YOUTH DAY 2016 - KRAKÓW
Youth Day began with Pope John Paul II, the beloved Polish Pope
from Kraków. In 1984, he called on the youth of Italy to
gather together in Rome for Palm Sunday observances, and was surprised
when over 300,000 young Catholics showed up. The following year,
1985, coincided with the United Nations International Year of Youth
and there was another incredible turnout of Catholic youth in Rome.
Sensing the need that young people had to gather together and celebrate
their faith, the Pope announced the first official WYD meeting to
be held in 1986 in Rome. The second official WYD was held in Argentina,
and in the decades since, it has been held every few years in many
countries around the world, including the US and Canada.
2016 meeting marked the 30-year anniversary of WYD and honored the
memory and legacy of Pope John Paul II in his hometown. Held from
July 25-31 in Kraków, this was the the second WYD celebrated
in Poland. The first one was held in Czestochowa in 1993, when Pope
John Paul II was still alive. Pope Francis acknowledged Pope John
Paul as the founder and patron saint of WYD and an inspiration to
young people all around the world. The theme of this years
WYD was one of the beatitudes, Blessed are the merciful, for
they will receive mercy.
500,000 young pilgrims from 187 countries from across the globe
descended on the city of Kraków for a week of services, meetings,
and rallies, and Pope Francis celebrated an open-air mass in Kraków
attended by hundreds of thousands of people in addition to the youth.
While in Poland, the Pontiff also traveled to the Shrine of the
Black Madonna in Czestochowa to celebrate the 1050th Anniversary
of Polands Christianity where he was also greeted by tens
of thousands of the faithful. He also made an emotional visit to
Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he prayed in solitude and then met with
survivors of the Nazi death camp. This was his first visit to Eastern
Europe as Pope.
115TH ANNIVERSARY GALA BANQUET
At the Banquet from left:
Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette Trela, Bishop Andrew Wypych,
National President Delphine Huneycutt, and Vice President Sharon
Sunday, May 19, 2013, PWA officers, members, representatives of
many Polish American organizations, and guests and supporters of
PWA, many of them from out of town, gathered together to celebrate
the 115th Anniversary of Polish Women's Alliance of America at a
Gala Banquet held at Cafe La Cave in Des Plaines, Illinois.
event started with a cocktail hour in the sunny lobby where guests
and old friends could catch up with each other, while the Carl Linden
Strings provided background music. The banquet opened with words
of welcome from Banquet Chair Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette L.
Trela, followed by a blessing given by Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese
of Chicago Andrew Wypych. Then former National Treasurer Barbara
Miller introduced the National Officers and Directors of PWA, as
well as the District Presidents. State President of District III
Evelyn Lisek led the assembly in the singing of the Polish and American
national anthems. Past National President Delphine Lytell said the
invocation and Honorary President Helen V. Wojcik offered a toast.
Then Master of Ceremonies Charlie Wojciechowski of NBC News Chicago
took over the microphone.
luncheon, National President Delphine Huneycutt delivered remarks
and Mr. Wojciechowski announced the Fraternalists of Distinction
from the 14 PWA Districts, listed below. The Volunteer of the Year
Award was also presented, and representatives of other Polish American
and fraternal organizations were recognized. Robert Rusiecki, Deputy
Consul General, delivered greetings and best wishes from the Consulate
General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago. Then Vice President
Sharon Zago read greetings received from those organizations that
could not be in attendance. Finally, Mr. Thomas Sochacki presented
the 2013 Remkus-Sochacki Academic Scholarships to two students,
Joanna Hrabia of California and Jeffrey Zakrzewski of Connecticut.
Camille Kopielski and Dr. Vivian Walkosz also participated in the
presentation; they were the judges of the scholarship applications.
Both Joanna and Jeffrey read the essays they had submitted along
with their applications. Congratulations to both of our winners!
festivities ended with two raffles, a Gift Basket Raffle and a 50-50
Cash Raffle, the proceeds of which will benefit the Polish Museum
of America and the Anawim Shelter for the Poor, both of Chicago,
as well as PWA youth activities. Guests were able to view some of
the objects from the Glos Polek Centennial Exhibition that were
displayed in the banquet hall, and that portrayed some of the most
significant moments in the 115-year history of Polish Women's Alliance.
you to all who attended, sent greetings, or purchased ads in the
Program Book. And thanks to the Anniversary Banquet Committee for
their hard work in preparing this elegant event.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Sochacki with the Remkus-Sochacki Scholarship
recipients for 2013, Jeffrey Zakrzewski and Joanna Hrabia.
From left, Master of
Ceremonies Charlie Wojciechowski of NBC News Chicago, Secretary-Treasurer
Antoinette Trela, President Delphine Huneycutt, Vice President
Sharon Zago, and Deputy Consul General of the Republic of Poland
in Chicago Robert Rusiecki.
District Presidents at the Banquet, in first row
from left: Lidia Filus District I Illinois; Mary Ann
Watterson District II Western Pennsylvania; Evelyn
Lisek District III Indiana; Mary Ann Nowak District
V Michigan; Diane Reeve District VI Wisconsin; and
Josephine Kuklasinski District X New Jersey. Second
row: Grazyna Buczek District VII Ohio; Alvira Balut
District VIII Massachusetts; Sophie Marshall District
IX Connecticut; Bernadette Vlock District XI Nebraska;
Cheryl Hillard District XIV Eastern Pennsylvania and
Mary Anne Wilk DIstrict XIII California.
National Officers at the Banquet, first row from
left: National President Delphine Huneycutt; Honorary
President Helen Wojcik; National Director Felicia
Perlick; and Vice President Sharon Zago. Second row:
National Directors Mary Derwinski and Czeslawa Kolak,
and Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette Trela.
Banquet guests had the opportunity to view selected
objects from the Glos Polek Centennial Exhibtion,
"A Voice of Their Own." The front pages
of the newspaper highlighted important events from
the past history of PWA.
- A YEAR OF SPECIAL ANNIVERSARIES IN
2014 Poland marks a number of important milestones in
its history, and in its emergence as a free and democratic
state after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989.
celebrates the 25th anniversary of the first SEMI-free
parliamentary elections in a Soviet Bloc country in
June of 1989; the 15th anniversary of Poland’s
admittance to NATO in 1999; and the 10th anniversary
of its membership in the EU (European Union) in 2004.
In addition, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the birth
of Jan Karski, humanitarian and World War II hero, and
the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, one of
the greatest acts of civic resistance in the history
of the world.
of these anniversaries highlight a centuries-old tradition
of Poland as a nation that is deeply committed to democracy
and staunchly resistant to oppression. Many generations
of Poles have faced persecution and death as they fought
for Poland’s independence for hundreds of years
and as they took a stand, time and again, against powerful
foes and oppressors.
Karski was the first to bring news of the Holocaust
to a skeptical world; Lech Walesa scaled the shipyard
wall in Gdansk in defense of workers’ right to
self-determination and his courageous actions ultimately
led to the Solidarity Movement and the fall of the Soviet
Union; and the citizens of Warsaw, young and old alike,
faced down Hitler’s armies during the Warsaw Uprising
in a last stand to liberate their city from its occupiers.
should all be proud of Poland’s illustrious history
and long tradition of adherence to democratic principles.
Poles share a lot with Americans in that regard, and
the two nations will always be friends and allies, as
was stressed by President Barack Obama during his speech
in Warsaw on June 4, 2014, when he said, on the occasion
of the 25th anniversary of the first free elections
in Poland after more than 50 years, “As friends
and allies, we stand together and forever,” affirming
the US commitment to the security of Poland and that
of other NATO nations.
join with Poles all over the world in celebrating and
commemorating these special milestones in a nation’s
relentless struggle for freedom, democracy, and self-determination.
US President Barack Obama preparing to speak in Royal
Castle Square in Warsaw, Poland, on June 4, 2014,
the 25th anniversary of the first semi-free parliamentary
elections held in a communist state.
ANNIVERSARY OF THE WARSAW UPRISING
AUGUST 1, 1944 - OCTOBER 2, 1944
August 2014, we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the
Warsaw Uprising -- a heroic and tragic 63-day struggle
by the citizens of Warsaw to liberate their city from
German occupation. Undertaken by the Polish Home Army
(ArmiaKrajowa, AK), the famed Polish underground movement,
the Uprising took place in the summer of 1944, at the
same time that Allied troops were breaking through German
defenses in Normandy and the Soviet Army was standing
at the line of the Vistula River. General Bor-Komorowski
was the leader of the Uprising and the one who gave
the order to the citizens of Warsaw to take up arms
on August 1, 1944. The 70th anniversary of the Allied
invasion in Normandy, France, was also observed this
summer, in June of 2014.
should have been one of the first European capitals
to be liberated by the Allies in 1944. However, various
military and political miscalculations, as well as global
politics -- played out among Joseph Stalin, Winston
Churchill, and Franklin D. Roosevelt -- turned fate
against the people of Warsaw. As a result, over 200,000
Warsaw citizens and supporters, many of them teenagers
and young people in their twenties, were killed during
the Uprising or imprisoned after the insurgents surrendered
to the Nazis on October 2, 1944. After 63 days of courageous
resistance and tens of thousands of deaths, the AK was
forced to give up its arms, and Hitler then ordered
a systematic and brutal bombing of the city in retaliation.
Over 80% of Warsaw’s buildings were reduced to
rubble in the aftermath.
Warsaw Uprising is considered one of the most massive,
courageous,and historic civilian resistance movements
in the annals of world history. The PolishUnderground
was vastly outnumbered by the German Army. The soldiers
ofthe Uprising were mostly young people, since a large
majority of the Polishleadership and professional class
had been incarcerated or killed by the Nazissince the
start of the war in 1939. It was up to students, young
professionals,and teenagers to take up whatever makeshift
weapons they could andtry to liberate their beloved
city form Nazi occupation.
celebrations this year in Warsaw include a reunion of
WarsawUprising participants from around the world. President
of Poland BronislawKomorowski and Mayor of Warsaw Hanna
Gronkiewicz-Waltz will meet withthe survivors of the
Uprising at a number of special commemorative events.Since
so many of the resistance fighters were very young,
there are still quitea few of them living in countries
all around the world.
above is a photo of the Warsaw Uprising Monument in
THE WARSAW RISING MUSEUM
MUZEUM POWSTANIA WARSZAWSKIEGO
Warsaw Rising Museum, located in the Wola district of
Warsaw, is a national landmark dedicated to the Warsaw
Uprising of 1944. The Museumopened ten years ago on
July 31, 2004, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary
of the Uprising. The Museum sponsors research into the
history of the Uprising, as wellas into the history
and possessions of the Polish Underground State. Itcollects
and maintains thousands of artifacts, ranging from weapons
usedby the insurgents to love letters and poems written
by them to biographies of thousands of the participants,
many of them in their teens and early twenties. The
mission of the Museum is to create an archive of historical
information on the Uprising, to present a full picture
of the people involved, and to preserve their courageous
and tragic stories.
multimedia exhibits of the Warsaw Rising Museum include
a Children’sSection, which displays the uniforms,
weapons, and activities of its youngestparticipants,
some of them only 12 years old; a Hangar Exhibit with
an actual B-24 Liberator airplane, one of the many that
flew airdrops over Warsawduring the Uprising, bringing
much needed but insufficient aid from the Allies; a
Nazi section; a Communist section; and exhibits highlighting
otheractivities of the Uprising, including battle scenes
and the famous tunnelsin the sewer system under Warsaw
that the insurgents used to fight andsabotage the German
Army. There is also a Memorial Wall of Names.
sure to visit the Warsaw Rising Museum when you are
in Warsaw, or explore their English-language website
OF THE BIRTH OF JAN KARSKI
around the world celebrate the centennial of Jan Kraski's
birth on April 24, 2014, honoring the legacy of the
famous emissary from the Polish Underground during World
War II, who was among the first to provide eyewitness
testimony to Allied leaders, including President Franklin
D. Roosevelt, about the Holocaust in Nazi-occupied Poland.
Karski was born in Lodz, Poland, on April 24, 1914,
the youngest of eight children in a Roman Catholic family.
