SUMMERVILLE—Thomas Bloomer’s connection to the Knights of Columbus started in childhood. His late father, a U.S. Navy veteran who served in World War II and Korea, was a life member and would take his family along to activities.
Bloomer decided to follow his dad’s example in 1992 when he was asked to become a Knight shortly after moving to Ohio. He dedicated himself to service there and at councils in Maryland, Florida and finally South Carolina.
His 27 years of helping others was recognized when he was named the 2019 Knight of the Year at the annual state convention held in Greenville on April 26. He is a member of Council 6629 at St. John the Beloved Church.
He and his wife, Mary, moved here in 2017 to be closer to their four daughters. They also have a son who currently lives in Japan.
“When I saw my father work with the Knights, I knew they were a group of good men who tried to do good things in the community, and when I was asked to join it just clicked,” Mr. Bloomer said.
Before his retirement in 2014, Mr. Bloomer worked in budgeting and finance for the U.S. Navy for 36 years and then in software development.
Even though he has only been at Council 6629 for a short time, Bloomer has already made an impact.
He serves as recorder, one of the only elected positions he had not held before. He is also organizing the Knights’ “Keep Christ in Christmas” poster contest, which attracted 190 entries last year from children in faith formation classes at the parish.
Every three months, he and his fellow Knights spend a Saturday morning volunteering at Habitat for Humanity sites, which builds homes for those in need. He also has organized pancake breakfasts and works on the annual Operation HOPE campaign, when sales of Tootsie Rolls raise money for special needs children. Bloomer said they hope to expand the effort this year with a bowling outing to raise more funds.
He also is taking over the council’s annual golf tournament, which has been rolling along for 32 years at Summerville Country Club. During months when there is a fifth Sunday, he and his fellow Knights also serve at all of the parish Masses.
All of this work is part of an effort to make the Knights of Columbus one of the most visible presences at St. John the Beloved and to attract new, younger members, Bloomer said.
“Even though you can’t do everything, there are a lot of things you can do to help all of God’s children, and the Knights allow you to take part in as much of that help as you are able to,” he said. “It’s a wonderful organization full of wonderful people. The men and women and their families associated with the Knights always turn out to be some of the best people you could ever want to meet.”