News-bits Shared By Our Caravans

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ALLEGANY MAGAZINE JULY 2023: Inside the Order of the Alhambra Wamba -- Where there’s more than ‘treats’ the eye

Celebrating Founder's Day

March 10, 2024

Carmona Caravan No. 75 celebrated the founding of the Order of Alhambra with a special mass and social at St. Andrew Abbey in Cleveland, OH. Father Spisak, a member of the Benedictine Order celebrated the Mass and blessed the amazing lunch which followed.

Caravan Hosts A "Peace in the Womb" Pro-Life Christmas Caroling Event

December 17, 2023

Alhamar Caravan No. 4 hosts a Peace in the Womb Pro-Life Christmas Caroling event on the sidewalk of Planned Parenthood in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The Pro-Life Action League organizes these events nationally. Ernie Pappa with Ernie Pappa Music Ministry led the caroling event. Following the event, Ada Magni, Supreme Director for Region 2 invited the carolers for hot chocolate and treats at King's College. The event was attended by 7 members from Alhamar Caravan, 2 student volunteers and a number of other faithful. Not letting the rain dampen their spirits, the group sang Christmas Carols for 1/2 hour.

In the Christmas story, hope enters the world through the birth of a child, in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Editors note: The issue of abortion is a very personal, political and religious hot button issue. As such, the Order of the Alhambra, Inc. does not take a particular stand. Ada's event was concerned with Down Syndrome which is a focus of our charitable works. We have done our best to paraphrase and fact check Ada's comments below.

Ada commented:  We shared this Christmas hope where it is needed most: the abortion facility here in our community. This Planned Parenthood center provides women with the abortion pill and according to the latest Pennsylvania Department of Health report, "a total of 757 induced abortions were performed in Luzerne county where the clinic is located in 2021"[1]. Eric Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League says in an article published in America Family News (an evangelical Christian publication) that currently, in the United States about 67% of preborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted[2]. Eric's statistics most likely come from a 2012 study[3].


  1. Health. (n.d.). Birth, death, and other vital statistics. Department of Health. 
  2. Doctors’ attitude about disabilities — a little thing can make a big difference. (2023, April 12). American Family News.
  3. Natoli, J. L., Ackerman, D. L., McDermott, S., & Edwards, J. J. (2012). Prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome: a systematic review of termination rates (1995–2011). Prenatal Diagnosis, 32(2), 142–153. 

 A Christmas Party with Good Friends

December 16, 2023

Galicia Caravan No. 77 hosted their annual Christmas Party for the many wonderful people they serve. Bringing joy to others lifts the heart and makes this special season come alive.

Pope Francis' Prayer of the Month – December 2023

December 6, 2023

Prayer of the Month

God, our Father.
The throwaway culture that is widespread in our time does not consider the person as something most valueable that must be respected and protected, especially if they are poor or disabled people. We ask you today for the inclusion of all those who have a physical or mental limitation. Help us promote a culture of life that continually affirms the dignity of each person, in particular the defense of people with disabilities. May inclusion be the rock on which civil institutions build programs and initiatives so that no one is left behind.


Halloween Trunk or Tricks or Tricks or Treats

October 30, 2023

This Halloween, Alhamar Caravan No. 4 participated in a ghost (the "g" is silent) of Trunk or Trick events which made them hauntingly visible to thousands of trick or treaters and parents throughout their local community.  Costumed Caravan members had fun handing out gum and lollipops to the children, and Alhamar's business cards to the parents.  Depending on the location of the event, the Caravan either stood alongside an informative table or their aptly decorated red truck. They even used bubble machines to attract attention.

List of spooky appearances for 2023:

Swoyersville Kiwanis and the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Knights of Columbus Council #12976 Truck or Treat Tailgate Party with Fr. Chmil
King's College Dance for Special Olympics bowlers with Fr. Brogan Ryan
City of Wilkes-Barre Trick or Treat
Wilkes University Trick or Treat
Exaltation of the Holy Cross Church Trunk or Treat

Check Presented to St. Anthony School Programs

September 22, 2023

A $1000.00 check from the Order of Alhambra Charity Fund, Inc. was presented at North Catholic High School in Cranberry, PA. by Supreme Director Ada Magni to Korin McMillen, Director of Special Education for St. Anthony School Programs in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. This donation was made to assist St. Anthony’s in purchasing school supplies for students with special needs.

Currently, 10 students with special needs are enrolled in St. Anthony School Programs at North Catholic High School. On the morning of her tour, SD Ada met 3 of the students who were working with teachers in a special resources classroom. 

Thank yous to Korin for her graciousness during the visit, to the St. Anthony staff for their warm welcome, to Joe Wilson the President of North Catholic High School who gave a tour of their 10 year old state of the art facility, and to Anthony Beilstein, Director of College & Career Readiness at North Catholic High School for time spent learning more about the Order of Alhambra and the scholarships we provide to college students majoring in special education.

May God continue to bless St. Anthony School Programs, their staff and students. 

Pictured: (left to right) Korin McMillen, SD Ada Magni, and Anka Gataric, Special Education teacher for St. Anthony School Programs.

Detroit Boat Cruise

September 24, 2023

Manresa Caravan No. 217 with 21 volunteers treated approximately 100 special needs individuals and their caregivers to a two hour cruise on the Detroit River aboard the Diamond Jack.  The guests were treated to pizza, cookies, snack mix, and sodas. A variety of fun and entertaining music was broadcast over the boat's public address system.

Manresa Caravan would like to say a Special thank you to Julia Sydlowski, and Bob Rogenski, co-chairs for this year's event. Our contributing photographers were Norm Pranger, Janet Kurkie, and Gloria Rzucidlo.