He was a reserve officer and a brilliant young diplomat
when war broke out in 1939 with Hitler's invasion of
Poland. He became a member of the Polish Underground,
the most significant resistance movement in occupied
Europe, acting as a liaison and courier between the
Underground and the Polish government-in-exile in London.
He was twice smuggled into the Warsaw Ghetto, and entered
the Nazi's Izbica transit camp disguised as a guard,
witnessing first-hand the horrors of the Holocaust.
He felt compelled to tell the world what he saw and
to do all he could to motivate the Allies to intervene,
but leaders and governments were not ready to believe
this courageous young man, however history has proven
him right and made him a true hero in the eyes of the
in 1944, Karski's inspiring memoir, Story of a Secret
State, has been reissued in 2014 with a foreword by
former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a biographical
essay by Yale professor Timothy Snyder, and an afterword
by statesman Zbigniew Brzezinski that give context to
Karski's memoir, 70 years after it was first published.
It is one of the most important books on World War II.
The story jumps off the pages like a spy thriller documenting
Karski's experiences in the Polish Underground, and
as one of the first accounts of the slaughter of Jews
by Nazi Germany. Karski's incontestable heroism reminds
us that the Allies knew about the Holocaust but were
reluctant to act.
the war, Karski became a naturalized American citizen
and a professor of political science at Georgetown University.
He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1968.
In 1994, he was made an honorary citizen of Israel.
He died in Washington DC in 2002 at age 86. President
Barack Obama decorated Karski with a posthumous Presidential
Medal of Freedom on May 29, 2012. The Medal of Freedom
is the nation's highest civilian honor, presented to
individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions
to the security or national interests of the United
States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant
public or private endeavors. The US Senate passed a
resolution in March of this year declaring April 24,
2014, as Jan Karski Day, and the Polish Parliament decreed
2014 as the Year of Jan Karski.
Urbanska, President of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation
(www.jankarski.net) states that she cannot think of
a hero who better represents Polish and American values.
"Jan Karski stands for courage, tolerance, and
respect of all religions and cultures-a diversity that
has been part of the history of both nations,"
she says. "I am pleased and proud that Americans
and Poles can claim him as their own-and both are right!"
World Knew: Jan Karski's Mission for Humanity, a documentary
exhibition about the life and legacy of Jan Karski,
will open at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education
Center in Skokie, Illinois, on September 17, 2014 and
run through January 24, 2015.
compelling memoir, Story of a Secret State, has
been reissued in 2014, on the 70th anniversary of its
publication in 1944.
sculpture of Jan Karski on the campus of Georgetown
University where he was professor of political science
for many years.
TO THE WINNERS OF THE
2012 MAY QUEEN AND SWITA CONTEST
special acknowledgment is in order of all of our hard-working
Members, Groups, Councils, and Districts for encouraging
new membership in the PWA. We are happy to present to
you the four May Queens for 2012 and an Honor Roll with
26 Groups that signed up between 5 and 22 new members
congratulations to all our Honorees, and sincere thanks
to everyone who brought in new members last year, even
if you do not appear on this list. Every new certificate
ask for your continued support in membership development,
and we will continue to offer you products and promotions
that are affordable and attractive to prospective members
of all ages. Thank you for all you do to keep PWA strong!
Antoinette L. Trela
QUEENS FOR 2012
FIRST PLACE MAY QUEEN
Gr. 221, Council 2, District 2
Allison Park, Pennsylvania
21 new Life Insurance policies
Face Amount $155,500
Mary Ann Michalak
Gr. 132, Council 21, District 3
16 new Life Insurance policies
Face Amount $67,000
Gr. 723, Council 9, District 1
12 new Life Insurance policies
Face Amount $50,153
Gr. 185, Council 8, District 9
10 new Life Insurance policies
Face Amount $36,000
ROLL OF GROUPS
FOR 2012 MEMBERSHIP
Through the joint
effort of our Groups and the Home Office,
we are pleased to honot the following Groups for signing
up five or more new members during 2012.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FRATERNALISTS
HONORED AT THE ANNIVERSARY BANQUET
I - Dorothy Polus
District II - Mary Ann Watterson
District III - Micheline Omilianowski
District V - Mary Ann Nowak
District VI - Penelope Manke
District VII - Jadwiga Kopij
District VIII - Jennie Starzyk Benton
District IX - Mary Zielinski
District XI - Bernyce Wagman
District XII - Lucille Scrivani
District XIII - Helen Simmons
District XIV - Felicia Perlick
Volunteer of the Year Award - Adeline Holda of District
of Distinction received their awards at the Anniversary
Banquet. State Presidents accepted the awards for the
Fraternalists from their Districts who were not present
at the Banquet. The Fraternalists were selected based
on nominations submitted by PWA members in each District.
The Volunteer of the Year was selected by the National
Board and this year's award was presented to Adeline
Holda of Group 661, District I. Congratulations to all
Honorees! You do us proud!
of the Year, Adeline Holda of Group 661 District
I Illinois, receives her Award from the National
Officers at the 115th Anniversary Banquet. Adeline
has donated countless hours volunteering for the
PWA at the Home Office, and her constant smile and
willingness to work hard make her everyone's favorite
volunteer. Congratulations Adeline!
COUNCIL 27 PRESENTS
AN EVENING OF REMEMBRANCE:
WORLD WAR II SURVIVORS SHARE THEIR STORIES
left, Bo Padowski, Council 27 President; Helena Nowicka,
Group 211; Constantine Trela, Group 211; Secretary-Treasurer
Antoinette Trela; Krystyna Nowobilski; Vice President
Sharon Zago; National President Delphine Hunneycutt;
and Teresa Makowski, Group 114.
On Friday, November 2, 2012, Council 27 presented a
very special evening called "Preserving Their Memories:
Survivors of WW II Tell Their Stories." Three PWA
members, Christian survivors of Word War II, shared
their dramatic stories with PWA members and guests at
the PWA Home Office Social Hall.
three survivors scheduled to speak were Barbara Ciepiela
of Group 114, Helena Nowicka of Group 211, and Constantine
Trela of Group 211. Unfortunatley, Barbara Ciepiela
was hospitalized a few days before the event, so Krystyna
Nowobilski was invited to take her place at the last
minute; she was kind enough to share with the audience
her story of bainshment and exile as a WW II survivor
on very short notice.
27 President Bo Padowski welcomed the guests and turned
the microphone over to Teresa Makowski, President of
Group 114 and one of the main organizers of the evening.
Mrs. Makowski gave a brief overview of Poland's long
history of persecution by its neighbors -- Russia from
the east and Germany from the west. The two foes of
Poland united in the early days of World War II to invade
Poland and both countries, Nazi Germany under Hitler
and the Soviet Union under Stalin, began their systematic
purges of the Polish population in what amounted to
a genocide of the Polish people -- one of the most woefully
undocumented events of 20th-century history.
three survivors' stories brought that history to life.
Moderator Janusz Kopec interviewed them, asking questions
about their lives and the events of the years from 1939
to 1945, when the War finally ended and all three of
them found themselves in safety and freedom once again.
The interviews were conducted in Polish, and Glos Polek
editor Mary Piergies (Group 693) acted as interpreter,
summarizing in English the questions and answers for
those members of the audience who did not understand
Polish. Maria Pawlik of Group 114 contributed her acting
skills to the solemn atmosphere of the evening by reading
poems and documents from the time. Ryszard Makowski
provided the musical background, which included songs
and hymns that Polish refugees and POWs composed during
the many years of banishment from their homeland.
Nowicka was 14 when Soviet soldiers came to her home
in Eastern Poland in the middle of the night and exiled
the entire family to Siberia, where they lived and worked
in labor camps in subhuman conditions. The family's
long journey then took them to Iran, India, Australia,
New Zealand, and Mexico before Helena finally came to
the United States where she married, started a family,
and became a very active member of PWA.
Nowobilski's story was similar. Her father was an officer
in the Polish Army and it was only luck that saved him
from being captured and executed in Katyn. Krystyna
(age 7), her mother, and her two older sisters were
also exiled to Siberia and their journey subsequently
took them to Iran, Africa, and England, before she and
her husband emigrated to the United States in 1950,
where she started a family and became an artist. Her
love of Africa, where she first attended school, continues
to resonate through her life and her art.
Trela, father of Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette Trela,
was a young soldier in the Polish Army when World War
II broke out, and he took part in some of the very first
battles of the war, before becoming a German POW. After
his release, he joined the Polish underground, was captured
again, and sent to Nazi concentration camps before being
liberated by the Allied Forces and finally able to start
a new life as an immigrant in the United States. Mr.
Trela's son-in-law, John Schoen, read a summary of his
wartime experiences, and then Mr. Trela answered questions
posed by the moderator.
stories made us cry and they made us laugh as the survivors
recalled some of the touching moments in their journeys
of exile and some of the ways they and their families
were able to keep their humanity and their hope alive
in spite of the hardships they had to endure.
was a memorable evening and sincere thanks are expressed
to Council 27 and all of the organizers of the event
for such an emotional and unforgettable experience.
Organizers included Bo Padowski, Teresa Makowski, Halina
Wisnewski, and Ania Holmberg. We express our gratitude
to Mrs. Nowicka, Mrs. Nowobilski, and Mr. Trela for
their courage and for their generosity in sharing their
stories with us
and for bringing this forgotten
chapter of Poland's history to life.
wish Mrs. Ciepiela a speedy recovery and a return to
full health, and we hope that she will be able share
with us her story of Siberian exile and long journey
to the United States another time in the near future.
President Delphine Huneycutt made a few remarks at the
end of the evening. Vice President Sharon Zago and Secretary-Treasurer
Antoinette Trela were also in attendance.
