By Rosaland Tyler
New Journal and Guide
You still have time to buy a ticket, reserve a seat, and fellowship with those who help provide outreach programs at the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception. The 30th Celebration and Banquet sponsored by The Barrett-Newell Council and Court #279 of the Knights of Peter Claver Inc. takes place Saturday, Aug. 20. About 250 people are expected to attend the event that will begin at 7 p.m. at the Wyndham Hotel in downtown Norfolk.
The special guest speaker for the occasion is F. DeKarlos Blackmon, Supreme Knight and CEO of Peter Claver, Inc. He also is the President of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights and Director, Life Charity and Justice, Diocese of Austin. The group will present its Claver Service of Excellence Awards to Brenda H. Andrews, CEO and publisher of the New Journal and Guide, and to Roger Chesley, a member of the parish and a columnist at The Virginian-Pilot.
“People should come because many are unaware of the works that we do in the local community,” said Elvin S. Taylor Jr., who has served as the Grand Knight and Chief Executive Officer of The Knights of Peter Claver Inc. since 2012. “Since 1986 we have done a lot in the community and it would be great for others to know how we help others in this area,” said Taylor, who has been a Catholic all of his life. “It would be a beautiful thing for others to see what we do and to help us lend a helping hand.”
The Knights of Peter Claver Inc. have provided multiple services since the group was formed by 18 charter members in June 1986. Currently nine of the original members are still living and still serving in the ministry. “We do a lot of different things like provide food to the needy,” Taylor said. “And we have had a school supply drive for students at Tidewater Park Elementary School since 2004. We are standing on the shoulders of some who are dead and gone. They have done their work and left a legacy. We want to do the same thing.”
Tickets cost $40. For more information, please phone (757) 622-4487.