The Lompoc-area Special Olympics programs were recently gifted more than $2,200 by a local service organization.

The Queen of Angels Council of the Knights of Columbus presented Northern Santa Barbara County Special Olympics officials with a check for $2,215. The money was raised by the local group through its “Tootsie Roll Drive,” in which members gave away the candy while soliciting donations last year near area businesses.

Nick Chavez, an operations coordinator with the Northern Santa Barbara County Special Olympics, said the money will be used for Lompoc programs.

The Knights of Columbus bills itself as the world’s largest Catholic fraternal service organization. The California chapter has supported citizens with intellectual disabilities since 1970, according to John Zemanovic, a Grand Knight with the local chapter.

The Special Olympics of Northern and Southern California currently receives about $70,000 annually through the efforts of the Knights, Zemanovic reported.

“Our Council 11465, Queen of Angels Church, Lompoc (is) happy to support the athletes of our town and wish them success in the upcoming Games,” Zemanovic said.

This report was prepared by Willis Jacobson. He can be reached at