From left, Teresa Makowski, Group 114; Helena Nowicka,
Group 211; Constantine Trela, Group 211; Krystyna
Nowobilski; Moderator Janusz Kopec; and Maria Pawlik,
FRATERNALS SUPPORT MUSEUM COMMUNITY FUNDRAISER
IL--The fifth Dozin' with Dinos at the Field Musuem
Overnight Fundraiser organized by the four Polish Fraternals
was once again well supported by our members and their
families. This time some fraternal officers including,
Jim Robaszewski, PRCUA Secretary-Treasurer; Agata Komosa,
wife of Charles Komosa, PNA Secretary; Delphine Huneycutt,
President of PWA; and Sharon Zago, Vice President of
PWA, decided to bring their families and enjoy the evening
of workshops, scientific illustrations, a self-guided
flashlight tour of the Ancient Egypt exhibit, bedtimes
stories by Sue the Dinosaur, as well as some museum
exploring on your own and the making of a mummy mask
and Egyptian cartouches. The Dinosauria team was also
present showing real dinosaur bones and presenting a
slide show to the participants. Snacks were served in
the evening followed by breakfast in the morning. The
program was well-planned and everything was covered
in this popular fundraiser. What was the kids' favorite
question: "When can we do it again?"
MOST REVEREND ANDREW WYPYCH
of the Archdiocese of Chicago
Friday, March 2, 2012, PWA officers and members hosted
a welcome reception for the Most Reverend Andrew Wypych,
Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, in the
Social Hall at PWA Headquarters. It was his first visit
to our offices since his ordination as Bishop in August
2011 at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. He will serve
as Polonia's Bishop in the Greater Chicago Area. Bishop
Wypych was born, educated and ordained in Poland. He
has served in a number of Chicago area parishes since
The Most Reverend
Bishop Andrew Wypych with PWA National President Delphine
GROUP 821 VISITS LECH WALESA
AT THE ABRAHAM LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY & MUSEUM
March 3, 2012, Group 821 organized an outing to view
the Lech Walesa Exhibit at the Lincoln Presidential
Library and Museum in Springfield, IL. Pictured at right
with wax figures of President Abraham Lincoln, his wife
Mary Todd, and their children are, from left, National
Director Czeslawa Kolak, District I President Lidia
Filus, National President Delphine Huneycutt, Vice President
Sharon Zago, and Jim Kolak. Former President of Poland
Lech Walesa was the 2012 Lincoln Leadership Prize recipient.
He toured the Museum and viewed the exhibit a day after
accepting his award on February 11, 2012, in Chicago.
PWA AT RED AND
MEMBER MAKES HER DEBUT
Chicago, IL-PWA officers and members attended the Red
and White Ball at the Chicago Hilton Hotel on February
18, 2012. The annual charitable event is sponsored by
the Legion of Young Polish Women. PWA member Jacquelyn
Boratyn was a debutante, pictured here with, from left,
John Huneycutt, the debutante's mother Bernadette Boratyn,
District I President Lidia Filus, Vice President Sharon
Zago, National President Delphine Huneycutt, National
Director Czeslawa Kolak, and Jim Kolak.
is Vice President of PWA Group 723. She was the 2011
PWA Jagiellonian Scholarship winner, the PWA Queen at
the Mayor's Polish Constitution Day Event in 2010 and
2011, the PWA Queen at the May 3rd Parade in 2010 and
2011, and a PWA Youth Conference participant in 2006.
FRATERNAL ALLIANCE FOOD DRIVE
Chicago, IL-The PWA participated in gathering food items
for donation to the local "Feeding Illinois"
Food Bank during the Illinois Fraternal Alliance conference
held on Friday, March 23, 2012. In photo from left,
PWA Vice President Sharon Zago, PWA President Dolly
Huneycutt, and Janice Odrobina and her husband Paul
Odrobina, PNA Vice President and immediate past President
of the Illinois Fraternal Alliance. The afternoon session
was also attended by PWA Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette
Trela, Sales Director Bo Padowski, and staff member
PWA ST. JOSEPH'S DAY
BENEFITS ANAWIM SHELTER FOR THE POOR
Chicago, IL-The second annual
St. Joseph's Table Celebration "Jozefinki"
was held at the PWA Social Hall on Sunday, March, 18,
2012. Part of the proceeds from the event and raffle
were donated to the Anawim Shelter for the Poor in Chicago.
PWA made a $500 donation and the Trela-Schoen Family
matched that amount. In addition, many in attendance
made donations before the afternoon was over.
For information on how you can
help the Shelter, please contact Mrs. Teresa Mirabella,
at the Anawim Shelter for the Poor, 1125 N. Cleaver
St., Chicago, IL, 60642, Tel. 773-486-8344. The Shelter
helps the poor, homeless, and other underserved individuals
in the Polish American community in Chicago.
In the photo, from left, Allison
Koppel, Executive V.P. American Fraternal Alliance;
Secretary Treasurer Antoinette L. Trela; PWA President
Delphine Huneycutt; Teresa Mirabella, President of Anawim
Shelter for the Poor; PWA Vice President Sharon Zago;
District I President Lidia Filus; and National Director
A MAN OF EXTRAORDINARY TALENTS
Stanislaw Wyspianski (1869-1907)
is one of the most beloved and prolific of Poland's
artists. A painter, poet, playwright, set and costume
designer, stained glass artist, interior decorator,
furniture maker, and architectural restorer, Wyspianski
was an artistic, literary, and cultural icon and a well-respected
intellectual who was known and admired in all of 19th-century
Europe as well as in Poland.
As an artist, he was part of
the Viennese Secession movement started by Gustav Klimt
in Austria, and in Poland he was one of the most prominent
members of Mloda Polska (the Young Poland movement).
He is to Krakow what Henrik Ibsen is to Oslo or James
Joyce is to Dublin. His graphic legacy is visible throughout
Krakow today: in the unique floral and geometrical murals
painted inside the Church of St. Francis of Assisi;
in the stained glass windows there and in three windows
he designed for the Wawel Cathedral which were finally
installed a century after his death; and in his collected
works, which fill a museum named for him that is a branch
of the National Museum in Krakow.
Some of his most famous paintings
and drawings depict women and children. He also loved
to draw and paint flowers, a common theme for many Secessionist
artists. His plays are just as well-known and critically
acclaimed as his paintings and drawings. The largely
symbolic plays combined a deep nationalism and patriotism,
calling for Poland's independence and the preservation
of her cultural identity, with the modernism that was
prevalent in the arts at the turn of the last century.
He is often called the Father of the Modern Polish Theater
and his play "Wesele" (The Wedding) is still
popular and often staged. It is considered to be one
of the best Polish dramas of the 20th century.
The key theme in his dramas and
essays was freedom of the individual, which resonated
with the Polish people who were living under foreign
partition at the time. In his paintings, his themes
were profoundly Polish. He loved to paint children and
mothers, as well as people he knew and saw in the streets
of Krakow and in the surrounding villages. He often
painted subjects wearing their traditional Polish costumes.
His works display a deeply-felt patriotism and a love
of Polish traditions and culture.
Girl with Flowers
(Helenka, artist's daughter)
Wyspianski was truly a multifaceted
genius, a man for all seasons, who excelled at every
form of art to which he turned his extraordinary talents.
He lived only to the age of 38, but in that short amount
of time he was able to accomplish and leave behind an
astonishing body of work that remains popular and beloved
more than 100 years after his death. Click on the links
below to see more of his paintings and drawings and
to learn more about his poems and plays.
Paintings by Wyspianski
Franciscan Church, Krakow
ZAMEK DANCERS MEET
PRESIDENT LECH WALESA
Walesa and Meredith Bayus of Group 769
PWA Zamek Dancers
President Lech Walesa to Chrysler Group Plant
Thursday, April 26, 2012, was a big day for the dancers
from Polish Women's Alliance of America (PWA) Group
769 Zamek Dance Troupe, but the butterflies in their
stomachs weren't due to pre-recital jitters. Instead,
the troupe members were anxious to meet the former president
of Poland Lech Walesa at Chrysler Group's Jefferson
North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit. Walesa, the
founder of Solidarity, the Soviet bloc's first independent
trade union, was visiting the facility to talk to Chrysler
Group LLC Chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne, UAW Vice
President and Director of the Chrysler Department General
Holiefield, and a group of about 150 plant employees
and invited guests.
PWA Zamek Dancers
of Group 769 greet President Lech Walesa
at the Jefferson North Chrysler Plant in Detroit, Michigan
presents flowers to President Lech Walesa
Before Walesa began his speech,
a group of seven excited Zamek dancers representing
all ages welcomed the former President as he entered
the plant. The group waved Polish flags as they sang
the Polish national anthem and presented him with a
bouquet of white daisies and red poppies, Poland's national
"Meeting Lech Walesa was
truly the opportunity of a lifetime," said Carole
Stross, PWA Zamek Troupe Leader. "Besides dancing,
we also teach our students about Polish customs and
history so that they appreciate their Polish heritage.
Having them greet the former President of their homeland
is perhaps the most exciting way we could ever expose
them to Polish culture," said Stross.
Representatives of the troupe
who greeted Walesa on behalf of the Polish Women's Alliance
and the Zamek dance troupe included: Gunnar Dudlar,
Arre Dudlar, Charlotte Bien, Liam Bien, Meredith Bayus,
Beth Ann Bayus, and Carole Stross. Stross and Beth Ann
Bayus also were members of the Zamek dance troupe that
won the PWA national dance competition in 1982 and toured
Poland during the summer of 1979 while it was still
under communist rule. Ironically, the very next year,
the same man that they greeted at JNAP on April 26 would
begin the Solidarity movement that changed the world.
After talking with the dancers, Walesa posed with the
troupe for photographs from the dozens of media in attendance.
"We were so pleased to have
the Zamek dancers with us at the plant today,"
said Jodi Tinson, Manufacturing Public Relations Manager
for Chrysler Group. "They helped make the former
president feel welcome with their colorful costumes
and bright smiles. Mr. Walesa's grin when he came into
the building and saw them said it all."
Walesa was traveling in the United
States as part of his participation in the 2012 World
Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Chicago April 23-25.
The World Summit is recognized as among the most important
annual events in the field of peacemaking, attracting
hundreds of high-profile leaders and organizations around
the world. The Jeep brand is one of the sponsors of
the Summit. Walesa founded Solidarity in 1980 and went
on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983. He served
as the President of Poland between 1990 and 1995.
In his introduction of the former
President, Chrysler Group Chairman Marchionne said,
"It is not often in life that you get to spend
time with someone who has played a vital role in changing
the course of history. Lech Walesa is one of those rare
leaders who represents a true turning point in our collective
life, for what he has done and for the way he has inspired
Following his speech, Walesa
toured the plant where the award-winning Jeep® Grand
Cherokee and Dodge Durango are made to see how it has
restored the pride and dignity of the work force through
the implementation of World Class Manufacturing (WCM),
the company's production system. The goal of WCM is
to reduce waste by improving safety, quality and efficiency.
"Jefferson North has played
a key role, not only in the resurgence of Chrysler sales,
but also in the cultural change that is transforming
our entire company," Marchionne said. "A cultural
change driven by personal commitment, sense of responsibility,
respect for each other, and the awareness that we have
the privilege to be the authors of our future, of a
About the Zamek Dance Troupe
The Zamek Dance Troupe originated in Detroit in the
late 1940s, eventually moving the school to Warren,
Mich. Before touring Poland in the early '70s, the troupe
had no formal name. However, when they saw the Royal
Castle in Warsaw being rebuilt after its destruction
during World War II, the group was inspired to adopt
the name "Zamek," which in Polish means "castle."
