McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

April 24, 2014

Knights of Columbus set Tootsie Roll fundraiser for May 3 & 4

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — For more than 30 years the members McAlester area Knights of Columbus local 775  have handed out thousands of Tootsie Rolls in an effort to raise money for the Center of Family Love in Okarche, according to KOC member Bill Derichsweiler.

The Center of Family Love is a full time home to adults with mental and physical disabilities, Derichsweiler said.

On May 3 and 4, The Knights of Columbus will be handing out Tootsie Rolls at the Wal-Mart Super Center in McAlester at 432 S. George Nigh Expy.

Derichsweiler said he been raising money for the center since 1982 and he’s feels strongly about what the center does for the people it helps.

He said the center was started by man who was concerned about the future of his developmentally disabled son.

“The man and his wife were elderly and wanted to make sure their son would have a good home as he grew older,” Derichsweiler said.

Through the fundraising efforts of the Knights of Columbus, the citizens of Okarche along with money provided by state of Oklahoma  the Center of Family Love opened in 1981, he said.

Derichsweiler said the center houses men and women and is not only a home but it also offers its residents the opportunity to learn job skills.

“They have candy store, a green house and they also make filters for air-conditioners,” Derichsweiler said.

He said residents at the center raise poinsettias, lilies and plants for many Oklahoma churches.

For more information visit or contact Derichsweiler at 918 421-0849.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at