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 School special education fund:

This is a new recipient in 2017 to provide resources to include children with special needs at Incarnate Word school.More information 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 2016 Developmental Disabilities Drive (a.k.a. Tootsie Roll Drive), held Thursday, October 6 – Sunday October 9, 2016, was a great success because of the 70 Knights who volunteered with family and pitched in to work almost every location over the course of 4 days. We met the challenge (without Schnucks) and are blessed to have exceeded last year’s funds collected with a new record of $20,233 (at present date). Please say thanks to your local Dierbergs and Ace Hardware stores for supporting the IW Knights of Columbus. In fact, IWKnights Council 9981 was second in the State for the dollar amount that was raised in the 2016 DD Tootsie Roll Drive.

Jim Ressler
2017 DD Drive chairman

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