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!

More volunteers + more shifts worked + more enthusiasm = a new record for Council 9981!

Our Council is to be commended for the excellent support of this year’s DD “tootsie roll” drive. As of October 29, 2017, the total net funds collected are $21,901, which is $567 higher than the record we set in 2016. Council 9981 had 75 Knights work the drive this year who helped increase revenue at both street and store locations, which was
boosted by higher individual donations.

The collections on Thursday and Friday were $2441 over 2016, which helped offset a decrease of $1645 on Saturday due to fewer volunteers and a little rain.  Several shifts reached record high collections during the rush hour on Thursday and Friday. Because Council 9981 gives 100% of funds collected to charities, adding the expenses paid by our Council yields a gross total of $23,206.

Our success directly benefits the charities who receive the donations from our Council. We continue to support Cardinal Glennon Hospital, Academy of St. Louis, Family Forward, and Special Olympics Missouri.

We have a new beneficiary this year, as our Council will provide over $3000 to Incarnate Word elementary school’s “One Classroom” program that allows three students with developmental disabilities to enroll in our parish school. I hope you share the extortion of our church’s reading on October 5, 2017, which says, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10). Your joy and enthusiasm were amazing so the children and families who benefit can join us in saying: God be praised!

Jim Ressler,
Deputy Grand Knight and chairman of the 2017 Developmental Disabilities Drive

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