(1928 - 1918)

It is with sadness that we inform you that Virginia Sikora, Past President of the Polish Women’s Alliance of America and of the Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation has passed away.

Virginia Sikora (nee Gadomski), age 90, beloved wife of the late Raymond Sikora, dear sister of the late Wanda and the late Joseph, and fond aunt of Joyce. Virginia was the Past President of the Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation from 2005 until 2017, Past President of the Polish Women's Alliance of America from 1999 to 2011. She was also the Treasurer for the City of Detroit, Treasurer of the Detroit Board of Education, and Trustee of the Detroit Police and Fire System. Virginia was a 41-year member of Detroit Municipal Credit Union and was the first woman elected to the Board of Directors as President of the Credit Union. She was also an avid supporter and member of the Polish Museum of America in Chicago and many other Polish American organizations. Her entire life was dedicated to promoting Polish culture and causes and she received many awards for her charitable and social activities, including recognition from the government of Poland.

A Memorial Mass will be held on Wednesday, December 19, 2018, at 11 a.m. at St. John Brebeuf Church, 8307 N. Harlem Avenue in Niles, IL. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation,
6645 N. Oliphant, Chicago, IL 60631 would be appreciated.

Colonial-Wojciechowski Funeral Home of Niles is entrusted with arrangements.
Info at 847-581-0536 or






“Women of Noble Cause”
PWA Documentary Film Premiere
at the Polish Museum of America


On Sunday, November 4, 2018, the first screenings of the PWA documentary film, “Women of Noble Cause” (“Kobiety szlachetnego czynu”), were held at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago. The film was produced and funded by PWA Council 27 to mark the 120th anniversary of the founding of Polish Women’s Alliance of America which was observed in 2018.

The film had also been shown in Warsaw in June 2018 at a conference held at the University of Warsaw, organized by the Polish History Museum in cooperation with the Chicago History Museum, the Polish Museum of America, and the Interdisciplinary Polish Studies Program of Loyola University Chicago. The conference was dedicated to the immigrant experience of Poles in Chicago over the last 150 years, as they sought to assimilate into the city and adjust to a new way of life in a new country.

The Chicago screenings were accompanied by a free reception and an exhibit of PWA archives, photographs, and documents that are currently undergoing preservation at the Women’s Leadership Archives at Loyola University Chicago. Council 27 President Bo Padowski welcomed the guests, and Glos Polek editor Mary Piergies explained how the idea for the film as part of the observance of the 120th anniversary of the founding of PWA came to be. Council 27 Treasurer Antoinette Trela then spoke about the experiences of immigrants who settled in Chicago in the early and mid-twentieth century, including her own parents and grandparents, followed by Glos Polek editor Lidia Rozmus, who highlighted the experiences of the post-Solidarity wave of Polish immigrants who came to the city in the 1980s.

The film was directed by Jan M. Zamorski and consists of a series of interviews with Chicago historians Dominic Pacyga and Jan Lorys, as well as with PWA officers and members. Along with the interviews, photographs and pages of the Glos Polek tell the story of Polish American life in Chicago, as well as the story of PWA and its achievements. The film is bilingual and is accompanied by subtitles in both Polish and English. Running time is approximately 30 minutes.

The film was well received by the audience which consisted of close to 100 guests over the course of the afternoon and the two screenings. Sincere thanks to Polish Museum of America President Richard Owsiany and his staff for facilitating the event and for making everyone feel welcome. Thanks also to Nancy Freeman, Director of the Women’s Leadership Archives, for bringing exhibit objects and for explaining the work that is being done to preserve PWA archives at Loyola University Chicago. And thanks to everyone who worked on the documentary, especially to Council 27 for generously funding the project and for organizing the premiere of the film at the Polish Museum. Matching funds to cover the cost of the reception and screening were generously provided by the Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation. Preserving the 120-year old history of PWA for future generations continues to be an important mission as we look forward, even though we are now part of the FCSLA family.

