​Grand Knight Mark Shutters, Archbishop Neale Council, congratulates Trooper First Class Kendall B. Robinson on receiving "Police Officer of the Year Award" and presents him with a plaque. 
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Knights of Columbus
Archbishop Neale Council, No. 2279
Instituted 19 June 1921
EMT Award 22 March 2006
Matthew Laidley GK center with council charter listing several members of the Bowling family as charter members of the Archbishop Neale Council. 
From left Pete Czupryna, PGK;  Hugh Gardiner IV, John Minichino,Terence Brown, Joe Gardiner, Gary Simpson and Victor Bowling.
Click on thumbnail for larger view with captions. 
EMT Award 22 March 2006
Grand Knight Matthew Laidley presents the award to former mayor of La Plata, Victor Bowling.
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Award
Knights of Columbus 2008  Fireman of the Year Award -March 2009
From left Anthony Perino, Marcelino Santos, Curtis Birley, and Stephen Clements presents award to Fireman of the Year Jeffrey Williams.
Fireman of the Year Award
Knights of Columbus 2008 Fireman of the Year Award - March 2009
Brother knights from left Marcelino Santos, Stephen Clements, Fireman of the Year Jeffrey Williams, Curtis Birley and Anthony Perino.
Knights of Columbus 
Teacher of the Year Award
Teacher of the Year Award
 Father Ron Potts, pastor Sacred Heart Church, Karen McElhenny, Grand Knight Keith Vogel, and Peggy Howard principal of Archbishop Neale School.
Teacher of the Year Award
 Grand Knight Keith Vogel presents Karen McElhenny with the Knights of Columbus Teacher of the Year Award plaque.
Campaign for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Brad Howard, Campaign Director for the past two years and Frank Hughes, Treasurer at Wal Mart Store, La Plata
Front row Elizabeth and Henry Gardiner.
Back row, left Hugh Gardiner, IV, Unknown donor, Gerry Brosco, PGK and Patrick Malherek at Wal Mart Store, La Plata
Joe Haggerty, PGK and David Portner at Wal Mart, La Plata.
Joe Haggerty, PGK with unknown donor at Wal Mart Store, La Plata.
Donation History
2015 - $1,869.00
2014 - $2,324.68
2013 - $3,202.38
      2012 - $2,501.66
2011 - $2,422.17
2010 - $2,161.18
2009 - $5,512.27
2008 - $5,129.41
2007 - $5,252.09
2006 - $5,196.60
2005 - $4,076.00
2004 - $2,427.00
2003 - $1,101.56
2002 -  $2,439.70
2001 -  $2,422.00
2000 -  $1,670.35
1997 -  $1,286.93
1996 -  $1,435.25
1995 - $1,037.21
Total   $53,467.46


Collection Areas
Local Churches
Sacred Heart, La Plata
St. Ignatius, Port Tobacco
St. Ignatius, Hill Top
St. Catherine of Alexandria, McConchie
Businesses 
Ledo's Pizza, Rt. 301LaPlata
Wal Mart, Rt. 301 La Plata
WaWa, Rt. 301 La Plata
Safeway, Rt. 301 La Plata
Giant, Rosewick Road, La Plata
Thanks to all brother Knights who over the years have put in many hours, in all kinds of weather, to make this possible.
From left brother knights Marcelino Santos, Anthony Perino, Ryan Mudd, DGK, Curtis Birley, Keith Vogel, GK, and from Company 12 Ken Mallard, EMT, Chief 12 Lou Ramer, Chief 3 Dan Stevens and Assistant Chief J. R. Hayden. Curtis Birley recommended Mrs. Mallard as our Council's EMT nominee.