The Zamek dancers practice every
Thursday night at the Polish Cultural Center in Troy,
Mich., located at 15 Mile Road and Dequindre. Students
range in age from two to adults. After a full season
of hard work, the troupe presents a recital of Polish
dance, tap, jazz and ballet numbers every spring. They
also are asked to perform at numerous community functions
throughout the year, including Polish Night at Comerica
Park, local parades, and several ethnic festivals.
Zamek's long standing tradition
has been to select and honor a dancer as queen for the
year. After her crowning, the queen represents the dance
troupe at many cultural events until she passes her
crown to a new queen the following year.
Those wishing to join Zamek's
more than 60 years of Polish dancing heritage can contact
Carole Stross at 248-393-7773 or visit the troupe on
Facebook or at http://zamekdancers.tripod.com/
Polish Women's Alliance of America is a fraternal benefit
society founded in Chicago in 1898. It has 50,000 members
nationwide and has been serving Polish American families
for over 114 years. To learn more about PWA financial
products and services or to how to become a member,
please visit www.pwaa.org
PRESIDENT SHARON ZAGO HONORED BY PAHA
Chicago, IL-The Polish American
Historical Association awarded the Skalny Civic Achievement
Award to PWA Vice President Sharon Zago for her contributions
to Polonia and her promotion of Polish culture through
fraternal activities. The Award Ceremony was held at
the Polish Consulate in Chicago on January 6, 2011.
Two other PWA members were also honored with the Skalny
Civic Award: Maria Ciesla of Group 819, President of
the Polish Museum of America, and Aurelia Pucinski of
Groups 43 and 819, Appellate Judge in the First District
Court of Illinois. In photo from left, Aurelia Pucinski,
Sharon Zago, and Maria Ciesla. Also pictured, Penn State
Professor Robert Szymczak, who received the Joseph Szwastek
Prize, and PNA Vice President Paul Odrobina, who was
another Skalny Award recipient. Congratulations to all
the Honorees, and especially to our own members, Sharon,
Maria, and Aurelia. You do us proud!
CONSTITUTION DAY PARADE HELD IN CHICAGO, IL
PWA member Grazyna Zajaczkowska is Grand Marshall
Chicago, IL -- The 121st annual Polish Constitution
Day Parade was held in Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday,
May 5, 2012. The Grand Marshall of the Parade was Grazyna
Zajaczkowska, former Polish Editor of Glos Polek
and member of PWA Group 89. As always, PWA had a float
in the parade. Hundreds of thousands of people lined
the parade route in downtown Chicago and local TV stations
covered the event on live television broadcasts. The
Polish Constitution of May 3rd, 1791, was the first
democratic constitution Europe, and the second such
document in the world after the U.S. Constitution.
Grand Marshall Grazyna Zajaczkowska (center) at the
Mass that preceded the Parade.
Lining up for the Parade in Chicago's Grant Park.
Grand Marshall Grazyna Zajaczkowska is at far left.
Queens of the Parade with Grand Marshall Grazyna
Zajaczkowska (third from left).
JUNIOR BOWLING TOURNAMENT
On Sunday, March 11, 2012, several
past and present PWA Zamek Dancers (Group 769), along
with their friends and family members, got together
for a day of fun. They spent the afternoon at Sunnybrook
Lanes in Sterling Heights, Michigan. It was a great
way for everyone to support the 2012 Polonia Junior
Bowling Tournament sponsored by Polish Women's Alliance
and the Four Polish Fraternals. Even our wonderful Ms.
Carole got in on the fun. Everyone enjoyed pizza, pop,
and prizes too!
-- Submitted by Doreen Geml
POLISH-AMERICAN DAYS AT SIX-FLAGS GREAT AMERICA
The Four Polish Fraternals sponsored
Polish-American Days at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee,
Illinois, again this year on June 5-6, 2012. This annual
event has been a great success -- and great fun for
the entire family. Members of PWA, PNA, PRCUA and the
Polish Falcons gathered for photos with Polish folk
dance groups who performed during the weekend at the
amusement park, adding a colorful touch. Thousands of
weekend attendees to the park were able to watch our
beautiful Polish dances. PWA Vice President Zago is
at the far right in the front row in the first photo
PRESIDENT HUNEYCUTT MEETS PRESIDENT KOMOROWSKI
National President of Polish
Women's Alliance of America Delphine Huneycutt met President
of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski in Chicago, Illinois,
recently. President Komorowski was attending the NATO
Summit held in Chicago on May 20-21. He also met with
state officials, business leaders, and members of Polonia
during his visit. Poland became a member of NATO in
DIRECTORS MEETING HELD IN CHICAGO
The Polish American Congress held
its Plenary Meeting of the National Council of Directors
on Thursday and Friday, May 17 - 18, 2012, at the Hyatt
Regency O'Hare in Rosemont. IL. A Passport to
Poland Meeting was held on Saturday, May 20, 2012,
hosted by the Polish American Chamber of Commerce in
From left, PWA Vice President Sharon Zago, PRCUA Vice
President Anna Sokolowski, Lawrence Ashe, Jr., Honorary
Consul for the Republic of Poland, and PWA President
From left, President of PAC Illinois Division Mary Sendra
Anselmo, PRCUA Vice President Anna Sokolowski, Member
of Lithuanian Senate Jaroslav Narkevic, PWA President
Delphine Huneycutt, and PWA Vice President Sharon Zago.
PWA Secretary Treasurer Antoinette Trela also attended
the PAC meetings.
814 MOTHER'S DAY TEA
On Saturday, May 7, 2011, PWA
Group 814, San Fernando Valley, California had their
Mother's Day Tea at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland
Hills, California. It was a delightful afternoon of
making new friends and catching up with friends from
the past. Special guest in attendance was the District
13 California President Alicia Van Laar. Group 814 President
Mary Anne Wilk chaired and presided over the event.
Everyone was given two gold jewelry bags filled with
goodies. The overabundant raffle was full of gift certificates
to restaurants, museums, and Southern California attractions.
Standing, Valerie Williams,
Sandra Muir, Mary Anne Wilk, Eleanor Slonecki, Barbara
Radowski, Alicia Van Laar, Sharon Morris, and seated
We had two longtime members not in attendance: Helen
Simmons, PWA National Director had fallen and broken
her hip just days before our Tea and was in the hospital
recuperating. And, we lost our beloved member, Mrs.
Helen Sikora, who passed away on April 10, 2011. Mrs.
Sikora will be very much missed by all. However, we
were all happy to see Mrs. Sikora's daughter, Sandra
Muir in attendance. Both ladies were missed however
in different ways on Saturday.
Traditionally at our Tea we have
a Hat Parade, (pictured above), and we choose a lady
with the best hat. This year our judges -- Bailey Licari,
Brittany Licari, Jack Beckett, and Jim Morris -- unanimously
chose Eleanor Slonecki as the winner of the Hat Parade.
Mary Anne Wilk
presenting Eleanor Slonecki with a goodie basket as
her prize for winning the Hat Parade.
Our guest speaker was Mr. Jack
Beckett, who has one of the most respected names in
the field of motion picture and television innovative
technologies and production. Mr. Beckett was the Director
of Photography on numerous motion pictures, TV shows,
commercials and government accounts such as the US Navy,
US Air Force, and worked with Bob Hope on his famed
"Christmas with the Troops" TV specials for
six years. Mr. Beckett held everyone's interest and
kept us laughing at his stories. His wife, Carole, was
so taken by our group that she is considering joining
us as a social member.
814 CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Group 814 of San Fernando Valley,
California, held an Anniversary Luncheon at the Historic
Tam OShanter Inn in Los Feliz on Saturday, May
5, 2012, celebrating 50 years since the Group's founding.
Special guests included PWA President Delphine Huneycutt,
PWA Vice President Sharon Zago, Guest Speaker Robert
W. Jensen, and Major James L. Morris, Civil Air Patrol,
Squadron 128 Commander. Cadets of Civil Air Patrol,
Squadron 3 presented colors at the event. The elegant
luncheon and awards ceremony that followed were enjoyed
by PWA members along with their families and friends.
Welcome Luncheon for National
Officers: seated from left, Alicia Van Laar, Vice President;
Lori Kurowski, Recording Secretary; Mary Anne Wilk,
Group President and District President; National President
Delphine Huneycutt; Sharon Morris, Member/Event Planner;
National Vice President Sharon Zago; and former National
Director Helen Simmons.
Special presentations at the
Anniversary Luncheon by Group 814 President Mary Anne
Wilk, PWA Vice President Sharon Zago, and PWA President
A special thank-you to Alicia
Van Laar as one of the founding members of Group 814
by PWA Vice President Sharon Zago and PWA President
XIV BAL POLONAISE
Councils 40 and 44 of District
XIV, Northeast Pennsylvania, held the 40th Bal Polonaise
on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at the Ramada Hotel, Wilkes-Barre.
Six young women were presented to an audience of 100
family, friends, and members. The young women and their
escorts danced the Polonaise under the direction of
Bernardine Vojtko, choreographer. Cheryl Hillard, District
XIV President, introduced the guests at the head table
and turned the program over to Dr. Susan Glod, Master
of Ceremonies. Dr. Glod is an Assistant Professor of
General Internal Medicine and Palliative Medicine at
the Penn State College of Medicine and the Milton S.
Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. Four young pages
assisting in the presentation were Kaitlyn Lokuta, Alexa
Regis, Bradley Augenstein and Matthew Prociak.
Debutantes, from left: Anna
Rose Borinski, Group 105; Sarah Ann Snyder, Group 267;
Marissa Durako, Group 362; Danielle Gorski; and Victoria
Zawacki and Brianna Zawacki of Group 267. Escorts, from
left: Michael Borinski, Group 105; John Myers; Michael
Prociak, Group 362; Patrick Gilhooley; Ryan Lahnemann,
Group 450; and John Bath, Group 450.
Special guests at the head
table included, in the front row, from left, Cheryl
Hillard, District XIV President; Sharon Zago, Vice President;
Delphine Huneycutt, National President; Antoinette Trela,
Secretary/Treasurer; and Dr. Susan Glod, Master of Ceremonies
and National Medical Director. Second row: Dorothy Talipski,
Council 44 President; Felicia Perlick, National Director;
Bernardine Regis, Council 40 President; and Rev. Joseph
Horanzy. Third row: Robert Parrish and Dr. Joseph Enama.
Congratulations to the Debutantes
and their families!
POLISH HERITAGE FEST
Michigan City, IN -- On September
16, 2012, the first annual Polish Heritage Fest took
place in the International Friendship Gardens, located
at 2055 US Highway 12 in Michigan City, Indiana. The
festivities started with an 11 a.m. Mass during which
PRCUA Wesoly Lud Dancers dressed in Polish
folk costumes led the procession. The object of this
festival is to unite Polish Americans living in Northwest
Indiana and to showcase our beautiful Polish heritage.