If you would like to purchase a copy of the DVD, a limited number of copies are available for $18, including shipping. Please call Council 27 President Bo Padowski at 847-420-4070 to order.

From left: Council 27 President Bo Padowski, Film Director Jan Zamorski,
Director of the Women’s Leadership Archives at Loyola University Chicago Nancy Freeman,
Council 27 Treasurer Antoinette Trela, Glos Polek editors Mary Mirecki Piergies
and Lidia Rozmus, and President of the Polish Museum of America Richard Owsiany.
Absent from photo but in attendance was Council 27 Vice President Halina Bielowicz.


From left: Lidia Filus, Czeslawa Kolak, Bo Padowski, Nancy Freeman, Donna Urbikas,
Antoinette Trela, and Richard Owsiany. Front row, from left: Dorothy Polus, Aurelia Pucinski,
and Jan Zamorski.

Guests at opening of the PWA screening of the documentary at the PMA.










Renovations of the building that will be the future home of the Anawim Women’s Shelter are progressing nicely. The building is located on Division Street in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. Most of the fixtures, including plumbing, electrical, and HVAC have been installed, and drywall is up, with flooring to begin in November. A new roof had to be installed last year, due to unforeseen weather damage. New windows for the entire building were generously donated. Much of the labor is being provided either gratis or at greatly reduced rates by skilled contractors from the Polish-American community and beyond, with the assistance of those residents of the Anawim Men’s Shelter who are physically able to help. Because this project relies on donations from individuals and organizations and not government grants, progress in making it a habitable future home

for those in transition, who have gone through either alcohol or substance abuse programs, cannot move as quickly as conventionally funded projects. Financial support has come in from across the nation, as far away as California, from individuals who heard about the project from friends and family here in Chicago.

As with the men’s shelter, the women’s shelter will serve mainly Polish-born individuals with very limited options and limited use of the English language, who are seeking assistance at a critical time in their lives. The estimated timeframe for completion is Winter 2018-2019, when the doors will be opened to welcome up to ten women as the first of many guests to come. Teresa Mirabella is the President of the Anawim and her background as a psychiatric nurse, coupled with her deep faith in God, boundless energy, and compassion have served to turn around the lives of hundreds of men. Now, with the establishment of the women’s shelter, many more lives will be touched, by providing a safe, nurturing, and spiritual atmosphere as the foundation for recovery and the reemergence of residents as productive members of society.

During this season of giving, please consider making a donation to this worthwhile project. Every dollar collected goes directly to serving those less fortunate. Please download and send in the form below with your donation.








Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.

--- Marie Sklodowska Curie

2017 has been declared the Year of Marie Sklodowska Curie, in observance of the 150th anniversary of the famous scientist’s and double Nobel Prize laureate’s birth in Warsaw, Poland, on November 7, 1867. A lecture, fundraiser, and reception were held on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at Klarcheck Information Commons on Loyola’s North Shore campus. The event was part of Loyola’s “Focus on the Book” series and was sponsored by Loyola University Chicago Libraries, the Loyola Women and Leadership Archives (WLA), the Interdisciplinary Polish Studies Program at Loyola, the Newberry Library, and Polish Women’s Alliance of America.

The guest speaker was Dr. Helena Pycior, Professor Emerita of the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In her presentation “Marie Sklodowska Curie: Piecing Together the Historical Puzzle” Dr. Pycior spoke about her decades-long fascination with and pursuit of Curie archives, both in the U.S. and Europe. Curie visited the U.S. In 1921 and 1929, meeting with PWA members both times; she was named an Honorary Member of PWA during the first visit.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the PWA Archives Preservation Project at WLA. PWA has been fundraising for the project for almost a year now, and was proud to present a check for $10,000 to the WLA from a private donation; more funds were raised at the event through a book and cash raffle. And Bozena Nowicka McLees, Director of Interdisciplinary Polish Studies Program at Loyola, spoke about her efforts to obtain additional funding from the Polish government for this conservation project.

