By Steve McConnell, Grand Knight, Knights of Columbus Council 10986, St. John Bosco Parish
On Saturday, September 19, The Knights of Columbus Council #10986 at St. John Bosco Parish in Edmonton, AB, Canada, hosted their Annual Highway Clean-up Fundraiser in co-operation with Fr. Raja and their Parish community. This annual event serves many purposes: First, to witness our faith by doing good works; Second, to provide an opportunity to take care of God’s creation by removing refuse from natural areas surrounding our highways; Third, to give the youth and young families of our parish a chance to practice being good citizens of our community; and last, to raise funds so that we can offer more charitable works in the future.
The Highway Clean-up began bright and early at 7:30 AM GMT-6. It was an overcast morning due to the smoke from the wildfires in California having spread up north to central AB, Canada. Nevertheless, the weather was warm, and the volunteers were ready to take part in the day’s activities.
Fr. Raja started things off with a prayer for all the volunteers that we would all be safe and glorify God with our works that day. Then, the Grand Knight gave the morning safety briefing, while some of the Knights took lunch orders from the volunteers.
The 32 volunteers present (23 adults, nine youths) would break into two teams. The first team would cover a 12-kilometer section of Highway near Josephsburg, AB (a quieter highway which is safer for our youth participants), and a smaller seven-kilometer section of Highway on HWY 21 near Sherwood Park, AB, where most adults would clean-up due to the highway being a very busy one.
The day went very well, with a record number of volunteers and increased youth participation. The volunteers finished the day with sparkling-clean highway sections and lunch to bring home from the local Subway. Thanks go out to all the volunteers, especially the youth, as the whole team received a special accolade from the co-ordinator at Alberta Transportation:
“Thank you all for coming out today to clean up the highways. I drove through all your areas and it looks so clean. I have also talked to my contractors and they tell me it looks great and they saw no issues out there. Again, thank you for being safe and a job well done.”