A portion of the proceeds will go to a charity fund,
and another portion will go to a maintenance fund to
support the Polish Garden at the International Friendship
Gardens, which cover 100 acres. There are many beautiful
gardens to explore of the different ethnic groups residing
in Indiana, and of course we would like the Polish Garden
to be one of the most beautifully maintained!
Top photo shows, from left, PRCUA members Elizabeth
Sadus, Bozena Matson, and VP Anna Sokolowski, as well
as PWA members Delphine Huneycutt, National President,
and Diane Svitko, President of Council 21 Indiana. Second
photo shows the Wesoly Lud dancers.
WITH THE CHICAGO FIRE
The Four Fraternals sponsored
Polish American Night with the Chicago Fire on Saturday,
August 18, 2012, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.
The Chicago Fire played the New England Revolution,
coming in with a 2-1 win for the home team. In the photo
above from left, PNA Vice President Paul Odrobina, his
wife Janice and daughter Katryna, and PWA Vice President
NIGHT AT WHITE SOX PARK
Tuesday, July 3, 2012,
was Polish-American Night at Cellular Field in Chicago,
Illinois. This is an annual family-fun event sponsored
by the Four Polish Fraternals. The weather was perfect
and the home team won, scoring lots of runs and setting
off spectacular fireworks. The White Sox played the
Texas Rangers, winning with a blow-out score of 19-2.
In the photo from left, Polish Falcons Vice President
Bob Gorny, PNA Vice President Paul Odrobina, White Sox
pitcher Addison Reid, PRCUA Vice President Anna Sokolowski,
PWA President Delphine Huneycutt, and PWA Vice President
Sharon Zago. Falcons VP Bob Gorny had the honor of throwing
the first pitch.
LECH WALESA RECEIVES LINCOLN LEADERSHIP AWARD
TOURS LINCOLN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY & MUSEUM
Springfield, IL--Lech Walesa spent
about an hour at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
and Museum on February 12, 2012. He was accompanied
by translators and museum officials, who related tales
of Lincoln's life and presidency as they walked through
A day earlier, Walesa accepted
the 2012 Lincoln Leadership Prize in Chicago. The Lincoln
Museum also is presenting an exhibit on Walesa's role
as Poland's first democratically elected leader after
World War II. The exhibit runs through March 5th. The
Illinois House of Representatives passed a Resolution
honoring Lech Walesa and proclaimed February 9, 2012,
Lech Walesa Day in Illinois.
An electrician, Walesa became
a leader in the Solidarity movement that challenged
communist rule in Poland. Authorities declared martial
law and later outlawed Solidarity. Walesa won the Nobel
Peace Prize in 1983 and was elected president in 1990,
after the collapse of communism in Poland.
Carla Knorowski, chief executive
officer of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Foundation, said there are strong parallels between
the two men, who fought tyranny and oppression in their
home nations. She said Walesa was humbled to be compared
Knorowski said both men came
from poor beginnings in farming communities and left
their hometowns at a young age to settle in another
town. Lincoln settled in Springfield and Walesa settled
in Gdansk, both eventually rising to the highest office
in their country.
Almost 150 years after Lincoln's
death, Walesa walked through the replica of Lincoln's
one-room cabin, through exhibits showing the struggles
the U.S. president faced during America's Civil War
and the circumstances of his assassination.
PWA Group 821 is organizing a
trip to visit the Lech Walesa Exhibit in Springfield,
Illinois, on Saturday, March 3, 2012. Please
call 847-698-0250 for more information.
You can learn more about the
Source: The Associated Press
POET AND NOBEL PRIZE LAUREATE
WISLAWA SZYMBORSKA DIES AT 88
poet and Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska, whose poignant
and playful poems spoke to the heart of everyday life,
died on February 1, 2012, in Krakow, Poland, aged 88.
by the Nobel committee in 1996 as the "Mozart of
poetry" with "something of the fury of Beethoven,"
Szymborska died in her sleep after a long bout with
cancer. She was also called the "Greta Garbo of
poetry" because of her reclusiveness and desire
to remain out of the limelight.
on the day after her death, Poland's president Bronislaw
Komorowski called her the country's "guardian spirit."
Her poems "were brilliant advice, through which
the world became more understandable," he said;
they showed the importance of finding value "in
the daily bustle."
in the Polish village of Prowent in 1923, Szymborska
moved to Krakow with her family when she was 8 and lived
there until her death. She studied Polish philology
and sociology at the Jagiellonian University, and published
her first poem in March 1945, "Szukam slowa"
(Looking for a Word), in the daily Dziennik Polski.
Her first collection, That's What We Live For
(1952), was written under Poland's communist regime
and was an expression of socialist realism; she later
renounced the Stalin-era verse of her first two books,
going on to mock communism in later collections. Her
writing, always accessible, which by her death stretched
to around 400 poems, was known and loved across Poland,
often learned by heart, with "A Cat in an Empty
Apartment," one of her most popular poems, recited
across the country.
the popularity that the Nobel Prize brought her, Szymborska
shied away from the public eye, preferring to live a
quiet and unassuming life in the city she loved. "Everyone
needs solitude, especially a person who is used to thinking
about what she experiences. Solitude is very important
in my work as a mode of inspiration, but isolation is
not good in this respect. I am not writing poetry about
isolation," she said, going on to wonder why anyone
would want to interview her. "For the last few
years my favorite phrase has been 'I don't know.' I've
reached the age of self-knowledge, so I don't know anything.
People who claim that they know something are responsible
for most of the fuss in the world."
was awarded the Nobel in 1996 despite having published
only 200 or so poems: she was praised by the committee
for her poetry "that with ironic precision allows
the historical and biological context to come to light
in fragments of human reality."
In her Nobel speech, she spoke of the extraordinary
nature of life, of how she would love to tell Ecclesiastes
that "'There's nothing new under the sun': that's
what you wrote, Ecclesiastes. But you yourself were
born new under the sun," and of how, "in the
language of poetry, where every word is weighed, nothing
is usual or normal. Not a single stone and not a single
cloud above it. Not a single day and not a single night
after it. And above all, not a single existence, not
anyone's existence in this world."
was also a literary critic, essayist, and translator,
but poetry was the love of her life. She continued writing
right until her death and a new book of poetry is to
be published later this year. Szymborska's was the fourth
Nobel Prize for Literature awarded to a Pole; the other
Polish recipients of the Nobell Prize for Literature
were Wladyslaw Reymont, Henryk Sienkiewicz, and Czeslaw
Cat in an Empty Apartment"
Poet Spoke the Inner Thoughts of Many People
OF 2010 "SAIL AWAY" MEMBERSHIP CONTEST
Bernadette Vlock, President of District XI Nebraska,
was the winner of last year's Sail Away Membership Contest.
The grand prize was a Caribbean cruise for two. Bernadette
and her husband John flew from Omaha to Orlando, FL,
on May 13, 2011, where they departed from Port Canaveral
on the cruise ship Monarch of the Seas. Stops on the
cruise included Coco Cay and Nassau in the Bahamas,
where Bernadette and John enjoyed a ride on a glass-bottom
boat and a tour of the island. Their return was on May
19th, which was Bernadette's birthday. It was a memorable
cruise, Bernadette says, and a very special birthday,
and she thanks PWA for the wonderful experience. And
we thank Bernadette for her hard work in signing up
new members and congratulate her again on winning the
Sail Away Contest!
OF THE PWA 36TH CONVENTION SPECIAL
PWA Group was eligible to be awarded cash prizes as
for 10 to 20 new policies issued
for 22 to 40 new policies issued
for 42 or more new policies issued
Group officer or member who sold six or more applications
as witness were recognized in the 36th National
Convention Program Book and received a special gift.
To all winners of the PWA 36th Convention Special
Members who sold six or more policies during the Convention
(in order of number of polices issued )
Felicia S Perlick,
Dist. XIV, Gr.105 - 47
Alvira C Balut , Dis.VIII, Gr. 499 - 31
Lucille B Kopczynski, Dist. III, Gr. 305 - 22
Barbara Misiolek-Gamble, Dist. V, Gr. 226 - 18
Mary Ann Michalak, Dist. III, Gr. 132 - 14
Bertha Kuckla, Dist. XIV, Gr. 267 - 13
Mary H Palka, Dist. IX, Gr. 280 - 13
Theresa C Fic, Dist.I, Gr.126 - 12
Evelyn W Lisek, Dist.III, Gr. 562 - 12
Anthylene M Blasic, Dist. II, Gr. 501 - 11
Shaina R Geml, Dist. V, Gr. 769 - 11
Jane V Kane, Dist. VIII, Gr.141 - 10
Teresa Makowski, Dist. I, Gr. 114 - 10
Cynthia A Piepszak, Dist. V, Gr. 786 - 10
Dorothy T Talipski, Dist. XIV, Gr. 658 - 10
Dorothy Wisneski, Dist. XIV, Gr. 509 - 9
Sylvia A Kania, Dist. I, Gr. 819 - 8
Marion Listwan, Dist. X, Gr. 598 - 8
Elaine M Etheridge, Dist.V, Gr. 806 -
Rita Marek, Dist. V, Gr. 488 - 7
Jean C Scupski, Dist. XIV, Gr. 348 - 7
Grace Dubowski, Dist.I, Gr. 43 - 6
Mary A Fritz, Dist.XIV, Gr. 427 - 6
Nellie C Manarchuck, Dist. 14, Gr.642 - 6
Dale R Olsen, Dist. I, Gr. 480 - 6
Charlotte B Prez, Dist. IV, Gr. 680 -
Kathleen M Robinson, Dist. XII, Gr.568 - 6
Stella B Skowronski, Dist. IV, Gr. 468 - 6
Margurite A Thiltges, Dist. XI, Gr. 356 - 6
Helen V Wojcik, Dist. I, Gr. 743 - 6
PWA Groups awarded during the PWA 36th Convention
- 114, 128, 132, 141, 211,
280, 488, 562, 598, 616, 658, 743,769
$ 250 award - 267, 305,
499, 642, 786
$ 500 award - 105
BARBARA MIKULSKI HONORED ON FLOOR OF US SENATE
Longest-Serving Female Senator in American History
Barbara Mikulski, Senior Democratic
Senator from Maryland, was honored on the Senate floor
on January 5, 2011, as she was sworn in for her fifth
term in office, making her the U.S. Senate's longest-serving
female member. Senator Mikulski has represented Maryland
for 24 years and is considered the dean of the women
in the Senate.
Senator Mikulski is a lifelong
member of PWA and was named an Honorary Member in
1998, the year of the 100th anniversary of PWA.
Congratulations to Senator
Mikulski on this historic achievement!
