A sweet donation tradition, a half century strong

Eight members of Knights of Columbus Council 2091 showed up at Hope Association recently for a special presentation — turning over proceeds of their annual Tootsie Roll Drive ($1,497.60) to help fund activities for the clients there.
Leo Arsenault, treasurer for Knights of Columbus and co-chair of the Tootsie Roll Drive with Arthur Rouleau, said this is a tradition that’s been active for more than half a century.
“We used to be a lot larger (70 members now). Back then, we used to donate six to seven thousand dollars from the Tootsie Roll Drive,” he noted.
In addition, the Knights of Columbus donated a van to the association after their move to the Armory in the 1990’s. Member Dane Curato showed a picture of the van from a page in a book on the history of Hope Association.
Arsenault said they hold their Tootsie Roll Drive for two days each September, on a Thursday and Friday. This year, they will don their yellow vests and stand before businesses in Rumford and Mexico such as Walmart, Franklin Savings Bank, Marden’s, Mountain Valley Variety and Tractor Supply.
In addition, they will collect on a Saturday and/or Sunday in September at the Holy Savior Church in Rumford and Our Lady of the Snow Church in Bethel.
The Knights of Columbus Campaign for People with Disabilities has been in existence since 1970, with many states and provinces participating, both in the U.S. and in Canada, in support of those with developmental handicaps.
Another longtime fundraiser for Hope Association is their annual Snowmobile Ride-In, which will take place from 12:30-2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 8 at their facility at 519 Swain Rd. in Rumford.