A reception with wine bar followed - there were even two special “radioactive” cocktails prepared for the event, called “Polonium” and “Radium” after the two elements discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie. Over 120 persons attended the lecture and reception.



From left, David Spadafora, President, Newberry Library; Marianne Ryan, Dean, Loyola University Chicago Libraries; Bozena Nowicka McLees, Director, Interdisciplinary Polish Studies Program at Loyola; Dr. Helena Pycior, Professor Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Antoinette Trela, Acting Chief Operating Officer, PWA; Nancy Freeman, Director, Women and Leadership Archives at Loyola; and Vice Consul Piotr Semeniuk from the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago.




Check presentation from anonymous PWA donor to WLA for the PWA Archives Preservation Project.
From left Bozena Nowicka McLees, Antoinette Trela, and Nancy Freeman.


From left, “Glos Polek” editor Mary Piergies, Antoinette Trela, and FCSLA National Director Jeanette Palanca


The event was well attended by both students and guests.

Dr. Helena Pycior and Vice Consul Piotr Semeniuk


Two special “radioactive” cocktails were prepared for the event, called “Polonium” and “Radium”
after the two elements discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie.




Dominic A. Pacyga is an eminent cultural historian of international stature. He is professor of history in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago. He is the 2014 Mieczyslaw Haiman Award recipient honoring exceptional and sustained contribution to the study of Polish-Americans.

Born in 1949 in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood, Pacyga worked as a livestock handler and security guard in the Union Stock Yards while in college. Both his immigrant grandparents and American-born mother worked in the packing houses. He attended De La Salle Institute and did undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Illinois, Chicago, receiving a Ph.D. in history in 1981.

His background and experience make him a preeminent authority not only on the immigrant experience, but also on the history of Chicago’s meat industry. He has authored, or co-authored, six books concerning Chicago’s history - its neighborhoods, businesses, and cultural milieus. His latest book is Slaughterhouse: Chicago’s Union Stock Yard and the World It Made (2015). He is co-author of Chicago’s Southeast Side in the celebrated “Images of America” series and compiled what is perhaps his most ambitious project, a comprehensive history of the entire city, Chicago: A Biography (2009). Pacyga has lectured on topics covering urban development, residential architecture, labor history, immigration, and racial and ethnic relations. He appears on national and local television and radio programs, as well as university and foundation panels as the prominent scholar and commentator about the history of Polish and European emigrants, not only in America but in European countries, as well. He has worked with various museums on a variety of public history projects; he also works with neighborhood organizations as well as ethnic, labor, and fraternal groups to maintain and exhibit their histories. Dominic Pacyga is a stellar example of a person who cherishes his heritage and strives to preserve it in the
annals of history.


Martha Stewart hardly needs introduction: she is a media mogul and life style guru, best known for her television show and magazine, Martha Stewart Living. You can find her full biography on internet sites and in her many books on cooking, entertaining, and decorating. We feature this purveyor of style as a Notable Polish American since her success is 100% American and her origins are 100% Polish - all four of her grandparents were Ellis Island–era immigrants from southeastern Poland and both parents were Poles. This heritage has been the foundation for her sensibilities about hospitality and cooking. Stewart’s mother taught her how to cook and sew. She learned the processes of canning and preserving when she visited her grandparents’ home in Buffalo, NY. Her father had a passion for gardening and passed this knowledge to his daughter. Grounded in a strong self-reliance ethic, Stewart built a world-class brand through her superior aesthetic sense and ability to present herself as an embodiment of simple elegance.

Born in New Jersey, she was the second of six children of Edward Kostyra (pharmaceutical salesman) and Martha Ruszkowski Kostyra (elementary school teacher). Her mother was an important influence in her approach to gracious living, exemplified by traditional Polish attention to a beautifully set table and cordiality toward guests. Martha often featured her mother’s recipes in her cookbooks and Mrs. Kostyra occasionally appeared with her daughter in the TV studio kitchen, presenting her version of borscht or pierogi or cabbage rolls.

