SENECA — It did not take long for Arnold Kuthy to receive high honors from the state Knights of Columbus.
Kuthy, who first joined Knights Council 6884 a mere eight years ago, is South Carolina’s 2009 Knight of the Year. He learned of the honor during the 88th annual State Knights of Columbus Convention held in April in North Charleston.
The award was a total surprise, Kuthy said. He had never attended a state convention until this year and was invited to this one by Grand Knight Raymond Stimart of Council 6884, who submitted Kuthy’s name for consideration.
In his letter of recommendation to the state office, Stimart described Kuthy as “truly dedicated to the Knights of Columbus,” and a man who takes his job very seriously.
In 2008, as chair of the local council’s annual charity golf tournament, Kuthy led an effort that raised $8,200 for the Area 13 Special Olympics held each year at Clemson University.
As a result of that effort, Council 6884 won the S.C. Special Olympics 2009 Outstanding Fundraiser honor from the state council, Stimart said.
Kuthy, a fourth-degree Knight, also has been active in other charitable efforts at the local council, serving as chair of Operation Hope for three years. Currently, he is their director of recruitment, and the council has earned several recruitment awards.
“Arnold has good business sense and is well liked by our entire council,” Stimart said.
A native of Detroit, Kuthy worked with Mobil Oil Company for several years, then as CEO in a number of smaller companies.
Kuthy and his wife Helen moved to South Carolina in 1999 and built a retirement home on Lake Keowee in Oconee County.
A lifelong Catholic, he joined the Knights in June 2001 after many years of caring for his mother, who developed Alzheimer’s disease at a relatively young age.
“I’ve always had a commitment to give back to the community,” Kuthy said. “My mother was afflicted with Alzheimer’s for 21 years and that is what heightened my interest in wanting to help others.”
In recent years the Kuthys have participated in caregiver groups at St. Paul the Apostle Church. They also have established a control group in their neighborhood for a Duke University research program.
The couple has chaired several Memory Walk campaigns in the Upstate, raising nearly $100,000. They have helped organize several ministry fairs at their church, and served on committees for parish communications, the directory and site planning.
Kuthy also serves as both an usher and money counter.
Outside of church, he has been president of the Seneca Koffee Club and chair of its speakers’ bureau.
Stimart said Kuthy is the epitome of someone who routinely gives of their time.
“He could be a poster child for the saying, ‘If you want something done, ask a busy man,’ ” Stimart said.
And the 77-year-old Kuthy said he does not see himself slowing down anytime soon.
“I get great satisfaction not only in the accomplishments of this council, but in the benefit it provides to the recipients of our charitable efforts,” he said.
“God willing, I have not had any major medical setbacks, and as long as he is going to give me sufficient health I’m going to continue that course,” Kuthy added.