Four local organizations reap the benefits from the efforts of the Owatonna Knights of Columbus annual spring Tootsie Roll fundraiser.

Knights of Columbus members and other volunteers handed out Tootsie Rolls at various businesses around town for optional donations. Generous people gave more than $5,000 this year. A picnic was held Wednesday at the Jaycee Park pavilion in Owatonna to make a check presentation to representatives of the four local groups.

Owatonna Parks and Recreation uses proceeds to assist with the therapeutic recreation program, which offers activities for adults, teens and youth with disabilities. Money is used to cover transportation costs primarily.

Owatonna Area Special Olympics makes use of funds to purchase equipment for such sports as softball, poly hockey, football and basketball. Other expenses include gym rental and state tournament games fees. Special Olympics is offered year-round with a variety of sports and events.

Cedar Valley Services is another benefactor. The organization, "operates in southern Minnesota and provides services to persons who have disabilities and to commerce and industry," according to their website. Rainbow Residence also receives funds from the Tootsie Roll drive.