This year we no longer need “required programs” to qualify for star council but the featured programs have been expanded. We currently have sixteen “Featured Programs” providing councils with two ways to qualify for the Columbian Award. Traditionally a council needs to sponsor four programs in each of the four Service Program categories (Faith, Community, Family, Life Activities) and reports them on the Columbian Award Application (No. SP-7), which is due by June 30.

The second way to qualify is to sponsor one or more of the sixteen “Featured Programs,” and receive two credits towards meeting the minimum participation criteria for that program. A council does not need to conduct all sixteen. For example, if a council participates in RSVP and sponsors Coats for Kids distribution with a minimum of eight cases of coats given away, they’ve met two of four needed credits in the Faith and part of the Community categories.

To qualify for the Columbian Award, they would report these programs on the Columbian Award application. The sixteen “Featured Programs,” and the minimum participation criteria for each, are as follows:

Faith Programs:

RSVP – Qualify for and receive the refund for supporting at least one seminarian or postulant.

Holy Hour – Organize hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

Spiritual Reflection – Organize a spiritual retreat for the council members and family.

Into the Breach – Organize a Into the Breach men’s study group.

Family Programs:

Food for Families – Council provides 100 man-hours of service and collects at least 1,000 pounds of food to be given to a parish food pantry or community food bank.

Family of the Month – Promote a family from your council each month as the family of the month.

Family Prayer Night – Organize a family night of prayer.

Building the Domestic Church – Make the Building the Domestic Church reading series available to the parish.

Life (Culture of Life) Programs:

Walk for Life – Council organizes parish and community participation to provide at least 100 marchers for a local, regional or national walk.

Ultrasound – Council raises at least half the funds for purchase of ultrasound equipment for a pregnancy care center (Balance comes from Supreme Council)

Special Olympics – Contribute at least 200 man-hours of service to state/local Special Olympics activities; donate at least $2,000 for Special Olympics.

Pregnancy Center Support –  Partner with qualified pregnancy centers to raise money for the procurement of an ultrasound macine.

Community Programs:

Habitat for Humanity – Council sponsors at least one Habitat project providing a minimum of 200 man- hours of service and donates at least $1000 to Habitat.

Global  Wheelchair  Mission  –  Council  raises  the  funds  for  100 wheelchairs at  $150  –  distributed  by American Wheelchair Mission.

Coats for Kids – Council purchases at least 8 cases of warm winter coats through Coats for Kids to give to needy kids.

Leave No Neighbor Behind – Fundraise for a local food bank or directly assist a shelter-in-place person in need. Report your activities with the Leave No Neighbor Behind survey at