Stewart is the recipient of many local and national awards, including several Emmys for Outstanding Daytime Programming. Polish organizations acknowledge her promotion of Polish traditions; she has traveled to Poland to sample its cuisine and experience local customs. Polish at heart, Martha Stewart embodies what we draw on as inspiration from our heritage.


Ewa Kuligowska-Noble, MD, FACR, is a professor of radiology at Boston University School of Medicine and a radiologist at Boston Medical Center. She is the recipient of the 2010 Marie Sklodowska Curie Award from the American Association for Women Radiologists. The award is presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of radiology. “This award holds a special meaning for me as Marie Curie has always been a professional role model and a guardian angel in my life,” said Kuligowska. “Particularly during difficult times, her perseverance gave me the confidence to pursue my goals and overcome obstacles in my career and in my life.”

Kuligowska, who was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland, earned her medical degree from Warsaw Medical School. She also completed her residency in diagnostic radiology in 1970 at Warsaw Medical School. In 1972, Kuligowska emigrated to the United States and completed a second residency in diagnostic radiology at Temple University in Philadelphia, followed by a fellowship in body imaging. She passed the American Board of Radiology examination in 1978 and moved to Boston to join the radiology department at BUSM in July of the same year.

Over the course of her career, Kuligowska‘s contributions have included developing and promoting ultrasound guided abdominal and pelvic biopsies and drainages using novel transrectal, transvaginal and abdominal approaches. She also has focused on ultrasound applications for the diagnosis and management of gynecologic disorders. She has mentored many young radiologists throughout her career, encouraging students, junior faculty and others to develop and pursue their academic careers while balancing their family and professional lives. She has written an article titled “Marie Sklodowska Curie: Inspirational Role Model and Mother of Science.”


Joanna Mirecki Millunchick is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Material Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She was recently appointed Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education at Michigan Engineering.

Educated at DePaul University, Chicago (B.S. in Physics) and Northwestern University, Evanston (Ph.D. in Material Science), Mirecki Millunchick has distinguished herself as a tireless proponent of sophisticated instructional technologies, an innovator in curriculum development, and a committed educator. She continually seeks new ways to enhance student learning and shares her techniques and findings with colleagues university- and nationwide.

Since joining the faculty in 1997, Mirecki Millunchick has explored ways to incorporate technology into lectures and coursework in new ways. Recently, she examined the use of screencasts, web-based lecture recordings, audio discussions and solution sets for homework, as well as videos explaining conceptually difficult topics. Her research also found that students from underrepresented groups and those with majors least similar to materials science are the most frequent users of screencasts.

Professor Mirecki Millunchick has developed Physics of Materials (MSE 242) and Materials Science of Thin Films (MSE 505). She has led The Engineering Profession (ENGR 110) for the past five years, and she earns consistently high evaluation scores. She takes time to train graduate student instructors in pedagogical issues and treats them as potential faculty. She also leads a College committee on instructional technology, focused on how students learn and how to design technologies to support them.

The work of Professor Mirecki Millunchick draws national attention and she presents at conferences throughout America and other countries. She has to her credit over 100 publications in scientific journals. She is a lifelong member of PWA Group 693, Chicago.


Helena M. Pycior is Professor Emerita at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She is both a historian and a mathematician, with an MA in Mathematics and a PhD in History, both from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Her research encompasses the history of human-animal relations; history of race, gender, and science in the United States; and intellectual and cultural history. Her wide range of scholarly publications include the historically framed article “Beyond the Symbol of the Woman Scientist: Marie Sklodowska Curie from the stand points of Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover.” Polish Review, 57.2 (2012): 69-104. The article addresses applied science, motherhood, working women, civic ceremonies, honors, U.S. Presidents, all in the context of Curie’s activities and life.

Professor Pycior appeared in the 2013 documentary “The Genius of Marie Curie - the Woman Who Lit Up the World” directed by Gideon Bradshaw, which is an ideal introduction to Curie’s work and why it is so enduringly significant.




