Developmental Disabilities (DD) or “Tootsie Roll” Drive

           In late January of 2011, the then Grand Knight Tony Vaiana and MR Drive Chairman Dennis Nettler visited three of the charities our council helps support from funds raised during the October Tootsie Roll drives. One-half of the funds raised go to support the Knights of Columbus Developmental Center at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. The remaining funds are distributed at the discretion of each individual council. Tony and Dennis delivered checks to these three local charities- all specialize in providing services to children with developmental disabilities:


The Academy of St. Louis:

Founded and operated by Dunn Family (Ann and daughter Terri O’Daniels) of Incarnate Word Parish, this extraordinary operation specializing in providing a Catholic education to children with Aspergers syndrome (autism spectrum), ADHD, speech/language delays, and other cognitive disabilities. Presently the enrollment is 12 students. It’s located in the former Linda Vista Catholic School in Southwest Chesterfield. You can find more information about this unique school at


To Better Serve the Community, Children’s Home Society of Missouri and Family Resource Center officially united to become FamilyForward on April 1, 2017. Together, the agencies have 169 years of experience helping children and families. FamilyForward is a movement and the name for the merged entity of two of St. Louis’ most accomplished, leading-edge non-profit organizations. FamilyForward is the direction for hope and for new opportunities to build safer, healthier relationships for children and families. More information is available at

Incarnate Word Parish School One Classroom Program:

One Classroom is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit foundation dedicated to creating inclusive Catholic educational opportunities for children with special needs in the Saint Louis Archdiocese. We believe every child deserves a Catholic education in their local parish school in full community with their peers!  Incarnate Word Parish School is one of the schools participating in the program.

The mission of One Classroom is as follows:

  • Build Awareness & Promote inclusive Catholic education
  • Educate about inclusive learning
  • Support parish schools
  • Connect families & building a community
  • Provide access expert resources and practitioners
  • Create forums and opportunities to share best practices
  • Fundraise and provide funding to schools through grants
  • Welcome every child with special needs into our Catholic schools!

More information about the Incarnate Word Parish School One Classroom Program is available at

Special Olympics of Missouri:

Special Olympics transforms lives through the joy of sport, every day, everywhere. We are the world’s largest sports organization: with nearly 4 million athletes in more than 170 countries -- 15,000 of them here in Missouri. We are also a global social movement. With initiatives to activate youth, engage kids with intellectual disabilities, build communities, and improve the health of our athletes - we're changing the game for people young and old and asking you to be a part of it all. More information is available at

For More information about the IW Knights, click here.  If you want to donate online to the IWKnights' Persons with Developmental Disabilities (DD) or "Tootsie Roll" Drive, just simply click on or scan the QR code to the Right.


Helping the Community....A Huge Thanks!

The Incarnate Word Knights of Columbus Council 9981 was able to share the generosity of our parish and community with several organizations helping children and families with Developmental Disabilities.  Our volunteers took to the streets, stores and our Incarnate Word parish in October to raise a net of $21,453.00 towards this year’s Developmental Disabilities “tootsie roll” drive. This amazing total came despite some setbacks is the second highest collection by our Council, only $358 behind last year’s record.

The council will distribute these funds to the following five organizations.

Knights of Columbus Developmental Center at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center


Special Olympics – Training Center


Academy of St. Louis

   $ 2,941.31

Family Forward

  $ 2,817.46

Incarnate Word Parish School One Classroom Program

   $ 3,000.00



The Special Olympics Missouri contribution in 2018-19 is designated towards the pledge our Council made to build and operate Missouri’s new Training for Life Center, the first of its kind in the U.S. which was opened this year in Jefferson City.

No matter how much you collected, we all pitched in for a great drive. A total of 79 Knights and 17 additional friends and family helped fill 63% of the available shifts. The Knights of Columbus are happy to pass on the generosity of our neighbors, friends and family who dropped some coins, dollars, or larger donations into our buckets. The Council is also grateful for the use of the facilities at Incarnate Word parish to organize and send out 96 volunteers. We pray these funds are put to good use helping and caring for God’s precious ones with developmental disabilities.

Thank you all,

Jim Ressler,
Deputy Grand Knight and co-chairman of the 2018 Developmental Disabilities Drive
Pat Hickey,
2018 co-chairman of the 2018 Developmental Disabilities Drive

IWKnights' Developmental Disabilities (DD) or "Tootsie Roll" Drive Photo Gallary
Click here for pictures from our past Tootsie Roll Drives………………