The Story of "Christ First"
A Project by the Joseph P. Solari Council 11172
Sir Knight John Quinn went on a tacky light tour in December 2013 and was appalled that none of the ornately decorated homes he saw had any image of the Birth of Christ on display.
John set out to put "Christ First". He came up with a design for a Nativity scene profile used to create a cardboard replica in a size that could be displayed on lawns. He brought this replica to a Council meeting and introduced the "Christ First" project. The project name is a reference to keeping Christ first, before Santa Claus and other Christmas yard decorations on display.
"Christ First" was initially launched by the Joseph P. Solari Council 11172 for the Christmas 2014 season. Some 25 Nativity scenes were manufactured and sold to just Knights of the Council to "test" the waters before opening it up to the Parish.
Parishioners saw the Nativity scenes, and immediately wanted one!
For the 2015 Christmas season, Council 11172 ramped up the effort, and manufactured and sold 100 Nativity scenes to keep "Christ First".
Teams of Knights from Council 11172 worked over several weekends during October and November to produce and paint the Nativity sets. The Nativity scenes are cut from sign makers board, which is exterior grade plywood covered with a durable craft paper which gives it a smooth finish. The Siewers family, a catholic family with one of the oldest lumber yards in the Richmond area provided the lumber. Two large, or three small Nativity sets are rendered from each sheet of wood by a CNC Wood Router. Bob Davidson, a supporter of many Richmond Diocese causes, offered his services to cut the Nativity scenes. Knights then sand and apply two coats of paint to each Nativity scene, attach the Star of Bethlehem, and attach the support mechanism for displaying the Nativity. Sir Knight Kevin Kitrick graciously opened his freight warehouse to serve as a paint shop for the project.
Proceeds from the "Keep Christ First" project will support the charitable contributions fund of Council 11172.
Reported by Sir Knight Kirby Montgomery