Barbara Mikulski served five terms as Senator from Maryland from 1987 until her retirement at the end of the 114th Congress in January 2017. She was the highest-ranking and longest-serving woman in the U.S. Senate. A PWA member since childhood, she was raised in a Polish neighborhood in East Baltimore, where she learned the values of hard work, neighbor helping neighbor, and heartfelt patriotism. Determined to make a difference in her community, Mikulski became a social worker, helping at-risk children and educating seniors about the Medicare program. Social work evolved into community activism into dynamic politics, when she served on the Baltimore City Council in 1971; in 1976 she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

She never changed her view that all politics and policy are local, and that her job is to serve the people in their day-to-day needs. She was the force behind the first legislation enacted by President Obama in 2010, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which ensures that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work.

Alongside her distinguished political activity, Senator Mikulski shares what she learned in the corridors of power in the form of novels about a woman senator whose activist ways win her fans at home but endear few in the back rooms of Capitol Hill.

Barbara Mikulski was awarded Honorary Membership in the PWA in 1998, the year of the 100th anniversary of the organization. In 2012, when NASA discovered an exploding star, they named it "Supernova Mikulski" in her honor. In 2013, then President of Poland Bronis?awKomorowski honored Mikulski with a Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of PoloniaRestituta for "outstanding achievements in the development of Polish-American cooperation and activity for Poles living in the United States". In November 2015, Mikulski was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

We congratulate Senator Mikulski on her many years of service and wish her all the best for her retirement.

Marcy Kaptur, who represents Ohio's Ninth Congressional District, is currently serving her 15th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is the longest serving and senior-most woman in the House.

Congresswoman Kaptur, a native of Toledo and of Polish-American heritage with working-class roots, mirrors the bootstrap nature of her district. Activism ran in her family -her mother served on the organizing committee of an auto trade union at the Champion Spark Plug Company-and Kaptur had been a well-known Democratic party activist and volunteer since age 13. After earning a master's degree in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan, she ran for the House seat in 1982 and won in an against-all-odds election. She quickly rose to prominence, serving on numerous significant Congressional committees, often as the first woman in their ranks. In 1996, Kaptur was asked by Reform Party candidate Ross Perot to be his vice-presidential running mate; she declined.

Dedicated to the principle that fiscal responsibility begins in "one's own backyard," Kaptur has consistently returned money to the federal Treasury. She refuses to accept congressional pay raises and donates them to offset the federal deficit and to charitable causes in her home community.

Among many honors bestowed, Kaptur received the Director's Award from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University for her commitment to increased understanding and appreciation of the peoples and cultures of Eurasia, Russia, and East Europe. She was named the National Mental Health Association's "Legislator of the Year" for championing mental health, and received the 2002 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Kaptur was also the keynote speaker at the PWA National Convention held in Cleveland in 2007.

Kaptur is the author of a book, Women in Congress: A Twentieth Century Odyssey, which was published by Congressional Quarterly.
in 1996.






The feast day of Our Lady of Czestochowa falls on August 26th in the church calendar, and this year the District I Patron’s Day observance was held on that very day. PWA members and guests gathered at St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Calumet City on Saturday morning, August 26, 2017, for a Mass dedicated to PWA members, both living and deceased. This is an annual event in District I that is always well attended. Different Councils in District I take turns hosting the event and this year it was Council 19’s turn and Dorothy Polus, Council President, and her committee prepared an inspiring and welcoming celebration for all in attendance.

Following Mass, a luncheon was held at Steve’s Lounge in Chicago, where members and guests could socialize and catch up with friends. A raffle was held to benefit the Women’s Eleemosynary Foundation and Council 19 for future projects. We were very happy to welcome representatives from the FCSLA at this event. See photo caption below for names of the FCSLA Chicago District guests.