An interview with Senator Mikulski:
YOUTH CONFERENCE PHILADELPHIA
Youth Committee: Sharon
Zago, National Vice President and Chair
Barbara Miller, National Treasurer, Grazyna
Migala, National Secretary
National Directors: Helen Simmons, Jennie Starzyk
Benton, Antoinette Trela-Vander Noot,
Marcia Mackiewicz Duffy, Felicia Perlick
Virginia Sikora, National President and Ex-Officio
of the 2006 PWA Youth Conference :
Vice President Sharon Zago and
National Director Marcia Mackiewicz
Duffy and Robert Duffy
Chaperones: President Virginia Sikora
and Ray Sikora, National Directors:
Helen Simmons, Felicia Perlick
Special Thanks to Volunteer Dr. Michelle
Commercio, Assistant Professor of Political
Science at U of VT, who assisted in
chaperoning the All Day Walking Tour
Video Produced By: Chaperone Robert
FRATERNALS YOUTH BOWLING TOURNMENT WINNERS
Youth Bowlers took second place this year in the Four
Fraternals Youth Bowling Tournament, behind Polish Falcons
(first place), and ahead of Polish National Alliance (third),
and PRCUA (fourth). Photo above shows, from left: Paul
Odrobina, Vice President of Polish National Alliance;
Anna Sokolowski, Vice President of Polish Roman Catholic
Union; and Sharon Zago, Vice President of Polish Women's
Alliance of America; in back: Robert Gorny, 2nd Vice President
Polish Falcons. All four Vice Presidents proudly display
the tournament team plaques.
PFA was First
PWA was Second
PNA was Third
PRCUA was Fourth
PWA members listed below placed in the top three highest
scores among the four Polish fraternals and won trophies
in addition to their medals and certificates. The number
of points bowled appears following the names.
Carter - 204
Blackburn - 188
Augenstein - 345
South - 322
Baylor - 653
and trophies for winning PWA members surround
the Second Place Award won by PWA members in
the Youth Bowling Tournament.
can see the names of all the winners and participants
in the PWA Bowling Tournament 2009, by clicking
on the link at the top of this page.
CULTURAL PROGRAM FOR
STUDENTS IN POLAND
April 2008 PWA President President Virginia Sikora in
her capacity as President of the PAC Charitable Foundation
(PACCF) and PACCF Vice President Christopher Nowotarski
met in Poland with the President of Wspolnota Polska
Andrzej Stelmachowski to discuss the planning and development
of a new Cultural Learning Program for Polish American
students. A little more than a year later, the plans
discussed in that meeting became reality.
pilot cultural program took place this summer in Pultusk,
Poland, with 19 students between the ages of 12 and
15 from three organizations participating: the Polish
Women's Alliance of America, the Polish Falcons, and
the Polish Roman Catholic Union. Most of the participants
had never visited Poland before and most did not speak
Polish. They visited Warsaw, Krakow, Oswiecim, Wieliczka,
Torun, and Jasna Gora in Czestochowa. It was an exciting
educational experience for the participants, who learned
a lot about the history, culture, and traditions of
the land of their ancestors. The program was a success
and plans are being made to continue the program in
three PWA members who attended the program were Ernest
Stapor of Group 821, District 1; Emily Gamble of Group
226, District 5; and Alex Vander Noot of Group 211 District
leaving for the Summer Program from O'Hare International
Airport. PACCF Officers saw them off. PWA President
Virginia Sikora, who is also President of the PACCF,
and PACCF Director Bo Padowski accompanied the group
Students visiting the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow.
time in Sukiennice, Krakow
time in Pultusk.
CONDOLENCES TO THE POLISH NATION
Officers and Members of Polish Women's Alliance of America
join the world in expressing their deep sorrow at the
tragic airplane crash on April 10, 2010, in Smolensk,
Russia, that took the lives of Polish President Lech
Kaczynski, his wife Maria, and 94 others, including
many Polish government officials and top military leaders.
The delegation was on its way to commemorate the 70th
anniversary of the Katyn Forest Massacre, at the site
in western Russia where over 20,000 Polish Army officers
were executed by the Soviet secret police in 1940, in
one of Poland's greatest national traumas.
send our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the people
of Poland and the families of the victims. Czesc Ich
A Nation Mourns
wept before their televisions, lowered flags to half-staff
and taped black ribbons in their windows after hearing
that President Lech Kaczynski and the upper echelons
of the establishment lay dead in woods a short drive
from the site of the Katyn Forest massacre, where 22,000
Polish officers, intellectuals and priests were killed
in the first months of World War II. Thousands of people,
many in tears, placed candles and flowers at the presidential
palace in central Warsaw. Many called the crash Poland's
worst disaster since World War II.
monks rang the Zygmunt Bell at Krakow's Wawel Cathedral
- the burial spot of Polish kings - a tolling reserved
for times of profound importance or grief.
board the government plane were President Kaczynski,
his wife Maria, the National Bank president, deputy
foreign minister, army chaplain, head of the National
Security Office, deputy parliament speaker, Olympic
Committee head, civil rights commissioner and at least
two presidential aides and three lawmakers, along with
the top military officers.
Polish military suffered the deepest losses. Among the
dead were the army chief of staff, the navy chief commander,
and heads of the air and land forces, who were all making
the emotional trip to honor the Polish officers slain
by the NKVD, the acronym for the Soviet secret police
at the time of the killings in 1940.
on board were relatives of the officers slain in the
Katyn massacre, including Wojciech Seweryn, a resident
of Chicago and the artist who designed the Katyn Memorial
at St. Adalbert's Cemetery in Niles, Illinois. His father
was one of the officers killed at Katyn. Also among
the victims was Anna Walentynowicz, whose firing in
August 1980 from the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk sparked
a workers' strike that spurred the eventual creation
of the Solidarity freedom movement.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk and some cabinet members
flew to Smolensk from Warsaw. The president's twin brother,
former Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, headed to
the area in a chartered plane along with party members.
Television showed Jaroslaw kneeling and praying at the
crash site. Tusk, joined by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir
Putin, placed a wreath at the site and knelt. When he
stood up, Putin hugged him.
is a great tragedy, a great shock to us all," former
president and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa said.
Parliament Speaker Bronislaw Komorowski, who became
acting president, addressed his country on television:
"Poland is in mourning, we have suffered a dramatically
painful loss." He said he would announce early
elections within 14 days of the president's death, in
line with the constitution. The vote must be held within
another 60 days.
called for two minutes of silence across the country
Sunday and declared a week of mourning. Medevedev declared
Monday a day of mourning in Russia.
State Funeral for Polish President
at the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow
A memorial service for all 96 victims of the plane
crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski, his wife
Maria, and dozens of high-ranking officials will be
held in Warsaw on Saturday April 17, 2010, and a state
funeral will take place in Krakow on Sunday, April 18,
2010. The President and his wife will be buried in the
cathedral crypt at Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, where
Polish kings have traditionally been laid to rest.
Thousands of people lined up to pay their respects
in front of the coffins of the late Polish President
and his wife Maria that were lying in state at the President's
Palace in Warsaw. A week-long period of mourning was
declared in the country as flags were flown at half-mast,
black ribbons were placed in windows, and people lit
candles and placed flowers at the Presidential Palace
in Warsaw and other government buildings across the
U.S. President Barack Obama, Russian President Dimitry
Medvedev, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are expected
to attend the state funeral in Krakow, along with many
other foreign leaders and dignitaries. A White House
statement released with the announcement of President
Obama's visit, said that his presence at the state funeral
will "express the depth of our condolences to an
important and trusted ally, and our support for the
Polish people, on behalf of the American people."
Condolences have been pouring in to Poland from around
See photos of a nation in mourning here.
Chicago City Council Resolution
On Wednesday, April 14, Mayor Richard M. Daley and the
Chicago City Council introduced a resolution honoring
the lives of President and Mrs. Lech Kaczynski, Chicago
sculptor Wojciech Seweryn, and Polish officials who
were killed in the tragic plane crash in Smolensk, Russia,
on April 10, 2010. Wojciech Seweryn was the artist who
designed the Katyn Memorial at St. Adalbert's Cemetery
in Niles, IL. His father was one of the Polish officers
murdered at Katyn in 1940.
Watch an interview with Consul General of the Republic
of Poland Zygmunt Matynia that was aired on April 12,
2010, on WTTW Channel 11, the PBS station in Chicago:
Watch this video about the tragedy called "Ojczyzna"
or "Homeland." CLICK
HERE TO WATCH
Mass at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago
A Special Mass for the victims of the airplane crash
will be held on Sunday, April 18, 2010, at Chicago's
Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State Street, at 7 p.m.
The Mass will be concelebrated by Francis Cardinal George
and by Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago Thomas Paprocki.
All Polish Americans are invited to attend the Mass
to pray for Poland and the 96 victims who died in Smolensk,
Russia on April 10, 2010. The state funeral of President
Lech Kaczynski and First Lady Maria Kaczynska will be
held on the same day in Krakow, Poland.
Memorial March in
The Polish American Congress calls on Polish Americans
and all Chicagoans to take part in a Memorial March
on Sunday, April 18, 2010, starting at 4:30 p.m. at
St. Stanislaus Church, 1350 W. Evergreen Avenue, continuing
to Holy Trinity Mission Church, 1118 N. Noble Street,
and ending at Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State Street,
where a Memorial Mass for the victims of the tragedy
will be said by Francis Cardinal George and Auxiliary
Bishop of Chicago Thomas Paprocki. President Lech Kaczynski
and First Lady Maria Kaczynska will be laid to rest
on the same day at the Wawel in Krakow, Poland.
State Funeral for Polish President
Thousands of Poles gathered in Krakow, Poland, on Sunday,
April 18, 2010, to pay last respects to the President
and First Lady of Poland. A funeral Mass was held in
St. Mary's Basilica in the central square of the city
for President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria Kaczynska.
A procession later took the coffins to be buried in
a crypt of the historic Wawel Cathedral.
world leaders could not attend due to volcanic ash grounding
flights in Europe. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
defied the air restrictions to fly to Krakow. U.S. President
Barack Obama cancelled his flight shortly before his
scheduled departure due to the dangers to aircraft posed
by the volcanic ash. French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and U.K.'s Prince of
Wales also cancelled plans to attend.
In remarks at the funeral Mass, Krakow's Archbishop
Stanislaw Dziwisz said the international feeling of
solidarity extended to Poles in the wake of the deaths
had shown "the many layers of good between people
and nations." Archbishop Dziwisz said he was addressing
Mr. Medvedev personally in stating: "The sympathy
and help we have received from Russian brothers has
breathed new life into a hope for closer relations and
reconciliation between our two Slavic nations."
The coffins were then taken in a gun-carriage procession
through Krakow and on to the walled castle and cathedral
at Wawel for a 21-gun salute and the burial. Thousands
lined the streets, waving flags, and applauding. The
Krakow ceremonies were for family, friends, and international
dignitaries and were shown to residents of Krakow and
visitors on screens across the city.
Earlier on Sunday, the coffins had been driven through
Warsaw on a route that took in key locations of Lech
Kaczynski's life, such as city hall, where he served
as the capital's mayor. The coffins were then taken
from Warsaw to Krakow on a military transport plane
that flew below the volcanic ash cloud.
Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people had attended
an open-air memorial service in the centre of Warsaw.
This memorial was for all 96 victims of the airplane
crash that occurred on April 10, 2010, in Smolensk,
Russia. The Polish delegation was on its way to attend
ceremonies in observance of the 70th anniversary of
the Katyn Forest Massacre.
The First Couple's final resting place is in a sarcophagus
in the royal crypt in Wawel cathedral, the final resting
place of many famous and distinguished Poles, such as
Tadeusz Koscisuzko, Jozef Pilsudski, General Wladyslaw
Sikorski and many of Poland's royals.
