By Keith Knepp
ATWOOD — If you’re a fan of local high school sports, you’ve probably seen Nick Goralczyk’s byline on InkFreeNews.com. If so, you already know he’s a witty storyteller who makes you feel as though you were sitting in the stands, enjoying a box of popcorn while you watched the live action unfold before you.
However, that talent isn’t what pays the bills, at least not in full, for Goralczyk. Rather, during business hours, he works as a field agent for the Stackowicz Agency, the Indiana arm of Knights of Columbus Insurance. Specifically, Goralczyk’s assigned territory includes specific cities and towns stretching from Angola to the north to Portland in the south. He is personally responsible for nearly 1,000 clients and their families who, by definition, also are Knights of Columbus members.
“We provide everything from term and whole life insurance to long term care, retirement annuities and disability insurance,” he said. “I meet with Knights members but also with Catholics who are not members to encourage them to join and take advantage of the services we offer.”
Goralczyk explained the Knights of Columbus was founded in 1882 as a fraternal organization with the purpose of providing financial support to its members. While it has evolved in the nearly 140 years since its founding, the insurance aspect of the organization continues the Knights’ original mission of helping its Catholic brethren. Knights of Columbus Insurance is now a Fortune 1000 headquartered in New Haven, Conn., with more than $110 billion in life insurance enforced for two million Catholic families across North America.
In a typical week, Goralczyk is busy on the phone and meeting with clients, reviewing their policies and making recommendations for improving their coverage to fit their needs. He puts a lot of miles on each year, noting in 2019 he logged 28,000 miles visiting his clients throughout northeast Indiana. In 2020, because of COVID, that number was significantly decreased as many of his meetings were done by phone or video conference.
“If you’re Catholic, give me a call,” he said. “If you’re not, give your insurance agent a call. People shouldn’t undervalue the importance of insurance. I run into a lot of people who are underinsured and don’t realize it until it is too late.”
Goralczyk is a graduate of Wawasee High School, although he only attended the school his senior year. That’s not to suggest, however, he doesn’t have Kosciusko County roots. He attended Wawasee schools from kindergarten through the fall of his eighth-grade year. It was then when his father took a job in Illinois, where he attended the first three years of high school. The family moved back to Syracuse prior to Goralcyzk’s senior year in high school.
Following graduation, Goralczyk worked for two years at Tri-County Fish and Wildlife before taking a job as a sportswriter with The Papers Inc. in August 2012. He remained in that position for nearly five years until moving to his current job with the Knights. Goralczyk returned in 2020 to work as a part-time freelancer for InkFreeNews.com, covering area high school sports.
“I missed it,” he said. “It’s not difficult for me. It’s telling someone else’s story. I want to tell the story of the game and bring it to life for someone who wasn’t able to be there.”
In 2019, Goralczyk tied the knot with his bride, Carrie, a former co-worker and Warsaw High School graduate who he met while working full-time at The Papers. He has two step-children, Alison, 11, and Benjamin, 9, who he adores and enjoys sharing new adventures.
The family resides in Atwood, just outside Warsaw.