Virginia Knights elect new officers

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More than 300 delegates and alternates representing the 143 local councils and more than 27,000 members of the Knights of Columbus in Virginia gathered at the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel in Richmond May 1-3 for their 115th annual meeting.

The Knights elected a new slate of officers who will assume office July 1. The delegates elected Stephen P. Raschke Sr. of Gloucester as the new state deputy. Raschke retired from the U.S. Army in 2002 with the rank of Command Sergeant Major. For the past 13 years, he has worked as the civilian operations manager for the 733rd Force Support Division at Joint Base Langley/Fort Eustis, Va.

Raschke joined the Knights of Columbus in Newport News, where he served in a variety of offices, including Grand Knight, district deputy and the statewide offices of warden, advocate and secretary. He and his wife Donna have been married for 38 years and have three children and two grandchildren.

Other officers winning election include Michael J. Gasper of Richmond as secretary; Stephen J. Kehoe of Fairfax as treasurer; Roy Blakeburn of Virginia Beach as advocate; and Ed Polich of Glen Allen as warden.

The current state deputy, Stephen A. Burnley of Alexandria, will assume the post of immediate past state deputy. Past State Deputy Kelly Mortensen of Midlothian will continue for a second year as executive secretary.

Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde is the state chaplain of the Virginia Knights of Columbus, and is joined by two associate state chaplains - Father John Abe, pastor of St. Matthew Church in Virginia Beach, and Father John Cregan, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Alexandria.

Among the awards presented at the convention were Knight of the Year, Ronald Wisniewski of Ashland; College Knight of the Year, Daniel Tillson of George Mason University in Fairfax; Family of the Year, Michael and Laurie Candalor of Springfield; Young Man of the Year, Charles Egress of Chesapeake; and Young Woman of the Year Samantha Malanga of Fredericksburg.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015