See photos of funeral and reactions in Poland here:
Katyn film to be aired on PBS
WTTW PBS Channel 11 Chicago to Air "KATYN"
A Documentary on the World War II
Massacre of Polish Citizens
Friday, April 30, 2010, at 9 p.m.
WTTW, Chicago's premier public television station, will
broadcast the gripping documentary KATYN: SLAUGHTER
AND SILENCE, the story of the April 1940 mass murder
in the Katyn Forest of 22,000 Polish Army Officers and
civilian POWs at the hands of the Soviet NKVD, predecessor
of Russia's KGB. The program will air on WTTW 11 on
Friday, April 30, at 9 p.m., the evening of the
day Poland's President was to have visited Chicago,
a city which boasts the largest Polish population in
the world outside of Warsaw .
The film traces the growing hostility between Soviet
Russia and pre-World War II Poland, telling the story
of the crime and its subsequent repercussions -- from
the discovery of human bones in the Katyn Forest near
Smolensk, to how the victims met their fates and the
conditions under which they lived while being held prisoner,
to the attempts to place the blame on the Nazis, the
overwhelming evidence pointing to Moscow and Stalin,
the cover-up and the silence. To this day, no Russian
officials responsible for the massacre have been brought
to justice. For more information on Katyn, please visit
This broadcast of KATYN: SLAUGHTER AND SILENCE is especially
timely in that Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his
wife, and many of Poland's senior state officials were
tragically killed in a plane crash enroute to a commemoration
ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.
Op Ed - New York Times - The Glory of Poland
Op Ed - The Washington Post - Out of Tragedy Detente
Editorial - The Chicago Tribune - Poland's Pain
VIRGINIA SIKORA RECEIVES
"WOMAN OF EXCELLENCE" AWARD
FROM ILLINOIS STATE TREASURER
Niles, IL-National President
Virginia Sikora was honored by Illinois State Treasurer
Alexi Giannoulias for being a financial role model during
the tenth annual Smart Women Smart Money (SWSM) conference
held on March 18, 2010. The conference, which addressed
financial and investment strategies for women, was presented
by Dollars and Sense Inc., a nonprofit organization,
and by the State Treasurer's office. PWA was one of
the sponsors of the event, along with Northern Trust,
Country Financial, Visa, and State Farm. Several hundred
women were on hand to hear experts speak on financial
issues facing women and their families.
Virginia Sikora received the
"Woman of Excellence" award. City Treasurer
of Detroit for 12 years and National President of the
PWAA for the past decade, the award recognized President
Sikora's leadership and management skills and her lifelong
emphasis on service, volunteerism, and support for such
programs as intergenerational mentoring, financial planning,
youth activities, and community and cultural events.
She was also lauded for being instrumental in creating
a scholarship endowment fund for PWA members who are
pursuing college degrees.
Dr. Pamela Lowe, director and
president of Professional Eye Care Center, was also
honored at the conference with the "Woman on the
Rise" award. Congratulations to President Virginia
Sikora and Dr. Pamela Lowe!
Virginia Sikora and Robin Kelly,
Chief of Staff, Illinois State
MAY QUEENS FOR 2009!
We are proud to
announce the following individuals, to whom we pay tribute
for their efforts in signing new members to our organization
in the 2009 calendar year.
We thank them
for their hard work and extend our sincere congratulations.
Gr. 754 Council 7 District VII
Introduced 13 new members
2 annuitants and 11 insured members
Total face amount $21,100
Gr. 450 Council 40 District XIV
West Wyoming, PA
Introduced 12 new members
All insured members
Total face amount $68,381
Gr. 409 Council 25 District XI
Introduced 12 new members
All insured members
Total face amount $47,000
Mary Ann Michalak
Gr. 132 Council 21 District III
Introduced 12 new members
All insured members
Total face amount $28,000
Gr. 267 Council 44 District XIV
Introduced 11 new members
All insured members
Total face amount $39,723
Mary Ann Watterson
Gr. 221 Council 2 District II
Introduced 10 new members
All insured members
Total face amount $101,275
Gr. 202 Council 9 District I
Introduced 10 new members
All insured members
Total face amount $42,079
Gr. 786 Council 20 District V
Clinton Township, Michigan
Introduced 10 new members
2 annuitants and 8 insured members
Total face amount $25,000
ROLL OF GROUPS
Through the joint effort of our Groups
and the Home Office, we are pleased to honor the following
PWA Groups that signed up at least five New Certificates
AMERICAN DAY AT WHITE SOX PARK
Four Polish American Fraternals organized Polish American
Day at US Cellular Field on July 6, 2010. A good crowd turned
out to watch the Chicago White Sox play the Los Angeles
Angels. The White Sox won 4 to 1.
here for photos from Polish American Day
HELD IN SPRINGFIELD, MA
JUNE 18-20, 2010
Executive Officers, National Directors, and District Presidents,
along with PWA Legal Counsel, Director of Sales, and Glos
Polek editors, met in Springfield, MA, June 18-20
for the annual State Presidents' Conference and quarterly
Board Meeting. The PWA National Convention will be held
in Springfield in August 2011 and preparations are already
underway for this big event, at the national level and
in District VIII, which will be hosting the Convention.
Virginia Sikora laid out plans for the coming year and
for the Convention and the State Presidents reported on
activities from their Districts. Legal Counsel Chris Nowotarski
brought the attendees up to date on the latest legislative
developments that affect fraternals, and Sales Director
Bo Padowski spoke about the newest insurance promotions
and plans, including the Glos
Polek 100th Anniversary Special and Membership
National Raffle winners were drawn by the State Presidents
during the meeting, with Vice President and Raffle Chair
Sharon Zago conducting the raffle. Please see listing
of winner names here. Photos
from the conference follow.
State Presidents with National Directors
State Presidents with National Directors
and Executive Officers
AMERICAN DAY AT GREAT AMERICA
the past few years, the Four Fraternals have sponsored Polish
American Day at Six Flags Great America and Six Flags Hurricane
Harbor in Gurnee, IL. This year's event was held on Saturday,
June 5, 2010. Families were able to enjoy the rides and
other attractions at the amusement parks, and also see the
Lajkonik, Polanie, Polonia, and Wesoly Lud Dancers perform.
A good time was had by all. See
2010 POLONIA ADULT
BOWLING TOURNAMENT RESULTS
first annual Polonia Adult Tournament was held in Pittsburgh,
PA, in May, sponsored by the Four Fraternals. Results
and photos from the tournament follow.
Morton - Bernie Schultz
Denning/Trish Del Busse
Gorny/Bobby Joe Gorny
BIRTHDAY, DR. WIECZOREK!
PWA officers and members visited Dr. Maria Wieczorek to wish
her all the best and to bring her a cake on the occasion of
her birthday on August 16th. Dr. Wieczorek had served as the
Medical Examiner of PWA for many years. In the photo, from
left, Maryla Folmer, Florence Hokenson, Antoinette Trela Vander
Noot, Virginia Sikora, and Bo Padowski. Sto Lat, Dr. Wieczorek!
Many happy retruns!
ANNUAL SCHOLARSHIP AND
Sunday, September 27, 2009, the Annual Scholarship and
Youth Fundraiser of the PWA Educational and Charitable
Foundation was held at the Rosewood Banquet Hall in Rosemont,
Illinois. It was an elegant affair, with PWA officers
and members as well as many guests and representatives
of Polish American organizations in attendance. The goal
of educating the next generation of young Polish Americans
is a cause that deserves widespread support. Our youth
is our future and encouraging them to achieve their academic
goals has long been a cause supported by the PWA and its
guests of honor included Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, Auxiliary
Bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago who gave the invocation;
Father Thaddeus Dzieszko, the Pastor of St. Constance
Church who said benediction; Past President of District
III Evelyn Lisek who led the singing of the national anthems;
and Judge Aurelia Pucinski, Cook County Circuit Court
County Division and PWA member, who was the keynote speaker.
Her remarks are provided below.
President Virginia Sikora served as Mistress of Ceremonies
and welcomed the guests. Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette
Trela was the Chairperson of the event. Vice President
Sharon Zago, National Director Dawn Muszynski Nelson and
District I President Lidia Filus also attended. Entertainment
was provided by students of the Paderewski Symphony Orchestra
Music Academy. Music was by the Carl Linden String Ensemble.
A raffle was conducted by Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette
Trela Vander Noot and National Director Dawn Muszynski
Nelson. All proceeds from the banquet will support PWA
scholarships and youth activities.
to Chairperson Antoinette Trela Vander Noot for organizing
such a beautiful and successful event. Sincere thanks
to everyone who attended as well as to the patrons and
well-wishers who submitted donations to the program book.
and Guests at Fundraiser, from left, Vice President
Sharon Zago; Robert Maycan, Treasurer of the PACCF;
National President Virginia Sikora; Father Thaddeus
Dzieszko, Pastor of St. Constance Parish; National
Director Dawn Nelson Muszynski; and Secretary-Treasurer
and Chairperson of the Fundraiser Antoinette Trela
left, National President Virginia Sikora, District
I President Lidia Filus, and Council 27 President
PWA members and guests during the cocktail
officers and representatives of Polish American organizations
at the banquet.
of the Paderewski Symphony Orchestra Music Academy
performed on their violins. It was an inspiring and
we were able to check the DNA of Stefania Chiemlenska,
the founder of the Polish Women's Alliance, we would surely
find the strong cultural link to Krolowa Jadwiga, Queen
of Poland, now St. Jadwiga, often referred to as King
Jadwiga, since she was the monarch of Poland from 1383
to 1399 in her own right, not as a consort.
Europe's only female King, Jadwiga enlarged Christian
Europe and sponsored the refounding of Europe's oldest
European university, the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.
King Jadwiga was known for her kindness and piety, and
for her commitment to charity work--founding and supporting
hospitals. Equally important, as King of her country,
she defended and promoted the dignity of her people with
women of the Polish Women's Alliance have proudly and
confidently carried on the traditions of our famous female
King. Founded 111 years ago, the PWA has a tradition of
protecting and defending the dignity of women especially,
through economic security and stability, The PWA as a
fraternal insurance organization provides a safety net
to its members. But the PWA is much, much, more:
it has supported the traditions and culture of our Polish
heritage in America. It has provided help to Poland, starting
with help to the Blue Army in World War I, in its fight
for Poland's freedom. The PWA supported the efforts of
Poland in World War II, and raised enough money to fund
a B-25 Bomber in the United States. The PWA has contributed
significantly to children's hospitals in Poland. It supported
the work of Madame Curie in her radium research. The women
of the PWA helped to refurbish Ellis Island and the Statue
of Liberty. The PWA established a Center for Polish Studies
in Chicago. It supported the work of the Polish Church
to fight communism in Poland and leave it to women to
figure out how to get Polonia working together: the PWA
established the first Polish American Congress!!!