Ken Mallard received the award for his wife Tonya M. Mallard, shown in insert above, an EMT-B, who was killed in the crash of a Maryland State Police helicopter in Prince George's County. She was part of the Waldorf ambulance crew that responded to a vehicle crash late Saturday night, 27 September 2008. She volunteered to accompany one of the crash victims to the hospital when the helicopter crashed in inclement weather.
Winner 
Knights of Columbus Maryland State Council's 
Emergency Medical Technician of the Year Award for 2009
     Following is an excerpt from a letter by Richard V. Siejack, Maryland State Deputy:

Dear Mr. Mallard,

     On behalf of the Maryland State Council of the Knights of Columbus, I want to extend our sincere condolences on the tragic loss of your wife and to notify you that Mrs. Mallard has been selected as the winner of our Emergency Medical Technician of the Year Award for 2009.

     It is my pleasure to invite you and two guests to our Annual Founder's Day Mass and Award Dinner to be held on March 29,2009. The Mass will be celebrated at St. John's Church, Severna Park, MD. Mass will begin at 3:00 PM. Immediately following the Mass there will be a reception and awards dinner at Holy Trinity Council #3413, Severna Park, MD.

. . .We look forward to introducing you to our State Family as we honor Mrs. Mallard for her outstanding career. We will also present you with an engraved plaque commemorating the occasion.
Please accept our congratulations on Mrs. Mallard's having been selected as winner of this highly esteemed Emergency Medical Technician of the Year Award. . .
Top photo from left brother knights Paul Filardi, Marc Lavery, Richard Jacko and wife Julie
Thank you all so much for your participation in the project - fixing up the Mitchell Elementary School outdoor science areas. We did an excellent job with the outdoor classroom and the observation hut/storage shed area and hope it will be put to good use with hands on education for our kids.
It was great that so many different community, town and business groups could come together to make this happen. It took a few months of coordinating and planning, but we got it done. Special thanks to the Mitchell Parent Teacher Organization and the Knights of Columbus Archbishop Neale Council #2279 for providing the direct funding for the effort. Also Marc Lavery and Commercial Concrete coordinated and donated material and equipment that without their generosity the project could not have been completed. Thanks also to the North Point and La Plata student volunteers that worked March 21st and the Town of La Plata Operations Department that worked on Friday March 20th to get the process started. Most of all thanks to the Volunteers - school parents, the science teacher, the Knights, our young student helpers, Clarks Run residents and even a few guests. 
           Paul Filardi
Mitchell School Outdoor Science Center Project
March 21 - 22, 2009
From Left Steve Clements and Brad Howard..
At Safeway Store, La Plata, MD
October 2009
From left Henry Tolson and Curtis Birley.
Left DGK George Grooms, GK Ryan Mudd and PGK Matt Laidley.
From left Humphrey Ridgely and Steve Clements.
Click on thumbnail for larger view with captions. 
2010 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award
On Monday 5 April 2010, left, Grand Knight Ryan Mudd presented Sgt. Timothy Miner, center, with the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. Attending the award ceremony was, right, Charles County Sherriff Rex Coffey.
From left DGK George Grooms, Mark Shutters and GK Ryan Mudd.
From left DGK George Grooms, Mark Shutters and GK Ryan Mudd.
2010 Bed Races La Plata, Maryland
Click on thumbnail for larger view with captions. 
The bedraces, sponsored by the Charles County Chamber of Commerce, took place in the town of La Plata during its Spring Festival on 17 April. 
Archbishop Neale Council's team was named "Knight Train" and was composed of GK Ryan Mudd, Joe Bowling, DGK George Grooms, Paul Filardi, Travis Howard, Adam Wuenschel, and Mark Shutters. Amber Filardi bravely accepted the role as bed rider for each race. 
Our final record was 1 win and 1 loss.  From a total of 8 competitors we won 3rd place.
A good time was had by all and no injuries were reported about any old legs.
Catholic Teacher of the Year Award
2011 - 2012
Police Officer of the Year Award
2011 - 2012
2011-2012 Police Officer of the Year Award

Good morning. My name is Mark Shutters, and I’m the Deputy Grand Knight of Archbishop Neale Council #2279, Knights of Columbus.

Each year, the Knights of Columbus acknowledge a number of individuals who’ve contributed to the community in a variety of ways. At this time of year, the Knights of Columbus recognize a Catholic Teacher, Citizen, Fire Fighter/EMT, and Police Officer of the Year.