Front row from left: Acting District 1 President Lidia Filus, Acting District 3 President Evelyn Lisek, Council 19 President Dorothy Polus, and Council 21 President Diane Svitko. Back row: Council 9 President Laura Pawlowski; Group 821 President James Kolak; FCSLA Chicago District Financial Secretary Jarmila Hlubocky; Group 821 Vice President Czeslawa Kolak; FCSLA Chicago District President Lorraine Gibas; FCSLA Chicago District Treasurer Gary Ledvora; FCSLA Chicago District Past President Joe Ledvora; FCSLA Chicago District Vice President Fay Hlubocky; Council 27 President Bo Padowski; FCSLA National Director Jeanette Palanca; Council 13 President Barbara Miller; FCSLA Past National Vice President Rosemary Mlinarich, and Acting PWA Chief Operating Officer Antoinette Trela.












- Celebrating Women's Ethnic Voices -


Chicago, IL-On Sunday, May 21, 2017, PWA Council 27 held a Spring Luncheon Fundraiser and World Press Freedom Day observance at Lone Tree Manor in Niles, IL. A panel discussion with women journalists from local media outlets and fraternal organizations was followed by a family-style luncheon and a raffle to benefit the PWA Archives Preservation Project at Loyola University. There was also a Book Table offering books by journalists and other Polish and Polish American authors and poets for purchase.


The panelists included, from left in photo above: Lucyna Migala, Program Director at Radio WCEV 1490AM Chicago; Alicja Otap, Deputy-Editor-in-Chief at Dziennik Zwiazkowy; Magda Marczewska, News Director at Radio WPNA 1460AM Chicago; Geraldine Balut Coleman, Chicago Bureau Chief and Associate Editor of Polish American Journal; Lidia Kowalewicz, Executive Editor of Narod Polski; Lidia Rozmus, Polish Editor of Glos Polek; and Mary Mirecki Piergies, English Editor of Glos Polekand moderator of the panel discussion.


Special guests, above from left: Barbara Mirecki, Vice President of Group 693 and Book Table host; Bo Padowksi, Council 27 President; Jeanette Palanca, National Director of FCSLA;
Mary Piergies, English Editor of Glos Polek;
and Antoinette Trela, Secretary-Treasurer of PWA.

UNESCO World Press Freedom Day was established in 1993 to recognize and promote the importance of a free and pluralistic press in democratic societies. This mission is even more important today, as assaults on press freedoms in many countries around the world continue to escalate, and, even in the U.S. the tradition of a vigilant and free press is now often maligned as "fake news" when it criticizes those in positions of power. Today's event was meant to recognize the importance of a free press and an ethnic press in our everyday lives. And to recognize the many women who now hold leadership positions in our Polish-American news outlets.

Proceeds from today's event will support the PWA Archives Preservation Project at the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) at Loyola University Chicago. The goal of the Project is the preservation of back issues of the G?os Polek and other important documents of Polish Women's Alliance of America. Preserving (and digitizing) the history of this ground-breaking women's organization that is almost 120 years old, is both a challenge and a mission for the WLA that is worthy of our support, so that future generations of scholars and researchers will have access to the history of PWA, one of the largest and oldest women's organizations in the U.S.

Thanks to everyone who came and supported our event and the PWA Archives Preservation Project!



Part of an International study with Jagiellonian University

We are studying Polish American women's health and need you!



The Clancy Lab at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is part of an international study on women’s health with Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland. Our goal is to understand some of the things that affect menstrual cycles, reproduction, and bone health. For this project we will be looking at hormones, physical activity levels, diet, and genetic markers in women in Polish and Polish American women.

One of the largest groups of Polish people outside of Poland can be found in Chicago and other Illinois communities. We are looking for Polish American women (you were born in the U.S., but your parent(s) or grandparent(s) were born in Poland) aged 18-45, in good health, not using hormonal birth control, non-smoking, and not pregnant or nursing. If this is you, please consider being a part of our study!

Please take our recruitment survey here:

If you join this research project, we will give you a t-shirt! Once you complete the study, we will provide you with a $70 gift card as a token of appreciation for your participation.

