Knights of Columbus-built house in Lonsdale benefits area Catholic school, education center

| June 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

Knights of Columbus councils from Immaculate Conception in Lonsdale and St. Nicholas in Elko New Market completed a house for charity in Lonsdale June 10. The house sold for $263,000 with $100,000 of the revenue going to benefit the Holy Cross School and Catholic Education Center in Webster. Jim Bovin/For The Catholic Spirit

When Jake Tupy and Dr. Joshua Rickert decided to re-start a Knights of Columbus council at Immaculate Conception in Lonsdale two years ago, they wanted to do something big.

So they decided to build a house.

Immaculate Conception’s council partnered with the Knights council at St. Nicholas in Elko New Market to construct a house for charity. The sale of the 2,300-square-foot, four-bedroom home in Lonsdale closed June 14, and $100,000 of its revenue will go to the Catholic Education Center, which houses Holy Cross School and faith formation programs, in Webster. The school and center serves Immaculate Conception and St. Nicholas, as well as Most Holy Trinity in Veseli.

The donation “reassures the school and the religious ed program that they’ll have a home for years to come,” said Constance Krocak, Holy Cross’ principal.

Tupy, who runs St. Vincent Custom Contracting, invited the Knights in Elko New Market to get involved since several members work in construction-related trades. Tupy’s father, Garry, in Elko New Market had worked on similar projects with the council in the past.

“We said that we could be greater together than individually,” said Rickert, a chiropractor.

Several Knights provided services for the project. Matt Simones offered his contracting services with Caritas Builders. Joe and Paul Simon of Badger Excavating did the excavation. Dave Stepka of D&D Mechanical handled the plumbing.

“They were taking extra time out of their day and their schedule, coming in on weekends to make this thing happen,” Rickert said about all of the project workers.

Garry Tupy, along with Ted Kowalski, his business partner at Onsite Marketing, donated the lot. The project also had support from Lonsdale mayor and Knight Tim Rud.

Many other companies without ties to the Knights contributed to the project. Rickert said about 40 percent of the expenses for building were donated.

Selena Hagar, a local realtor and Immaculate Conception parishioner, listed the house. She and her husband, Jon Hagar, a Knight, sent their children to Holy Cross.

“She really has a deep heart for Catholic education,” said Rickert of Selena Hagar. “It [the house] wasn’t listed for very long before she got that buyer.”

The Knights broke ground on the house Nov. 3, 2016, with 1,300 square feet and an unfinished basement in mind. At the buyers’ request, the workers finished the basement, too, which increased the listing price and the project’s revenue. The house sold for $263,000.

The Knights completed the house in the spring and laid the sod June 10 during their open house for the new home. Rickert said about 80 people attended, and several men showed interest in joining the Knights council after seeing their work.

The $100,000 raised for the Catholic Education Center, built in 2005, will go toward the building’s mortgage. Rickert said both the Lonsdale and Elko New Market councils will also receive $10,000 to fund other charitable work. He sees potential for similar projects in the future and hopes other Knights councils consider pooling resources to serve their communities.

Krocak, who attended the groundbreaking and visited the house while it was under construction, called the project a “model of … absolutely selfless generosity by the community.”

“It’s exemplary for students and families of both of the programs about what it is to serve others and to serve our Lord,” she said.


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