Tonight, it is our great pleasure to honor James J. Breitfeller as our Knights of Columbus, Marian Council #3827 March 2012 Knight of the Month. Jim has been a member of our Council for 8½ years, and served as our Grand Knight in 2010-2011. He is a member of the Msgr. Meagher Fourth Degree Assembly and a member of the Honor Guard.
Jim is from Columbus, Ohio and attended St. Francis De Sales High School. In high school, he was on a team that competed on a local TV show called “In the Know,” a trivia contest like the game show Jeopardy. He graduated from Ohio Dominican University with a B.A. Degree in Political Science and earned his MBA in Finance and Management from Xavier University School of Business Administration. Some years later, he went back to college and completed his B.S. Degree in Accounting from Metropolitan State University.
He works as an Accounting Professional and has consulted for a variety of companies over the years. He currently works at Anderson Windows in Bayport, MN.
Jim is an usher at his parish, the Assumption Church in Richfield, MN, and he recently became an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister.
Jim and his wife Janet have been married 28 years and have lived in Minnesota for the past 22 years. In their first 6 years of marriage, they moved 5 times but only once since living in Minnesota. They do not have children, but Jim humorously refers to his dog, Jorja (Georgia) as his 4-legged daughter. He is the oldest of 5 children, and has 2 brothers and 2 sisters. His parents are still living; his mother is 83 and his father is 89 years old.
In the period leading up to his term as Grand Knight, Jim was actively involved in events and initiatives which have become part of our history and daily life at the Council.
In 2008, he was involved with introducing the use of Power Point presentations to help streamline and focus discussion at our membership and business meetings.
In the summer of 2009, at a very critical financial time for us, Jim was asked to be our Council’s interim bookkeeper, helping the club manager and membership with accounting and office support.
On October 23, 2009, for the 55th Anniversary of our Council, as Officers\’ Blog, Jim was part of a team that raised $15,000 in a capitol campaign fundraiser. Jim and his wife Janet hosted the Gala Celebration and Jim emceed the program for that event.
With an eye to the future, while still Officers\’ Blog, Jim dedicated his column in the May/June/July 2010 Knight News to framing the cause for installing an elevator at our Council Home to make our building handicap accessible. He went on to be a part of the elevator committee through the construction phase and as Grand Knight, saw that project completed and dedicated on February 1, 2011.
As Grand Knight, again looking ahead, with Mike Gigot and Jason Touw at the forefront, he supported and helped launch the development of our Council website. This has become an important communication tool for our membership and an informational vehicle for making our services in the Club and Grand Hall known to the public.
One of the hallmarks of his term as Grand Knight was to increase membership. He organized efforts to make our presence known by setting up and staffing Knights of Columbus information tables after Masses in our area parishes. He encouraged our Council members to participate in the Annual Steubenville North Partnership for Youth Conference at the University of St. Thomas, where he set up and personally manned an information table, making our presence and our mission known to the young Catholic men and women attending the conference.
For five years, Jim has chaired the First Degree Team and has worked tirelessly to reach out to potential new members. As Grand Knight, with the assistance of Fr. Charlie McCarthy and his parish, the Assumption in Richfield, he began the work of welcoming members of the Latino community into our Council. Hispanic speaking parts have been inserted into the exemplification ceremonials where necessary to accommodate the Hispanic candidates.
Jim has taken great pleasure in honoring our Knights and families, as Knights of the Month and as Families of the Quarter, for their faithfulness and their contributions to our Council, and to their parishes and community. He has willingly gone out of his way to make sure that members are recognized. I recall one cold, snowy Saturday morning in November 2010, where he made a huge effort, despite being very ill that day, to attend and present the award at the MN Veterans Home to the Knight of the Month who was unable to attend a membership meeting to receive it there.
As a Third Degree member, Jim has been involved in a number of fundraisers and events that our Council undertakes annually, including the pancake breakfast fundraisers, tootsie roll campaigns and softball tournament fundraisers. He has established Knights of Columbus participation at the Annual Bloomington Heritage Days in July, making our presence known to the community around us.
Jim, we thank you for your many contributions and the work you have done for the good of the Council. We are honored to present you with this award.
Congratulations, James J. Breitfeller, Marian Council #3827 March 2012 Knight of the Month. In addition to the Knight of the Month Award Certificate, we are pleased to present you with a $25.00 gift certificate to enjoy in our lounge.