ROUNDUP — At St. Benedict's Catholic Church in Roundup, the members of the Roundup Knights of Columbus Council 2464, their spouses and friends made sure firefighters doing work near the town were well fed on Sunday.
The group was called upon on Saturday night and cooked up 70 meals for dinner for firefighters on the Horse Thief Fire burning west of Roundup. The fire started on Saturday and has so far burned 310 acres and consumed one structure.
The group was up bright and early before Sunday mass to cook and serve 80 meals for breakfast. They were on track to make 50 ham sandwich lunches, and 50 more meals for dinner on Sunday night.
“They know that they can call on us. We feel that we’re the team behind the team. They can’t work and do their job on an empty stomach. So we have something going out to them as we’re called to do," said Pat Perrella, Roundup resident and Knights of Columbus state membership co-chair.
This is the fourth time this summer the Knights have been called on to serve food to firefighters in the area, Perrella said.
"It started with the Bobcat Fire and there was another fire and now this fire. But it's whenever needed. The call comes in from disaster and emergency services here in Roundup or the county. We get grouped together and away we go to make meals. Our larder is already stocked. Usually we can have meals ready between an hour and a half and two hours," Perrella said.
In the past, the group has fed firefighters in Mussleshell County, and surrounding agencies like Bull Mountain Volunteer Fire Department, Hawk Creek Volunteer Fire Department and Dean Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
Perrella said the group started serving food in 2011, in response to a damaging flood on the Musselshell River. The flood forced the evacuation of 30 homes in Roundup and closure of Highway 87 to Billings with the river flowing at 10 times the normal rate, according to the city of Roundup website.
“St. Benedict’s became a hub for food. The Knights of Columbus stepped up to the plate and helped organize it. The ministerial association came together and we served the community for a week and served the National Guard," Perrella said.
Perrella said the Roundup group was internationally recognized among the Knights of Columbus in 2011 for its service during the flood.
Perrella offered a word for the firefighters and community.
“Bless the firefighters. Pray for them and for the families that have lost a lot. They are safe, but it is still a hardship. Support them as you can," Perrella said.