If you have any questions, you can contact Mary Rogers or Katie Lee, the graduate students in charge of the project (email: or or their advisor Dr. Kate Clancy at the University of Illinois (email: Thank you!




PWA Secretary Treasurer Antoinette Trela was recently interviewed about the PWA Archives Preservation Project and the history of PWA on radio station WCEV in Chicago. The interview was conducted by Lucyna Migala on Mosaic, a program about subjects of interest to ethnic Americans. You can listen to the interesting and informative interview at the link below.


Antoinette Trela

Lucyna Migala





Many PWA records and archives have been donated to the Women's Leadership Archives (WLA) at Loyola University Chicago in recent years. Now, funds are needed to translate and preserve these old documents for future generations of researchers and scholars. Please support this important work of preserving our history and our legacy by donating to the Preservation Project.

You can download a Donation Form here and mail it in to PWA with your check. Donor names
will be listed in the Glos Polek. Or you can donate directly to the Go-Fund-Me campaign at this link:

Below are the Donors who made contributions through February 15, 2017.

Thank you! Bog zaplac!



PATRONS (over $500)
Mr. & Mrs. J. (Trela) Schoen, PWA Gr. 211 IL
Connie & Jean Trela, PWA Gr. 211 IL

BENEFACTORS ($100 to $500)
Barbara Mirecki, PWA Group 693 - D1 IL
PWA Group 211 - D1 IL
Bozena McLees IL
PWA Council 13, Barbara Miller, President – D1 IL
PWA Council 27 - D1 IL
In Memory of J.W. Schoen Jr. IL
PWA Group 752 of Los Angeles, CA - D13
PWA Group 426, Barbara Miller, President - D1 IL
Jane Kurtz & Paul O'Hanlon, PWA Group 579 - D11 NE
PWA Group 689 - D10 NJ
PWA Group 743, Helen V. Wojcik, President - D1 IL
PWA Group 423 - D1 IL
Regina Jablonski, PWA Group 87 - D7 OH
PWA Group 451 - D5 MI
PWA Group 114 - D1 IL

FRIENDS (under $100)
WladyslawaMutafchiev, PWA Group 211 - D1 IL
Kathleen Pine, PWA Group 31 - D1 IL
JaninaPiotrowski, PWA Group 43 - D1 IL
Margaret Zalewski IL
Katie Dermont IL
Karen Kielar, PWA Group 211 - D1 IL
Barbara Ameen, PWA Group 776 - D8 MA
PWA Council 15 - D10 NJ
Lucy Petkowski, PWA Group 128 - D3 IN
In Memory of Helen R. Fabiszak, Trustee PWA Gr. 763 - D12 MD
In Memory of Catherine Mazon, PWA Gr. 763 - D12 MD
David & Lucille Fabiszak& Family, PWA Gr. 763 - D12 MD
Lidia Rozmus, PWA Group 822 - D1 IL
Irene M. Lestage - Trustee PWA Council 28 - D8 MA
Irene M. Lestage - Vice President PWA Gr. 776 - D8 MA
Louise Golda, President PWA Council 15 - D10 NJ







Our Christmas Fundriasier this year is once again the Anawim Shelter for Homeless Women in Chicago. The Shelter serves Polish immigrant women who are struggling with addiction and homelessness and gives them temporary assistance and a place to live as they work on getting back to independent lives. 

Let's help the Anawim Shelter reach its goal of $5000 by donating to Go-Fund-Me at the link below -- and their ultimate goal -- which is a fully renovated residence for homeless women by donating generously this holiday season.




Our spring selection for the PWA Book & Film Club is a book about Pola Negri,
a Polish silent-film actress who came to Hollywood in the 1920s and became
one of the world’s first high-visibility celebrities - a rock star, recognized and adulated,
both in Europe and in the US. Below, we present a book about her Hollywood years,
as well as a film about her life and career.


Pola Negri – Her films were silent; she wasn’t !