This year is no different. In this case, the Knights of Columbus distinguished a law enforcement officer whose contributions surpassed the minimum requirements expected of someone employed to protect and serve, exceeded that which may have been displayed by others in the institution, and identified this individual on a par above excellence.

This award is of particular interest to me because for the last twenty-four (24) years, I’ve been employed as a member of the United States Capitol Police. I firmly believe that to have served one’s community as a law enforcement officer is to have served one’s country, and all too often our law enforcement officers fail to receive the recognition they so richly deserve.

Given my brother Knights associated with Archbishop Neale Council #2279 are from catholic parishes in the immediate community (we attend Sacred Heart Church; St. Ignatius, Chapel Point; St. Ignatius Hilltop, and St. Catherine’s), nominations were solicited from the area law enforcement agencies, and included the La Plata Police Department, the Maryland State Police, and the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. I’m pleased to report that the Charles County Sheriff’s Office submitted three (3) nominations. As a result, the nominations were placed on a secure page of our council’s website. My brother Knights were given an opportunity to vote on their choice for Police Officer of the Year. Notwithstanding, this year’s recipient received an overwhelming sixty-five percent (65%) of the votes.

Ordinarily I’d quantify this deputy sheriff’s contribution, and then identify him by name; however, in this case, I’m going to announce this year’s recipient, and then detail the circumstances which led to the nomination, and ultimately his selection.

Therefore, it is my honor and privilege to announce that the 2011-2012 Police Officer of the Year is . . . Sergeant John Hastings.

On September 23, 2011, Sergeant Hastings conducted an investigation in the South Hampton neighborhood of Bryans Road, Md. The investigation was in reference to a residence that had been recently burglarized. During the burglary, a firearm, among other items, had been stolen. Please note that several other burglaries had occurred in that area, and remained unsolved.

As a result, Sergeant Hastings canvassed the area, and observed two (2) male subjects emerge from a wood line near the residence at which the burglary occurred. Sergeant Hastings attempted to contact the individuals, one (1) of whom ran into the woods toward the North Indian Head estates. On foot, Sergeant Hastings pursued the individual. The chase continued throughout the neighborhood.

During the pursuit, the unidentified individual reached into his waistband several times, and attempted to retrieve a handgun he’d been carrying. Despite the significant threat to his own health and welfare, Sergeant Hastings continued to pursue the individual. Evident that Sergeant Hastings was going to make an apprehension, the suspect discarded the firearm, and submitted to arrest. Once the individual was taken into custody, and the firearm was recovered, additional investigation enabled the Charles County Sheriff’s Office to close several other recent burglary investigations.

During the course of the aforementioned incident, Sergeant Hastings exhibited courageousness, bravery, and self-sacrifice as a means by which to ensure the safety and well being of others in the community. Sergeant Hastings’ due diligence is emblematic of the agency’s mission and values: Life-the protection of which is the highest priority; Respect-to preserve human dignity, and to treat others as we’d like to be treated; Integrity-maintain the public trust, and hold ourselves to the highest moral and ethical standards; Fairness-equal and impartial treatment without regard to the protected classes; Trust-develop and maintain the public’s confidence; Partnerships-build and maintain communication with the community, and each other, to identify and resolve issues which affect citizen safety; Loyalty-commitment and faithfulness to the community, the organization, and each other; and Professionalism-provide a very high level of service, and reflect the degree of pride we have in the community and the agency.

With that being said, we thank you, John, for having exercised significant due diligence in the performance of your duties. Congratulations on having been selected as the 2011-2012 Knights of Columbus Police Officer of the Year!
2011-2012 Catholic Teacher of the Year Award

Good evening. My name is Mark Shutters, and I’m the Deputy Grand Knight of Archbishop Neale Council #2279, Knights of Columbus.

Each year, the Knights of Columbus acknowledge a number of individuals who’ve contributed to the community in a variety of ways. At this time of year, the Knights of Columbus recognize a Catholic Teacher, Citizen, Fire Fighter/EMT, and Police Officer of the Year.

