Pella community raises nearly $25k to help individuals with special needs

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Members of the Pella Community High School soccer team, special education teachers, students and members of the St. Mary-Pella Knights of Columbus pose for a picture following this year’s Campaign for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.

By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

Knights of Columbus Council 12334 from St. Mary Parish in Pella recently wrapped up its Campaign for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities (CPID), raising about $24,000.

It’s an effort that involves “incredible volunteerism” from the whole community, said KC Joe Lickteig, a coordinator for the local campaign.
About half of the donations this year came from a telethon. “We call approximately 160 local businesses and tell them about the fundraiser. About 65 businesses gave this year,” Lickteig said.

High school athletes get involved, as well. Fall sports teams from Pella Community Schools and Pella Christian Schools compete to see who can raise the most money. This fall, the Pella Lady Dutch soccer team took the prize for the third time in four years. The winner receives a traveling trophy.

For seven days, volunteers — including KCs, family members and athletes — stand outside one of three Pella businesses asking for donations and handing out Tootsie Rolls.

The local radio station, KNIA/KRLS, helps out by talking about the campaign on air and interviewing athletes, special education teachers, special education students and adults with disabilities. “It really shines a light on their stories,” Lickteig said. “We even had persons with disabilities do a ‘thank you’ radio advertisement thanking the town about a week after it was over.”

The council splits the CPID funds among Iowa Special Olympics, the Christian Opportunity Center and special education programs at Pella Schools and Pella Christian Schools.

“It is incredible and certainly inspiring to live in a town that gives back so much,” Lickteig said.

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