NORTH CANTON  The recently formed partnership between Walsh University and The Knights of Columbus, Bishop McFadden Council No. 3777 in North Canton will be beneficial to the members of the organization, Walsh students and the community at large.

David J. Wechter, treasurer for the local chapter of Knights of Columbus, said the organization has been looking for a regular meeting place since selling the Knights of Columbus Hall on Mississippi Avenue in North Canton. The group sold the building several years ago.

Instead of using the group’s funds to purchase or rent a facility, they formed a partnership with Walsh University in North Canton.

"We’ve established an endowment fund for a needs-based scholarship program for Walsh students in the amount of $500,000 by donating the money we would have used to purchase a building to use as a meeting hall," Wechter said.  "As part of the partnership, Walsh will provide our members with partial use of the facilities to hold regular meetings and other events on the Walsh campus. We share common values with Walsh and the partnership will help us further our legacy and mission and will also support the development of servant leadership in future generations of Walsh Students," he said.

There are approximately 180 members in the Bishop McFadden council from the local Catholic parishes of Christ the Servant Church in Canton, St. Paul’s in North Canton and Little Flower on Diamond Street in Canton. The North Canton council’s formation was in 1954 which coincides with the founding of Walsh University.

Wechter said the Knights of Columbus hold a variety of events throughout the year including an annual pancake breakfast, blood drives and other community related events.  

"We don’t have a specific facility or area on campus. The location on campus for each event will be advertised at the time of each event. We’re hoping to start using the facilities in the first part of June. The scholarships should become available next year," Wechter said.

He said the criteria for the scholarships will be outlined by Walsh with input from the Knights of Columbus membership.

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service dedicated to four founding principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism. Wechter said there are six areas of programming including youth, family, cultural of life, parish activity, vocation and community.

"Just a few of the activities our members participate in throughout the year include sponsoring local little league teams, holding fundraising for Special Olympics, sending clothing to those in need in Africa and annually marching in the North Canton Memorial Day parade," Wechter said. "We’re excited about this partnership and the opportunity to expand our programming and help in-need students to continue their education. There are many commonalities between our mission and Walsh’s mission and involvement in the community. This partnership will allow us to support each other’s mission in serving the community."

There are 15,342 Knights of Columbus councils with 1.8 million members throughout the United States, Canada and over a dozen other countries around the world.

Walsh University in an independent co-educational Catholic liberal arts and sciences institution that promotes academic excellence and diversity and provides close faculty-student interaction. There are 3,000 students from 40 states and 35 countries attending Walsh University.