ST. FRANCIS – Roland Ransom, state deputy of the Wisconsin State Council of the Knights of Columbus, provided the Knights’ annual answer to the often-asked question, “What can you buy with a penny?” when he presented Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki with a check for $13,058 on Oct. 11.

The money, raised by members of the 59 K of C councils in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, is the result of members’ voluntary participation in the Penny-a-Knight-a-Day program. Started in 1970 as an “affordable and symbolic” way of supporting Catholic education, according to a release from the state council, the program was based on the cost of a carton of cigarettes at that time – approximately $3.65.

Annually, councils are invited to participate in the program by contributing $3.65 per member. The money is designated for use by each of the state’s five bishops for Catholic education. Statewide, councils raised $51,000 for the Penny-a-Knight-a-Day program.

Ransom noted that the fundraising effort remains popular with councils in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

“Two years ago we raised $7,500. This year, we set a goal of $10,000 and passed that. Next year, our goal is $15,000,” he told your Catholic Herald. “We can do it.”

Archbishop Listecki, in praising the Knights for their continued support of Catholic education, said the contribution was welcome.

“We appreciate everything the Knights of Columbus do,” the archbishop said.

The archbishop said he will consult with Kathleen Cepelka, superintendent of archdiocesan schools, to determine how the money can be best used to strengthen Catholic schools.

Earlier this year, Ransom, on behalf of the Knights, presented the archbishop with a check for $27,000 as a result of the organization’s Food for Families program.