This year is no different. In this case, the Knights of Columbus distinguished a teacher whose contributions surpassed the minimum requirements expected of someone employed as an educator, exceeded that which may have been displayed by others in the institution, and identified this individual on a par above excellence.

Ordinarily I’d quantify this teacher’s accomplishments, and then identify her by name; however, to do so would simply give it away. Therefore, I’m going to announce this year’s recipient, then recite her accomplishments.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor and privilege to announce that the 2011-2012 Catholic Teacher of the Year is . . . Mrs. Mary Ellen Howard.

Mary Ellen attended Bowie High School, followed by the College of Southern Maryland, and the University of Maryland where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Studies. Mary Ellen then applied and was admitted to the College of Notre Dame of Maryland where she successfully completed the requirements for and was awarded by the Maryland State Department of Education a Certificate in Computer Science.

Mary Ellen has been a Computer Teacher and Technology Integration Specialist at Archbishop Neale School for the past twelve (12) years. Mary Ellen has taught computer skills to students from kindergarten through the eighth grades. Mary Ellen has worked closely with other educators in order to utilize the computer lab which has enhanced instruction in every area of the curriculum.

Mary Ellen was instrumental in purchasing an interactive white board which strengthened and further improved the computer classes. Mary Ellen enlightened teachers, parents, and students alike as to the availability of technological resources. Mary Ellen also implemented Scantron testing, a computerized and standardized testing program, for students in the second to the eighth grades.

Over the course of the last twelve (12) years, Mary Ellen has worked tirelessly to improve Archbishop Neal School’s technological advances. Mary Ellen computerized the library, assisted each teacher so that he/she had his/her own computer, placed computers for students’ use in each and every classroom, and oversaw many other changes in the institution.

Mary Ellen was responsible for creating wonderful brochures, pamphlets, postcards, and newsletters for the school, and continues to provide updates to the school’s web and Facebook sites.

Mary Ellen’s gift of giving doesn’t stop there. She is an active member of Holy Ghost Church in Issue, and plays an active role with the Wayside Food Bank and food drives at Archbishop Neale School.

Mary Ellen has been described as being a tremendous asset and great blessing at Archbishop Neale School and in her community. Based upon the aforementioned accolades, it’s clear that Mary Ellen is committed . . . no, dedicated . . . to her catholic faith, and to the education of the children of Archbishop Neale School.

With that being said, congratulations Mary Ellen on having been selected as the 2011-2012 Knights of Columbus Catholic Teacher of the Year!
Mark Shutters, DGK, presents award to Sergeant John Hastings. From left Lt. Col. Joseph C. Montminy Jr., chief assistant sheriff; Capt. Daniel Gimler, commander of the patrol division; brother Calvin Bowie, retired police officer; Sgt. John Hastings; Mark Shutters, DGK; and Maj. Rob Cleaveland, assistant sheriff of operations.
Grand Knight George Grooms, right and Deputy Grand Knight Mark Shutters, left, present the award to Mary Ellen Howard of Archbishop Neale School.
Aaron with Col. Joe Haggety, PGK of 2279 and Col Kim Terpenig. They were both in command of Areomedical Evacuation.
.Written Apr 2, 2013 11:53 a. m. by Eliza Palmer

Hi Everyone, 

  I just put up some pictures from the Bataan Memorial Death March. I had a blast and completed it in 7 hours. It felt great to be able to complete a military style road march again. I am extremely lucky to be walking and will never again take it for granted. 

  The "release party" was a great time and it was awesome to see so many of you. Thanks again to everybody that came and for all of your support and prayers over the last two years. 

  My orders have been completed and I will start work as the Aide de Camp next week. I cannot wait to get back to the Army and continue serving in uniform. Thank you all for your support, thoughts, and prayers during the last 2.5 years. Your support has meant so much and has helped me recover and get through some incredibly hard and painful times. Words cannot express my appreciation. I hope to see you all here and there in the future. 

