Meet Charles Ketchum

By: 

Carol Wagner Leader Correspondent


Photo by Carol Wagner Charles Ketchum is the grand knight of the Knights of Columbus Bishop Fox Council 2836.

Charles Ketchum is the grand knight of the Knights of Columbus Bishop Fox Council 2836, which sponsors the porkie pancake breakfast at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shawano.

Ketchum was born in Racine, moving to Gresham as a youngster and graduating from Gresham High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served stateside as a jet mechanic for four years during the Vietnam War. Ketchum worked at Phenix Door for 25 years and then at Floors Unlimited, Birch Hill, Taco John’s and Schutt Industries, retiring in 2008.

Ketchum and his wife of 38 years, Cheryl, live in Shawano. They have three sons and seven grandchildren.

Q How long have you been in the Knights of Columbus?

A “For 15 years. I have been the grand knight for four years. When I first joined, I was the grand knight. Our council is 150 years old. We have 125 members, but many are not active. We could use new members.”

Q What are your duties?

“I’m in charge of everyone on the committees and make calls for the banquets.”

Q What does the council do?

A “Our Tootsie Roll drive is coming up. Ninety percent of what we make goes to Lakeland Industries. Last year, we donated over $6,000. It’s the biggest one we every had. The knights don’t get anything. Our porkie pancake breakfast is Sunday. That money goes into our account to pay expenses. We also have one in the fall. We try to serve at least 400 people and are trying to get to 500. We roast the pig for the church picnic. I am there 12 hours to cook the pig. All the money from the pig roast goes to the church. We also help people out if they are in need like if someone needs a ramp at their house.”

Q Why do you volunteer?

A “It’s a nice organization and it gives me something to do. I like doing it. You meet a lot of people.”

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: Porkie pancake breakfast

WHEN: 7 a.m. to noon Sunday

WHERE: Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 302 S. Main St., Shawano.

ADMISSION: Adults $6, children $3, 6 and under free.