A great time was had by all.   – Laus Deo

Special Needs Picnic

September 17, 2023

Alhamar Caravan No. 4 resumed their annual special needs picnic at the Plains Polish American Veterans Pavilion on Sunday, September 17 (from 12:00pm to 3:00pm) after a three year hiatus due to Covid. At this year's event we honored (posthumously) life member and Captain of the Body Guard Joseph Pikaitis who passed on April 24, 2023.

The guests were treated to hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, ice cream, cookies and desserts. Plush toys, T-shirts and raffle tickets were given to each special needs individual upon their arrival. Items donated by local businesses and individuals were raffled off. Alhamar Caravan's members and their volunteers WELCOMED St. Joseph's Center and their affiliate locations, Step by Step group homes and Special Olympics athletes, their families, guests and staff with GREAT hospitality and friendliness.

Thank you to all who helped make the day such a success. HAPPY faces were seen everywhere throughout the afternoon.

Some Nice Words from St. Anthony’s

August 1, 2023

"Yes, please send me your newsletter! I am looking forward to reading it. I had a wonderful time at the ladies tea, and it was truly my pleasure to speak with the ladies about St. Anthony School Programs, and all that we do in the Pittsburgh area for students with special needs.  Thank you for this beautiful opportunity!  And thank you for all that the Order of Alhambra does for individuals with special needs – you all do such tremendous work!

Take good care,
God Bless,

Korin H. McMillen
Director of Special Education
St. Anthony School Programs

Golf Outing and Scholarship Giveaway

June 14, 2023

Galicia Caravan No. 77 held their 32nd Alhambra Charity Golf Outing at Devil’s Ridge Golf Course in Oxford, Michigan. This year’s honoree was none other than a good friend, spiritual guide and humble supporter of the Caravan, Father Ronald DeHondt (pastor of St. Margaret of Scotland parish in St. Clair Shores and celebrating his 50th year of ordination). The Caravan owes a debt of gratitude to Fr. Ron and all the golfers, donors, volunteers and others who continually turn out in support of the Caravan's mission.

As a special treat for those who came out that day (showing donations at work), a scholarship check was presented to Emily Golenbiewski who is currently earning her masters degree from Grand Valley State University in early childhood endorsement special education. Galicia Caravan uses local donations to support students like Emily who are pursuing degrees in special education in order to work with children with intellectual disabilities and other special needs.

Pictured: Members of Galicia Caravan No. 77 presenting a scholarship check to Emily G.
Pictured: Fr. Ronald DeHondt (left) receives a special plaque from GC Don Kaiser

End of Covid Dinner Dance for Special Olympics Bowlers

May 11, 2023

Alhamar Caravan No. 4 hosted an End of Covid Dinner Dance for 31 Special Olympics bowlers, their families, and guests at Fox Hill Country Club in Exeter, PA (A total of 90 guests attended). DJ Joseph Hussey from Jester Entertainment provided the music. Raffle prizes which were donated enhanced the event for the athletes. The scrumptious meal included: penne in red sauce, breaded chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables, fruit cup, and Ice cream for dessert. The staff at the venue even joined in dancing with God's special people. A FUN time was had by ALL. What a FANTASTIC event that brought HUGE smiles to the bowlers.

Eater Egg Hunt

April, 2023

Oran Caravan 67 is just one of many Alhambra caravans which held a very special Easter party for our good friends. Thank you to all our members and the volunteers who bring happiness and joy to the intellectually disabled people we love so much.

Community Service Award Presentation

March 14, 2023

During the March council meeting in Chesterfield Twp., Michigan, Past Grand Commander Lou Caloia was presented with a community achievement award for his dedication to hosting the annual Life Handicapped Outdoors Fishing Derby in beautiful Brandenburg Park. Lou has been the lead organizer since the events inception, nearly 30 years ago. By the township's own estimation, Louis and his team have directly serviced over 2,500 individuals with special needs and their families. Galicia Caravan 77 is proud of Lou's achievement and grateful to be a co-sponsor of this wonderful event.

Show how much you appreciate the work Lou does by liking the Life Handicapped Outdoors Facebook page.

Pictured: PGC Lou Caloia (Center) with Matt Carr and Michele Vannerson from the Chesterfield Twp., Parks and Rec. Department

Plaque Presentation at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church

February 26, 2023

Alamo Caravan No. 269 commemorated Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, San Antonio, TX with an historic plaque.

Plaque placed at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church by Alamo Caravan 269
Pictured from left to right: SN David Pleasant; VGC James Munevar de Pineda; SN David Fuentes; Deacon Larry Brisiel; SN Rene Martinez; Deacon Solomon Gaja; SN Father Kevin Fauez; GC Commander Rene Martinez, PGC Ruben De Leon, Supreme Commander Joe B. Cortinaz; Supreme Director Luis Martinez; PSS Ken Boone; SN Charles Grout; SN Mike Dovalina; SN Al Rodriguez

Alhambra Day at the Shrine Circus

February 9, 2023

The Alhambra Caravans of Region VI and their crew took over 2,000 special friends, their teachers and caregivers to a special performance at the Shrine Circus. The extended crew consisted of Alhambra, Knights of Columbus, Shriners, Stellantis, GM and many volunteer friends of Alhambra.  Everyone enjoyed the work of unloading, greeting, seating, preparing food, and serving those in attendance. It warms the heart to see so many smiles and so much excitement on the faces of God’s Special People.

FOX 2 Detroit News coverage

Alhambra Day at the Circus Chairpersons: John Vella, Gary DeCarlo, Cliff Dake and John Michniak