I am writing this as a follow-up to the nice article in last Tuesday's edition of The Daily Leader about the Knights of Columbus donation to Valiant Living. Nothing was mentioned about the source of those funds, so I would like to offer some additional information.

Each year, Knights of Columbus councils throughout the nation conduct a Tootsie Roll Drive for intellectually and developmentally disabled persons. 100% of all funds raised, after subtracting the cost of the Tootsie Rolls, is donated to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to organizations that provide services for those people.

Each KofC council that conducts a drive designates the recipients of 80% of the funds raised. The other 20% is combined by the State Council and also donated to recipients and organizations who make requests to the state for some of those funds.

Locally, the Madison Knights conduct our drive through the use of displays that are placed at various retail locations around town, starting just before Thanksgiving and running until sometime after New Year's. Last year, we raised nearly $1,850 from our displays. The 80% we donated locally went to Valiant Living. The other 20%, along with 20% from other councils throughout South Dakota, was donated back by State KofC to those who made requests for some of those funds. Valiant Living did just that and the State Knights donated another $5,100 to them from the 20%. Valiant Living received more funds from the Tootsie Roll drive than what was raised locally. How great is that?

I would like to thank the retail businesses who so willingly allow the Knights to place our displays on their counters or other visible locations in their stores for several weeks. I would also like to thank each and every person who generously supports this drive by placing some loose change or a few dollars in the collection cans and enjoying a delicious Tootsie Roll. You are helping many with your donations, and I think I speak for everyone who benefits when I say thank you.

Tim Salmen

Madison, June 27