Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 07-30-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JULY 30-AUGUST 5, 2020 THE VALLEY 7 LINCOLN – For the first time in its history, members of the Lincoln Council of the Knights of Columbus say they've been denied help on the basis of their group's name. Criticism surrounding the legacy of Christopher Columbus has been on the rise across the nation, coming to a head locally with the removal of a Providence Columbus statue after pro- testors vandalized it. Members of the Lincoln Council, founded with a mission of charity, said the Columbus name has been problematic for would-be donors and media organizations over the last sev- eral months. Thomas Rossi, who helps run the Lincoln Council's food drive, said he recently sought a grant from a local nonprofit that has helped fund the council's charitable endeavors in the past. "To my chagrin, the answer came back a polite 'no, not this year.' The administrators thought that funding a Columbus-named organization was not in their best interest," he said. He went on to write to six other Rhode Island-based organizations to see whether they could help the council fund their food bank, which members began in March in response to COVID-19. Rossi said each of the six organiza- tions denied their requests, responding that the Columbus name would not be well received by their members this year. The council later reached out to several local news outlets to pub- licize their upcoming blood drive, said Rossi. He said he assumed a blood drive would be "apolitical," with the goal of saving lives, but that three media outlets didn't respond to requests for publication. The club has teamed up with the Rhode Island Blood Center to hold a blood drive on Aug. 3 between 4 and 7 p.m. to collect needed donations. They're offering raffles for partici- pants, as well as free refreshments and other giveaways. "One said their parent company advised that they shouldn't be associ- ated with the name Columbus," Rossi said. Ray Hedenskog, Grand Knight of the Lincoln Council, said, "We were just trying to get the word out about the blood drive, but it doesn't fit their narrative." Hedenskog said the Columbus Club at 171 Jenckes Hill Road is "a commu- nity center available with open arms to aid everybody and anybody. We're all unpaid volunteers who do the char- itable work because we can." The club offers its rental hall free of charge to local nonprofits, veterans and other groups for meetings and fundraisers, only charging a rental fee for private parties. Rossi said monthly rentals helped pay their overhead and utility bills. When the coronavirus hit Rhode Island, gatherings were restricted and the club could no longer operate as it normally would. Instead of clos- ing its doors, members organized a weekly food drive they call "Leave No Neighbor Behind." Hedenskog said the Lincoln Council was one of the few Knights of Columbus groups in the nation to offer such a service. Though the Knights of Columbus is a Catholic organization, Rossi said they've helped "anyone who asks," including churches of other denomina- tions. "If we find out someone doesn't have food on a Friday night we'll bring a box to them. Sometimes we deliver baby formula and diapers. There's a lot of hurt out there right now," he said. Rossi and Hedenskog said they applied to seven local organizations for any amount of money to help with their food drive, hoping to purchase some perishable items for families. Lincoln Knights of Columbus: We've been denied help due to name By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer See KNIGHTS, Page 10 SERVING SMITHFIELD, GLOCESTER & SURROUNDING TOWNS 2-8 yards for Commercial Service • Dumpsters, 4-30 yds. 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Coverage for market value only of a home may not meet the expenses of rebuilding materials and labor. For starters, the price of materials can go up even when home values are going down. Also, new materials may be much more expensive than those used when building the original home. To avoid this, get a home replacement quote from a local contractor to be sure your coverage is adequate. You should also factor in the replacement of your home's items. Whether you are looking for homeowners insurance, condo insurance or renters insurance, you need an insurance agent who works for you. HUNTER INSURANCE, INC. specializes in homeowners insurance, representing companies that focus on home insurance coverage. For more information, please call 769-9500, or see us at 389 Old River Rd., LINCOLN. Our team strives to make the insurance process as simple as possible for our clients. As one of our clients, we will be there for you when you need us most. P.S. When determining replacement costs for your home, but sure to include your home's exterior finish as well as any detached structures.

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