past years, insurance payments have been made by circles in June in conjunction with the state convention. Since the annual premium is due and payable the previous December 15th, it was decided at the October state officers and committeemen meeting that payment by all active California circles should be payable on or before January 15th, payment being based on the number of Squires and counselors on the December Membership Roster sent from the Supreme Office. Payment is due at the rate of $5.00 times the number of Squires and counselors in the circle. As previously stated, liability insurance is required for all active circles.


For the convenience of chief counselors, State Circle Form 1 (Insurance) will soon be available on the new State Council website. This form can be completed online but cannot be saved; it must be printed and mailed with a check in the proper amount. A form can also be obtained by contacting me.

Please remember that the annual premium was paid in full from a rather austere State Circle budget and that a check was also written to the Supreme Office to pay the State Circle's per capita. It follows that in order for the State Circle to maintain financial viability, circles must also pay their just debts in a timely manner. This also applies to the State per capita of $30.00 per circle which is due May 1st. The cooperation of all chief counselors is needed if the State Circle is to function for the benefit of all California circles.


On the lighter side, and in keeping with my stated goal of telling you WHO the Squires are, here is an article I received from Counselor Peter O'Brien of St. Timothy Circle, No. 5001, in Laguna Niguel:

Circle "Adopts" Toby's House Providing Ongoing Support for Unwed Mother's
In Fraternal Year 2008, the Squires of the Laguna Niguel Circle No. 5001 voted to "adopt" Toby's House of San Juan Capistrano in an ongoing effort to support their mission.

Toby's House embraces pregnant women in crisis, providing a safe, supportive home for them and their young children. It provides vocational and spiritual advancement through counseling, education, prayer and a life-based value system that empowers them to become confident, contributing community members. Founded in 1998 by Kathleen Eaton, Toby's House is one of the only shelters in Orange County that serves both pregnant women and pregnant women with other children. Toby's House is a nondenominational, Christian organization dedicated to serving women in need of housing. It is a fifteen bed facility that operates three homes at various locations throughout Orange County. Those three homes consist of a six-bed family unit home, a three-bed adoption facility, and a six-bed transitional living program. Since 1998, these locations have been a refuge to over 200 women and their children. Residents are allowed to live free for the first 30 days while they seek employment, enroll in school or complete job training. Toby's House is a work-based program, and believes in providing mothers with all the tools necessary to reach self-sufficiency. With financial, emotional and spiritual assistance, residents are able to reconstruct their lives and heal. Expectant mothers receive prenatal care, birthing education, breastfeeding support, and baby items such as car seats, diapers, and bottles as needed. Their program offers life skills education classes daily to residents who learn parenting, cooking, budgeting, and job seeking skills that are critical to their success. But Toby's House goes beyond meeting the physical needs of their residents. The program also includes Bible study, one-on-one counseling, and Domestic Violence group therapy. Toby's House also partners with agencies such as the Orange County Perinatal program, Orange County Sheriff's Department, and Orange County Social Services.

For the past 18 months, the Squires of Laguna Niguel have been an integrated extension of the Toby's House support program. The boys voted to dedicate their 3rd Annual Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser this past June for Toby's House. Over $1,500.00 was raised and allocated to fund bus passes and food vouchers for pregnant mothers in their workbased program transition. In addition to the passes and vouchers, the Squires provided infrastructure assistance such as painting bathrooms, yard work and putting up Christmas lights. Earlier this year, the Squires dropped off some warm dinners for a new Mom along with some Halloween candy for the transition home located near the beach to pass out to trick or treaters.

To help mothers acclimate to their temporary homes, the Squires also provided Toby's House with back-packs filled with a month's supply of toiletries including toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, mouth wash, soap, shampoo, etc. To top it off, the boys also included Teddy Bears for babies to snuggle up with and Bibles for the Moms. The Squires also coordinated to have one of their Moms who has a Teaching credential, participate in the Toby's House mentoring efforts to the young Moms as part of the ongoing transition program.

The Squires of Laguna Niguel have evolved over the past 3 years and now have multiple "adoptive" causes that they are dedicated to supporting on an ongoing basis. "Our mission is to serve God, our Church and our community," said Mark Loftus, Chief Squire of Circle 5001. "We intend to support Toby's and several other earlier committed causes (Corazon de Vida, and the Community Service Programs, Inc.) as part of our ongoing annual plans. We will pass along these commitments to future Squires and remain a permanent and integrated support resource for our community!"

The Squires of Laguna Niguel have been recognized the past 2 years through Brother Barnabas awards and the past 3 years as Corps d'Elite award winners.

Standing left to right are Counselor Jeff Atkinson, Squires Sam O'Brien and Mark Klausing, Toby's House representative Jolie Sheppick, Squires Shane Tatu, Phillip Doyle, Robbie Clark, Kevin Schickling and John Atkinson, and Counselor Peter O'Brien. Seated left to right are Counselors Joe Pesci and August Polito.

St. Timothy Council, No. 12834, can certainly be proud of their sponsorship of Circle No. 5001. This is WHO the Columbian Squires are, my brother Knights. Kudos to Immediate Past Grand Knight Dennis Jans, current Grand Knight Kirck Johnson and the counselors of Circle No. 5001, for their time and devotion to "the future of our Order."


If you think you have "the right stuff" to be a counselor, why not make a motion to start a Squires circle at your next council (or assembly) meeting? A state committeeman or your chapter Squires chairman will be more than happy to assist you. Or give me a call and I'll put you in touch with one of the above counselors for some positive feedback about the Columbian Squires. "Esto dignus - be worthy." I think the Squires of the Laguna Niguel Circle are living the motto learned at their Investiture.


Gene Buehl, Director, California State Circle

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