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High on Life kite festival draws kites in the air and attention to pro-life message

Ascension Knights of Columbus event draws families together as COVID restrictions are eased

Under the shade of a canopy, Elliana Foeldi meticulously decorated a small paper kite with an outline of her hands, several crosses and the word “Christ” in the middle. Later, the 7-year-old launched her kite in the middle of a field, with her creativity on display for all to see.

Elliana Foeldi, 7, decorated her kite during the High on Life Kite Festival. Her kite included an outline of her hands, several crosses and the word “Christ” in the middle.
Photo Credits: Michael B. Thomas
Elliana and her parents, Chris and Suzanne Foeldi, participated in the High on Life Kite Festival, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus council #11139 at Ascension Parish in Chesterfield. The event on May 1 at Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex was designed to promote a message of respect for life and to bring people together for an in-person, family-friendly activity. The event supported the parish’s Respect Life Committee.

“With COVID, we haven’t had many opportunities to get together, and this was a perfect time and a perfect way,” said Knights of Columbus member Ed Thoman. “We also wanted to promote respect for life, and what better way than to put that message up in the air?”

The Knights and Ladies’ Auxiliary had paper kites available for decorating and invited members of the Gateway Kite Club to give demonstrations and help launch kites into the air. But with a picture-perfect day and just the right amount of wind — no help was needed.

With some major pro-life activities in January canceled, including the March for Life in Washington D.C., the Knights wanted to find a way to bring people together now that the weather was warmer, and some restrictions on gatherings have been relaxed. Some pro-life events held earlier this year also took place during the week, making it difficult for young people to attend, said Knights’ member Al Tornabeni, who with

Kites designed by children flew during the High on Life Kite Festival at the Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex in Chesterfield. Many kites included messages supporting a culture of life.
Photo Credits: Michael B. Thomas
Thoman helped organize the event.

He said the kite-flying event is “not just respect for the unborn, but respect for all ages. It’s a way to get families out together, and trying to get more of our (parish) organizations to intermingle.”

Over the years, the Knights of Columbus at Ascension have been involved in numerous pro-life activities, including the Baby Bottle Brigade, which raised more than $100,000 for pro-life organizations and a regular Rosary for the unborn. The parish also regularly hosts other pro-life activities through its Respect Life Committee, including an annual Roe vs. Wade commemorative Mass, and the 40 Days for Life campaign.

Melissa and Troy Peterson and their children, Hunter, 3, Isabel, 4, and Adelaide, 7, were on a bike ride along a nearby trail when they saw the kites and made a stop. “Our kids haven’t really flown kites — this is (Adelaide’s) first time doing this on her own,” said Melissa Peterson. “It’s nice weather, and it’s nice to do something like this.”

Ascension parishioner David Copeland brought his two grandchildren, Cecelia Weiss, 7, and Joseph (JD) Weiss, 4. The children enjoyed identifying different kites in the sky, and Cecelia decorated and flew one of her own. “I did hearts, smiley faces and stars, and that’s it,” Cecelia reported, while JD said seeing several Minions kites was his favorite part of the day.

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