Knights’ donation helps buy van

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 25, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

The Knights of Columbus have been nothing but supportive of Cahaba Mental Health Center, says Lafon Barlow, Cahaba executive director.

So when the Knights made a $7,000 contribution for the purchase of a new van Friday, the Cahaba staff remained eternally grateful.

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The 14-passenger van will join the others parked on the Cahaba lot, used for transporting Cahaba residents to various activities and errands throughout the community.

Barlow said Cahaba have put the vans to good use, jokingly saying, “We wear the wheels off of them.

“We couldn’t operate if we didn’t have a form transportation,” Barlow said. “It would be impossible for us to help folks without the vans.”

Knights Corey Bowie, Paul Robitaille and James Ford were on hand to present a check to Barlow.

Barlow said of the Knights, “They have been tremendous. They have been continuous and faithful supporters.”

For their kindness, the Knights were bestowed a certificate “for all they’ve done to help us,” Barlow said.

The Knights and Cahaba staff then turned their attention to the 28th annual Special Olympics, held March 21 at Memorial Stadium.

Trophies were awarded to participating athletes and former Cahaba executive director Patricia Martin, who is now associate commissioner at the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation and an avid supporter of the Special Olympics.

Barlow said Cahaba is now preparing for the send-off of Special Olympian Tonya Pitts of Uniontown, who has been selected to compete in the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai, China, in October.

Pitts will head to Nashville next month for a one-week training session at Vanderbilt University, but Pitts is getting a head start, according to Barlow.

“She’s already been running early in the morning,” Barlow said.

Pitts will compete in Shanghai with more than 7,000 athletes in 169 countries.