With Much Appreciation, 

Aaron Palmer 

"Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of the Rangers." --First Stanza of the Ranger Creed 

At the finish lilne with Jess Goodine one of  my physical therapists.
At the end of 4 miles uphill.
Aaron receivng the Purple Heart from Brigadier General Townsend.
First time in a wheelchari.
Pushing through the sand pit at mile 22.
Eliza joins Aaron and Fr. Sal during Christmas dinner.
Bowling alley New Year's eve.
Army Captain Aaron S. Palmer, center, shown with his wife Eliza and father Steven, far left, receives a standing ovation as he is recognized during GPO's Veterans Day observation. Palmer was wounded in action October 2, 2010, while serving in Yarya Krel, a town in Paktika province of Afghanistan. He is a Purple Heart recipient. Aaron's father is a GPO employee. 
Click on thumbnail for larger view with captions. 
AARON PALMER UPDATE
Brother Steven Palmer is a long time member of our council and has served as Treasurer.
Red Cross Blood Drive
7 April 2013
Roberta Harris, collecton technician, draws blood from Linda Bolton, Pomfret, MD.
GK Mark Shutters and DGK William Wannall assist Bill Holt, La Plata, MD,  to register for a blood donation.
Charlton Harris, collecton technician, draws blood from Robert Bolton, Pomfret, MD.
Ryan Metz, Team Supervisor, of the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Red Cross Collection Department.
Mike Bess, Mobile Unit Driver, maintains supplies.
At Wal  Mart  - August 2013
Safeway - September 2013
Collecting donations
at Wal Mart, La Plata
Allie Shutters
Mark Shutters, GK
Brad Howard, DD#12
Calvin Bowie

Not Shown
Debbie Czupryna
Pete Czupryna
Noel Edelen

at Safeway, LaPlata
Albert Ribeiro
Glenn Taylor
Charles Goodrich
Matthew Murphy
Brad Howard, DD#12
Allie Shutters

Results for two days
$1,039.44
Thanks to all Wal Mart and Safeway customers who made donations.
2013 Intellectually Disabled Program
each recipient received $760
From left, ​Grand Knight Mark S. Shutters, Catherine Meyers, Executive Director;  Joyce Abramson, Executive Director; and George Hoehl, Area Director of Charles County.
Center for Children
Freedom Landing
Special Olympics of Charles County
From left, Mark Shutters, GK 2279, William Kuchmas, III, Maryiland State Deputy, Sarah Vaughn, Citizen of the Year and Richard Boehm, Community Activities Director, MD State Council.
Citizen of the Year 2013 Award
Recipients of Community Awards for the Year 2013
From left, Lt. Steve Salvas, Sarah Vaughn, and Captain Dan Gimier, Charles County Sheriff's Office.
Sarah with her parents, Sharon and Gary Vaughn.
Sarah with an associate from Teen Court.and some of the Team Court judges.
Annual Community Awards 2013
On Sunday, March 23, 2014, Mark Shutters, Grand Knight, 2279, his wife, Teresa, and Brad Howard, DD No. 12, attended the annual Founders Day Mass celebrated by our State Chaplain, Father Donald Grzymski, Pastor of St. Clement Mary Hofbauer Church, Rosedale, Maryland. Immediately following Mass, they accompanied Sarah Vaughan, her parents, Gary and Sharon Vaughan, and a host of others to Columbus Gardens where the Maryland State Council recognized the Emergency Medical Technician, Firefighter, Law Enforcement Officer, Catholic Teacher, Citizen, and Family of the Year. Sarah was recognized as the Citizen of the Year as a result of her commitment to and work with Teen Court, a juvenile justice program in which youthful offenders are given the opportunity to be judged by their peers rather than introduced to the juvenile court system.
Recipients of Emergency Medical Technician, Firefighter, Law Enforcement Officer, Catholic Teacher, Citizen and Family of the Yer Awards.
Photos by  Phil Tabbita, GK 12128 and Mark Shutters, GK 2279
Click these links to read about the awards for Council 2279 recipients.
Double click here to add text.
Red Cross Blood Drive
5 April 2014
Pete Czuypryna, PGK and wife Debbie at the donor check-in station.
Brad Howard, DD No. 12 with donor at the refreshment station.
Phyllis Hayden, wife of brother John Hayden, making her donation. Brother John made his donation earlier.
The Red Cross attendant preparing this happy lady for her donation.
On Sunday, 5 April, from 8:00 A. M. to 1:30 P. M., in the Friendship Room of Sacred Heart Church, Archbishop Neale Council hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross at which PGK Peter Czupryna, wife Debbie, DD No. 12, Brad Howard and brother Karl Prigge, processed donors collecting 30 units of blood. Six brother knights were donors. Because blood reserves are low in the mid-Atlantic area this was for a very worthy cause. Thanks to the donors for their act of love, the Red Cross Team and to our wonderful brother knights team.
From left, Captain Daniel Gimler, Nicholas Shutters, Grand Knight, Mark Shutters, Lt. Steve Salvas, Sarah Vaughan, Citizen of the Year Award recipient and Major Cleveland.. Presentation was made by Grand Knight Mark Shutters at the Charles County Sheriff's Office, La Plata on Wednesday 16 Priil 2014.
Knights of Columbus, Archbishop Neale Council, No. 2279 Police Officer of the Year Award (2012 -2013)


