Orlando | John and Regina Joly of Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Lakewood Ranch were selected as the 2018 “Family of the Year” by the 55,000-member Florida State Council of the Knights of Columbus at the 114th annual Florida Knights of Columbus Convention in Orlando in June. The couple was selected in recognition of their exceptional service to their community, their Parish and to the Knights of Columbus.
As community director for the Sts. Cosmas and Damian Council 13341, John Joly schedules, plans and directs council activities in support of Habitat for Humanity, blood drives, Food for Families collections, and raising more than $6,000 for Special Olympics.
He also spearheaded the council’s involvement in 14 Habitat for Humanity work projects during a 12-month period, leading up to a dozen volunteers in the work detail. In addition, he was a prime mover in getting several faith-based organizations to join forces to raise the funds necessary for site preparation and construction of a single-family home.
When Hurricane Irma forced families from Southwest Florida to evacuate, the couple participated in the effort to collect food, clothing and supplies for those families, and personally delivered Knights-supplied gift cards to the relocation center in Central Florida.
The couple is heavily involved in the activities of Our Lady of the Angels Parish. They have planned and directed the cooking and serving of meals at the parish, including a Lenten fish fry, Easter egg hunt, breakfast with St. Nicholas and a Memorial Mass breakfast. They are also involved in many of the Parish ministries, work retreats and support to the pastor’s priority projects. John and Regina Joly exemplify the highest ideals of the Knights of Columbus family and service programs.
Another top award went to Noah Henry who was honored as the Diocese of Venice Altar Server of the Year in the 13- to 17-year-old category. Noah is very active in Our Lady of the Angels Parish, helping in many ministries, especially for the Knights of Columbus-sponsored Parish Easter egg hunt and breakfast with St. Nicholas. He is also on several baseball teams in the area.
Additionally, the Sts. Cosmas and Damian Council 13341 won many other state awards given out at the Florida Knights of Columbus Convention, including: Pro-Life Activities Award; Council Activities Award; Family Activities Award; Community Activities Award; Publicity Activities Award; and Ultrasound Sponsor Award.