In the words of critic and film producer Diane MacIntyre, Tony Villecco’s book Pola Negri, The Hollywood Years, (2017) is “An engaging, well researched biography of one of the silent screen’s most luminous stars.”

Born in 1897 as Apolonia Chalupec in present-day Lipno, Poland, Pola Negri was the first European film star to be invited to Hollywood who achieved worldwide fame and became one of the most popular actresses in American silent film - and one of the first world-renowned celebritites. She had achieved acclaim on the theatre stage in Warsaw by the time she was 17, when she traveled to Berlin to star in silent films.

On Charlie Chaplin’s recommendation she was invited Hollywood. By 1924 she was a star!

Villecco’s biography vividly traces Negri’s career with its tempestuous rivalries and international success, her string of marriages to noblemen and wealthy men. Lavishly illustrated, the book reveals an intriguing glimpse into the life, times, and persona of a “silent” star who lived at full volume during the Golden Era
of film.

You can purchase this book at Please send reviews and comments to the Glos Polek editors at the email addresses below and we will post them on our website. Join the discussion about this amazing Polish woman and international star!

Send emails to: and/or


Before Marlene Dietrich and
Greta Garbo, there was Pola Negri

Life is a Dream in Cinema: Pola Negri, (2006)
Mariusz Kotowski, Director

Enjoy this film about Pola Negri, the silent and early talkie film actress who was:

Born in Poland, “made” in Germany, stolen by Hollywood. A celebrity in America, an artist in Europe. Lover to Rudolph Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, and Rod La Roque; wife to a count and a prince. A “vamp” by reputation, a tragedienne in practice, but a stunningly gifted actress.

The film, Life is a Dream, is a feature-length biographical documentary by Polish-American director Mariusz Kotowski. Released in 2006, the film chronicles the life of the Polish silent film actress Pola Negri, as told by those who knew her, acted with her, and those who have studied her life and films.

For more news on Pola Negri, check out the website:


Negri was famously immortalized in a painting (ca. 1922) by artist Tadeusz Styka (Poland, 1889–1954), which is in the permanent collection of The National Museum in Warsaw. A reproduction of the portrait is beautifully featured on a box of assorted chocolate pralines produced by Manrasta of Italy and available online and in Polish delicatessens in America.






The Polish Women’s Alliance of America, part of the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association family, from Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties held its 42nd Bal Polonaise on Saturday, April 21, 2018,
at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Center in Pittston, PA. Following a cocktail hour, six young ladies were presented as debutantes and danced the traditional Polonaise accompanied by their escorts.
The choreographer was Bernardine Borinski Vojtko, a former PWA debutante and teacher at Wyoming Seminary. The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Dr. Christina Lopez who is a member of the Polish Women’s Alliance of America and also a former debutante. Co-Chairs of the Bal Polonaise were Christine Lacomis and Ann Marie Durako. After the dancing of the Polonaise, each of the debutantes and escorts was presented with a gift by Antoinette Trela, former Secretary-Treasurer of the Polish Women’s Alliance of America headquartered in Chicago and our special guest of honor. A blessing was given by Rev. John R. Siberski, S.J., M.D. from Boston, MA. Dinner and dancing followed with music by Polka Magic. It was indeed a magical evening and a good time was had by all. Thanks to the committee members for
their hard work organizing the Bal, and to the debs and escorts and their families for supporting and participating in this beautiful decades-old tradition.


Pictured above are the debutantes, escorts, and pages, from left: Nicholas Prociak, Camryn Lee Cassetori, Oliver Lew, Abigail Marie Zaleppa, Ziming Jim Liu, Kaitlyn Amelia Lokuta, pages Christian Wojciechowski
and Julia Vitali, Sarah Ann Zaleppa, Matthew Prociak, Breanna Michelle Gorski,
Ryan Bella, Jocelyn Veronica Kosik, and Hunter Lacomis.

Dancing the Polonaise


Special guest, former Secretary-Treasurer of PWA
Antoinette Trela, with debutantes


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