From left to right: Grand Knight Mark Shutters,Tpr. M. Houseman, TFC. W. Scarlett, Tpr. J. Harrod, Cpl. K. Donaldson, TFC. K. Robinson, Sgt. P. Trossbach, F/Sgt. T. White, D/Sgt. J. Barth and Lt. C. Parlett
The Registration Group, from right Debbie and PGK Peter Czupryna, PGK Mark Shutters and operating the computer is Alex Shutters at 9 years old is a computer professionl. Great work Alex!
     On Sunday, 26 October 2014,
the Knights of Columbus, Archbishop Neale Council, No. 2279, hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross at Sacred Heart Church, Friendship Room, from 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM.

     This "Gift of Life" was given by some of our brother knights and family members. 

     25 donors were processed and 23 productive units of blood were collected.

   Our thanks to all who participated with a donation or who assisted in the processing of these donors.
Red Cross Blood Drive
2015 Intellectually Disabled Program
each recipient received $536.75n
Presented February 2016
Freedom Landing
Special Olympics of Charles County
Archbishop Neale Catholic School
From left Joyce Abramson, Executive Director and Grand Knight Stephen Stiles, Sr.
From left George Hoehl, Area Director of Charles County, MD Special Olympics, daughrter Christine Hoehl and Grand Knight, Stephen Stiles, Sr. 
From left Linda Bourne, Vice Principal, Peggy Howard, Principal and Grand Knight, Stephen Stiles, Sr. 
Helping Persons with Intellectual Disabilities

On Friday, 9 January 2015, Grand Knight Stephen Stiles, Sr. presented each recipient charity with a check for $646.00. This was through the efforts of brother knights collecting donations and handing out Tootsie Rolls in appreciation, at Sacred Heart Church, La Plata, St. Ignatius Church, Chapel Point, St. Catherine of Alexandria Church, McConchie and St. Ignatiius Loyola Church, Hilltop and at Wal Mart and Safeway stores in La Plata.

Since 1995, $51,598.46 has been collected and donated back into the La Plata Community.

Our thanks to all who participated and made this possible.
Click on photo to view Thank You Note
Click on photo to view Thank You Note
2014 Intellectually Disabled Program
each recipient received $641.00
Presented on 9 January 2015
From left Deputy Grand Knight, Andrew Havrilla and Joyce Abramson, Executive Director, Freedom Landing, La Plata, MD.
From left Linda Bourne, Principal, Archbishop Neale School, La Plata, MD and Deputy Grand Knight, Andrew Havrilla.
From left George Hoehl, Area Director of Charles County, MD  Special Olympics and Deputy Grand Knight, Andrew Havrilla.