Knights of Columbus earn awards at state convention

Knight of Columbus Tony Webb, left, earned Knight of the Year at the state convention earlier this month. Also pictured is State Deputy Steve Vonnahme.

By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

Four Knights of Columbus from the Diocese of Davenport earned awards at the annual state convention earlier this month in Des Moines.

Tony Webb of St. Mary Parish in Fairfield earned Knight of the Year honors at the awards banquet April 14. “It certainly wasn’t anything I had my sights on,” Webb said, noting the award came as a surprise. “I am involved locally with our Knights council but have not followed the state council as closely.”

Webb is a past grand knight and is currently the council recorder. Nominators called him a “Knight at the ready; if something needs to be done he is usually the first to respond.” He assists in recruitment activities, prepares post-exemplification gatherings and is involved with the annual Campaign for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities. He is an active volunteer at the Fairfield parish. “He does many things behind the scenes that go unknown to others. He is a humble, genuine and caring man with a great sense of humor who is able to connect and share his faith with everyone,” the nomination form stated. Father Nick Adam, pastor of St. Mary Parish, referred to Webb as “the definition of servant to others.”


Webb said the award is an honor, “but certainly not one I achieved alone. Our parish, community, council and pastor are all very supportive of the great works the Knights of Columbus do. We have an active, growing council … we are willing to take on large projects and have very talented people involved whether it’s hosting fish fries, soup suppers or parish-wide picnics. Our council provides help from landscaping to liturgies.”

Gavin Doehrmann

Gavin Doehrmann of  St. Mary Parish in Williamsburg received the Youth of the Year award. He is the son of Ryan and Amy Doehrmann. The high school senior and his twin brother, Madox, joined the parish’s Knights of Columbus council after turning 18. Their father is a longtime KofC. “Growing up, I watched my dad and other men in my parish make our church a better place through various events put on by the Knights of Columbus,” Gavin told The Catholic Messenger. “As I watched their example, I always knew that I wanted to be a Knight.”

Gavin is a 4.0 student at Williamsburg High School where he is co-president of the student council, vice president of the National Honor Society and active in music and sports. He assists St. Mary Parish with religious education, ushering, lectoring and altar serving. Gavin plans to study theology at the University of Notre Dame this fall. Nominators said Gavin’s positive attitude “helps brighten the spirit of others inside and outside the classroom.”

“Winning the Youth of the Year award means a lot to me,” Gavin said. “God has blessed me with many opportunities to do good and I’ve taken advantage of those opportunities throughout high school. This award shows me that I’m doing something right and it motivates me to keep pushing myself and continue following God’s plan for me. I’m grateful to the Knights of Columbus for recognizing me with this distinction.”

“To see my son win (this award) brought tears to my eyes,” his dad said. “His faith is so important to him … Amy and I are extremely proud of both of our sons on their decision to join the Knights of Columbus.”

Father Guillermo Trevino earned the State Blessed Michael McGivney Medal, a new award honoring exemplary Knights of Columbus chaplains who are teachers of the faith, apostles of Christian family life, devoted parish priests, exemplars of charity, builders of Catholic fraternity and role models to their parishes. The state organization will submit Father Trevino’s name for consideration

Father Scott Foley, left, and Father Guillermo Trevino earned awards at the Knights of Columbus State Convention earlier this month.

alongside medal recipients from other states for the Supreme Blessed Michael McGivney Medal.

Father Trevino is the pastor of St. Joseph parishes in West Liberty and Columbus Junction and serves as chaplain for both parishes’ KofC councils. Nominators from the councils said he has had a “profound impact” in bringing unity and fellowship to the multicultural communities.

“Father’s involvement and endorsement of the Knights has brought an increase in members and volunteers that has aided in their fundraising,” the nomination form stated. “During his tenure as chaplain there has been an increase in faith-based activities like weekly adoration, praying of the rosary, council Masses and hosting bilingual Posadas during the Advent season.” Father Trevino earned the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award at the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last fall.

“The Knights are a great organization who do much for the community,” Father Trevino told The Catholic Messenger. “To be the first priest from Iowa to ever receive this award is very humbling. To be considered for another national award shows that even in rural Iowa, one can make a difference” and find ways to get involved.

Father Scott Foley, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Grinnell, earned Davenport Diocese Chaplain of the Year honors. “Father Scott has been working with the Knights since he was a kid and has been a great member and supporter of the council,” nominators said.

Since his assignment to the parish in 2019, he has impressed parishioners with his ability to breathe new life into the Scriptures and provides a deliberate delivery of Catholic beliefs and principles in his homilies, the nomination form stated. He started new programs, encouraged people to return to Mass, initiated money-saving strategies that have reduced energy costs, improved parish spending habits and created a successful volunteer snow removal brigade. Additionally, he was instrumental in overseeing the installation of the Father McGivney/Unborn Child Memorial Stone in the new St. Mary Prayer Garden.

State Advocate Jason Follett of Ankeny said Iowa KofCs discussed a number of initiatives at the three-day convention including the national Eucharistic Revival and the Aid and Support After Pregnancy program. The ASAP effort assists mothers after birth through the pregnancy centers, he said.

Webb said, “The 2023 convention was great, and it showcased how well our state officers and volunteers work together.”

(Anne Marie Cox with the Catholic Mirror contributed to this article.)

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