Community Director


Activities support our efforts in Building the Domestic Church. Our actions should include not only Brother Knights but also our community family making up the Domestic Church.
Community Programs are a council’s ‘Visible Arm’ to their community.  These programs demonstrate to the public how your council is focused on serving the needy!
An Active Council is a council involved in their community…On this page you will find information and resources to help you perform your mission of evangelization for the Domestic Church.
The community programs and the church will position your council to bring social justice to the parishioners.  Program Pointers are here for you to utilize, the time it takes to compile this info is now saved. Hopefully, you will fill information gaps with your specific actions between now and the time the program occurs – talk with your GK’s and DD’s.  Start now and begin your planning by July 30th so...








Community Director's Blog

Community Director

James Laraia


Worthy Brothers All,

Hurricane Florence was very devastating to many in our North Carolina community.  As we continue to recover from Hurricane Florence we should all be proud to say we are part of the Knights of Columbus.  I have witnessed the love of our brotherhood throughout all ranks of our Order.

There are many stories of Knights helping their church, helping parishioners, helping their neighbors and helping their fellow brothers.  These Knights have cleaned up churches, cleared condemned homes, cut up downed trees, removed yard debris, drove trailers full of food & clothes to needed areas, unloaded these trailers into warehouses in the affected areas, and performed so many other untold tasks.

I personally would like to thank our State Leaders, District Leaders, Council Leaders and Catholic Charities for all their dedication to help those in need.  There are still many challenges that our community faces and we must continue to support those in need.  Hurricane Florence will have lasting effects on our Brothers & Sisters in Christ.  Please continue with your service!!!

As we share various stories and specific challenges with each other from Hurricane Florence there will be many lessons we will learn.  First, we must be thankful for our faith, loved ones and health.  One of the next steps will be to evaluate how best to implement a Disaster Preparedness Plan for our family and council.  Then we can evaluate how to assist our parish and community.  You are not alone…we have excellent resources in our State Leadership to help guide you through this process.  Please reach out to me with your questions…there are many resources I can direct you to.

As we move forward with our unique situations, remember your State Council is here for your support. Please let me know if you or a fellow brother is in need of any type of help so that we can coordinate assistance.

Stay tuned for further information on the creation of a Disaster Preparedness Plan.

God Bless!


James T Laraia
NC State Community Director

NC State Holiday – First Responder’s Day

NC State Holiday – First Responder’s Day

Worthy Brothers,

This September 11th marks a North Carolina State Holiday.  It has been designated as First Responders Day.  Please refer to the information below for further details.

We encourage all councils to share this with their members and ask that when they have an encounter with a First Responder to say ‘Thank-you for Your Service.’  This small gesture means a great deal to our First Responders.


Kyle Hester

First Responders Chairman

North Carolina First Responder Day

September 11

Raleigh— In 2017 the NC General Assembly designated September 11th of each year as First Responder Day, making it an official State holiday. The date of September 11th was chosen in recognition of the huge sacrifices made by first responders at the World Trade Center attack in New York. According to Tim Bradley, Executive Director of the NC State Firefighters’ Association (NCSFA), there are over 50,000 firefighters, both career and volunteer, in North Carolina serving 1,376 fire departments.  “After the attacks on 9/11/01 we vowed to never forget the sacrifices made that day by first responders, 343 of whom were firefighters. Having this day each year as a State holiday will help keep the recognition of that sacrifice alive and continue to honor those who serve their community with sacrifices every day.”

Fire departments across the State will hold various festivities on First Responder Day. This involves everything from ringing the community fire alarm to formal 9.11 services. According to Swannanoa Fire Chief Anthony Penland, who serves the year as President of NCSFA, “these services and recognitions are wonderful, but sometimes all it takes is a positive comment or pat on the back from a member of the community”.  “It’s a recognition of service and sacrifice in the past as well as sacrifice yet to come”, Penland said.

For information about events that may be occurring local for First Responders Day, contact your local fire department or police department.


Tom DuPree

Greetings Brother Sir Knights, Worthy Grand Knight and Faithful Navigator,

As we transition from summer to fall, the needs of our Veterans are changing.  In my July newsletter, I pointed out the major programs that needs our support.  Hopefully, in your budgets, you have made the commitment to support these programs.  On behalf of our Veterans, VA Medical Centers and USO-NC, I want to express their appreciation for your support.

Coats for Vets:  For the past five years, the Knights of Columbus have provided NEW COATS to needy Veterans.  Again, I’m requesting your continuous support of this very important program.   Over 2,500 coats have been donated since we began.  Purchasing can be accomplished by individuals, Councils, Assemblies or donations by your individual parish.  If you would like to make a cash donation is support of the coat program, I will act on your behave to purchase and deliver coats to the VA Medical Center in your area in your name.  Credit will be given for your donation.  Click here to see the flier.

VAVS Representatives:  Welcome, SK Thomas Kotz, FDD, as our new VAVS Deputy Representative to the Asheville VA Medical Center.  Also, we need to welcome SK Thomas Mrozek as a Deputy Representative to the Durham VA Medical Center.  There still is a need for VAVS Representatives at the Salisbury VA Medical Center.  Three deputies are needed.  If you might be interested and need more information, contact SK Tom DuPree at or 919-302-5550.  The responsibilities:  *Serve as a liaison between the Knights and the Medical Center *Assist with coordination of the Knights VAVS activities at the Medical Center *Keep the Knights informed regarding VAVS needs, programs, activities or policies.

National Wheel Chair Games:  These games were held in Cincinnati, Ohio this year.  Teams from the Durham, Salisbury and Fayetteville VA attended.  Your contributions to assist these Veterans allowed them to attend.  Your funds were used to pay for hotel, transportation and shipment of equipment.  31 Veterans attended this year.  Our Veterans want to express their thankfulness to all who supported this very important program.  You are helping them see value in their lives NOW.  Orlando, Florida will hold the Games in 2018.

Needs:  Our Veterans are provided only the basic medical care by the VA Administration.  There is a tremendous need by our Veterans for socialization and life-style.  Items such as snacks, coffee, water, drinks, entertainment, are not provided and yet offer each Veteran some pleasure.  Items such as gift cards to be used to assist the Veterans for special needs, i.e.    ice cream, sandwich or last meal.   Other items needed to support a Veteran are:  tee shirts, socks, underwear, sweat shirts, sweat pants, food for homeless Vets, deodorant, hand soap, women feminine products etc..

A list can be located on each VA Medical Center Home Page.  All items must be new and current expiration dates.


SK Thomas W. (Tom) DuPree Jr. PGK, PFN, VAVS Representative Durham VA North Carolina District VAVS Representative VA,
N C State Council Veterans Affairs and VAVS Chairman
St. Francis of Assisi Assembly # 3552 Faithful Navigator