Letter From FBF President Rich Knodel

Dear Friends,

Welcome to 2022! While we look forward to a new year and new opportunities to serve our community, I want to begin by celebrating some remarkable successes and displays of generosity from 2021. I hope you find much encouragement in these words.

Last year was an extraordinarily difficult year for everyone, and this was also true for The Family Benevolent Fund. With Covid restrictions forcing us to cancel our Comedy Night, we struggled to find our footing to start the year. However, our team has a passion and a burden for the families of Oakland County and first responders in Michigan that will not be deterred. Despite the unique challenges of the day, the FBF team and our generous volunteers accomplished much.

The Michigan Renaissance Festival contacted FBF with an opportunity to operate a beer tent in exchange for a portion of sales and all tips. Our VP took on the challenge with short notice and organized an amazing group of volunteers. That weekend, the team hit record sales and brought in much-needed funds for families in need.


Our first Bourbon Barrel Fundraiser was another remarkable success. Dedicated to our fallen brother, Eric Overall from the Oakland Co. Sheriff Office, we managed to sell an amazing 400 bottles in just eight days. What a wonderful experience and response from our community, and I couldn’t be more proud of our team. 

We also added several new supporters in 2021. These compassionate groups and individuals have joined our mission, and their generosity will enable us to serve even more families — their kindness in giving is humbling and contagious.

All of your generous support has enabled us to serve so many. While asking for help can be hard, our team has a compassionate way of encouraging those in need. We’ve been blessed to help with many mortgages, car notes, medical bills, funerals, counseling assistance, and utility bills. And with the recent tragedy at Oxford High School, FBF partnered with an Oakland Co. Sheriff Deputy to provide 2,500 “Oxford Strong” pendants, with 100% of the proceeds going to that community. 

There’s still much work to be done, and as we look to 2022, I am excited to see how we can bless those who are struggling and in need. Here are just a few of the ways you’ll be able to join us this year:


  • The FBF Comedy Night is back and scheduled for 2022. Please join us for a night of entertainment with two nationally recognized comedians.

  • Look for us at the Michigan Renaissance Festival another few weekends, with beer sales to benefit FBF.

  • The Bourbon Barrel Fundraiser is back for year two and another opportunity to enjoy some of Michigan’s finest whiskey to benefit a great cause.

All of this is possible only through the hard work of the FBF Team and a community dedicated to helping neighbors and friends. Thank you for your part in it.

If you are able to support FBF with your time or resources, please contact us on email at info@familybenevolent.org


Rich Knodel 
The Family Benevolent Fund