GEORGETOWN—Colin Peterson’s greatest joy is helping others and that’s why he joined the Knights of Columbus nearly 39 years ago.
The 64-year-old regularly helps serve meals and hand out food to people in need, visits the sick in hospitals, volunteers at Special Olympics and leads an annual Knights fundraiser for children with mental disabilities. Those are just a few of the good works that earned him the Sir Knight of the Year award at the 67th Exemplification held in Columbia in February. The honor is given annually to a fourth degree Knight who shows exceptional service and dedication to his parish, community and the organization.
“I always felt a need to do what I can to make things a little nicer for people in this world, and I found that in the Knights,” Peterson said. “There are always people in more need than we are, and there’s always time to do a little more for others.”
The Illinois native moved to Georgetown in the mid ’70s to work with International Paper. He joined the Knights at St. Mary Our Lady of Ransom Church. He is currently in his third term as Grand Knight of Council 3067 in Georgetown and also belongs to Assembly 3272, which covers Pawleys Island and Georgetown.
He is especially proud of his three-year stint as project chair for the Operation Hope fundraiser. Under his leadership, local Knights have raised about $13,000 a year for Special Olympics, the Georgetown County Board of Disabilities and Special Needs, and the JOY School in Murrells Inlet, a summer program for disabled children.
“It is so special to see what we can do for those children,” Peterson said. “If you could bottle up the joy they show in life and get it out to everybody in the world, it would make a big difference.”
He also promotes patriotism, one of the central values of the fourth degree. Peterson helps with the annual Flag Day Streets of Flags, placing American flags along major thoroughfares in Georgetown and distributing them to homeowners. He works with the Lions Club on the 9/11 Flags Between the Bridges program, participates in honor guards that march in local parades, and helps the local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter with the proper disposal of damaged flags.
Peterson’s wife, Sandra, works with him on a lot of his projects. The two were married in 2001, after he lost his first wife to cancer. Between them, they have four daughters and five grandchildren.
Bill Wichrowski has witnessed Peterson’s unselfishness firsthand in the nine years he has served alongside him in the Knights.
“The man has an inordinate amount of human energy and a heart as big as the state of South Carolina,” he said. “He has never turned away anybody in need. That’s just the way he is.”
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