King Jadwiga, through Stefania Chiemlinska, to Maria Konopnicka
a freedom writer and poet,
to Irena Sender who rescued 2500 Jewish children from
the Holocaust, to our own generation of Polish Women's
Alliance leadership, Polish women have always provided
the heart and soul of the action that is necessary to
make things better for women, for children, for the nation
of our heritage, and for America.Polish women, and the
Polish Women's Alliance, are living proof of the Polish
proverb: The ideals of her women are the strength of
VIRGINIA SIKORA HONORED BY PAC WITH HERITAGE AWARD
National President Virginia Sikora received the Heritage
Award at the 13th Annual Polish American Congress - Indiana
Division Heritage Awards Banquet held on Sunday, October
25, 2009, in Merrillville, Indiana. Steve H. Tokarski,
President of PAC Indiana Division, presented the Heritage
Award to President Sikora, in recognition of her service
toward the enhancement of Polish American fraternalism.
Evelyn Lisek, Vice-President of PAC Indiana Division and
past President of PWA District III, presented flowers
to the Honoree. Congratulations, Mrs. Sikora, on this
PAC Indiana Division President Steve Tokarski
presents the Heritage Award to PWA National President
PAC Indiana Division Vice President Evelyn
Lisek and PWA National President Virginia Sikora
at PAC Heritage Awards Banquet in Merrillville.
The Heritage Award presented to PWA National
President Virginia Sikora at the 13th Annual Awards
Banquet of the PAC Indiana Division, held on October
25, 2009, in Merrillville, Indiana.
SEMINAR IN DISTRICT VII
OH - PWA National President Virginia Sikora and Sales
Director Bo Padowski were the guests of honor at the
District VII State Seminar held in Cleveland, Ohio,
in October. State President Irene Honc-Jadlos and PWA
members from District VII organized the event, which
included luncheon, business sessions, and entertainment.
The event was well attended and District VII members
had a chance to learn more about PWA's latest plans
and products and to ask questions of the Home Office
guests during the sessions. Photos from the State Seminar
BY 2007-2008 JAGIELLONIAN WINNER
By Addam Wawrzonek
to me is Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, where I was born and raised.
But the broader definition of home takes me further away
across oceans. All of my ancestors trace back to Poland
and my father was born there. That ancestral bond to the
country calls to me and my desire to go there has been a
yearning to go to the land that my family before me has
always called home.
have been afforded this opportunity twice in my young life
and both times it has been through the generosity of the
Polish Women's Alliance. The first time was a subsidized
trip with the youth group and at fourteen my parents had
to force me to go. But once there, my views of Poland and
of my heritage found a deeper meaning. And then of course,
the second trip was through the Jagiellonian scholarship.
summer at Jagiellonian University in Krakow was extraordinary.
On the one hand, to tell you all about it in a few words
would underestimate the power of the experience. I could
go on in detail about the people I met, the history and
culture I learned, the museums I visited. But those events
are not unique in and of themselves. They have been experienced
by everyone who has visited the country as a tourist or
the other hand, there is something to be said about simply
being surrounded by others who share your interest in their
past and to experience the history of your ancestors firsthand.
To hear the stories about the devastation of Poles in World
War II and to know that my grandparents lived through it
brought on unbearable emotions. To know it was they who
had their farm and livestock burned to the ground, who witnessed
neighbors being shot in front of their eyes to teach their
village a lesson, who escaped from the jail where they themselves
were waiting to board the train for a concentration camp,
who lost family members as a direct result of the war
hear all this and be standing there on the same soil, left
me deeply saddened. At times I was overwhelmed.
experience was a very personal one. I left knowing that
I wanted to learn more about my history and hopefully be
able to return someday to finish my Polish language studies.
And I did meet friends from other states and other countries
with whom I stay in touch; friends who share my love, my
pain, and my heritage.
am deeply grateful to the Polish Women's Alliance for the
opportunities they have given me. I hope that every youth
member is able to appreciate the benefits that this organization
so graciously offers. They too share my love for a country
that is oceans away.
AMERICAN DAY AT SIX FLAGS - GREAT AMERICA
IL-The Four Farternals organized Polish American Day at Six
Flags - Great America on Saturday, June 6, 2009. This has
become an annual event.
Alexandra Podowski, member of PWA Group 821, dressed in a
Lublin costume, sang the Polish national anthem for the first
time ever in the park in front of the carousel. Various fraternal
Polish dance groups performed throughout the morning and early
afternoon in honor of their heritage.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in this event
and ask that you mark the first Saturday in June next year
for the next group discountPolish American Day at Great America.
Contact Vice President Sharon Zago for more information on
Polish American Days and discount group tickets at 847-384-1208.
Polish American Days Committee: Vice Presidents: Sharon Zago,
Polish Women's Alliance of America, Paul Odrobina, Polish
National Alliance, Anna Sokolowski, Polish Roman Catholic
Union, and 2nd Vice President Bob Gorny, Polish Falcons
President Sharon Zago and Group 821 member Alexandra
Podowski in a Lublin costume at Polish American Day
at Six Flags - Great America.
Show dance groups representing
the Polish fraternals performed during Polish American Day.
20th ANNIVERSARY OF POLISH
1989 - 2009
Honorary Member and US Senator from Maryland, Barbara Mikulski,
sponsored a US Senate Resolution to commemorate the end of
communist rule in Poland. On June 4, 1989, the Solidarity
party won a large majority in the first open elections in
Poland since World War II. This victory marked the end of
pro-Soviet rule in Poland and inspired a succession of peaceful
transitions from communism to democracy in other former Soviet
Bloc nations, leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall later
that year. The Resolution in the Senate passed with wide bipartisan
support. Senator Mikulski's comments follow:
the aftermath of the Second World War, the people of Poland
found themselves under the oppression of a harsh communist
government put in place by their Soviet occupiers."
Senator Mikulski said. "They did not choose communism
-- it was forced upon them. After over 40 years of struggle,
in early 1989 the historic Round Table discussions were
held between the communist government of Poland and representatives
of the democratic opposition on a peaceful transfer of power.
As a result, on June 4, 1989 the first democratic parliamentary
elections in Poland were held. This date is symbolically
celebrated as the fall of communism in Poland. It was on
this date, many Poles say that 'Freedom was born in Poland.'
anniversary has special resonance for me. For 40 years, I
watched the people of Poland live under brutal, communist
rule. Growing up as a Polish American in East Baltimore, I
learned about the burning of Warsaw at the end of the Second
World War. The Germans burned Warsaw to the ground -- killing
a quarter of a million people -- as Soviet troops watched
from the other side of the Vistula river. I learned about
the Katyn massacre - where Russia murdered more than four
thousand Polish military officers and intellectuals in the
Katyn Forest at the start of the Second World War.
anniversary is a great occasion for the Polish people, for
the government of Poland, and the history of the relationship
between the United States and Poland. It is fitting that
the Senate commemorate this anniversary, that we express
our admiration for the resolve that the Polish people demonstrated
in the face of political oppression under communist rule,
that we congratulate the people of Poland for their accomplishments
in the years since the end of communist rule, and that we
express our appreciation for the close friendship of between
the United States and Poland."
AMERICAN NIGHT AT WHITE SOX PARK
You can watch
a YouTube video clip of the first pitch of the game here:
IL--The four Polish Fraternals -- PWA, PNA, PRCUA, and PFA --
celebrated the Fourth Annual Polish American Night at Cellular
Park at a game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit
Tigers, with approximately eight hundred tickets sold by the
fraternals for this game. Chairman of this event was Vice President
of PNA, Paul Odrobina.
Prior to the game, "Wesoly Lud" dance group from PRCUA
performed outside the gates of Cellular Field and then on the
field before the game began. Paul Odrobina threw out the first
pitch to White Sox Pitcher John Danks -- a perfect strike ball!
The four Polish fraternals would like to thank the White Sox
for their cooperation in continuing our Polish American Night
celebrating our heritage.
We hope everyone will join us again for a great evening next
Vice Presidents Committee: Sharon Zago, Polish Women's Alliance
of America; Anna Sokolowski, Polish Roman Catholic Union of
America; Paul Odrobina, Polish National Alliance of America;
and Robert J. Gorny, Polish Falcons of America
shows White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzyznski (center) with PWA
Vice President Sharon Zago (at left) and guests. Photo by
Robert M. Jadach, PNA Public Relations.
THE FOUR FRATERNALS SQUARE OFF!
IL--On Friday, June 5th, 2009, representatives from the four
Polish Fraternals met for the second bowling competition at
the Edison Park Inn. This event was chaired by Vice President
Sharon Zago and the Four Vice Presidents Committee.
PWA's team included: Sharon Zago, Vice President, Antoinette
Trela Vander Noot, Secretary-Treasurer, Dawn Nelson, National
Director, and Adeline Holda, Group 661 Secretary-Treasurer.PNA's
team: Paul Odrobina, Vice President, Secretary Charles Komosa,
Treasurer Marian Grabowski and National Director Ana Wierzbicki.PRCUA's
team: Julie Prado, Judy Roszak, Madia Robles, and National
Director Ralph Stempinski.Polish
Falcons' team: Tim Kuzma, President (Pittsburgh), Patricia
DelBusse (Pittsburgh), Robert Gorny, Vice President (Indiana),
and Paul Sadowski, District 2 President.
We played three games and PWA was second in the first game
but we lost our lead and fell into last place in games two
and three. President Frank Spula from PNA dropped by for awhile
to wish everyone good luck. PWA hopes to do better the next
time we meet! It was all in good fun and helps maintain good
relations between the fraternals for the common good of our
heritage and our fraternal community. A
joint adult bowling tournament is being planned for May or
June of 2010. Call Vice President Sharon Zago for further
info at 1-888-522-1898, ext 208.
show the PWA Team (from left Vice President Sharon Zago,
National Director Dawn Muszynski, Group 661 Secretary-Treasurer
Adeline Holda, and PWA Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette
Trela Vander Noot). Also shown is a group photo with all
the participants at the tournament.
PWA DAY CELEBRATED IN DOYLESTOWN
annual "PWA Day" was held at the Shrine of Our Lady
of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA, on Sunday, August 23, 2009.
Keeping up the tradition were PWA representatives from Ilinois,
Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
the Home Office, President Virginia Sikora, read the first
reading. Also in attendance were Vice President Sharon Zago,
coordinator of the annual pilgrimage, and Secretary-Treasurer
of Group 661 Adeline Holda.
Polish costumes were Sophie Marshall, District IX President
from Connecticut, Group 280 President Jadwiga Czerwinski from
Connecticut, and Group 598 Treasurer and former District X
President Marion Listwan from New Jersey. She did the second
reading during mass. Group 598 President Genevieve De Metro
and Group 598 Vice President Judith Listwan from New Jersey.
District X Connecticut brought the largest delegation this
District XII Maryland were District President Therese Violanti
along with President of Group 702 Catherine Gietka, Recording
Secretary of Group 702, Bernadette Gietka, and Gerald Gietka
of Group 702.
from District XIV - Council 40 were Felicia Perlick, PWA National
Director and former President of District XIV, along with
Council 40 President Bernadine Regis and Council 40 Treasurer
members carried the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa during
the procession and presented the gifts during mass. President
Virginia Sikora presented the annual PWA donation of $1,000
to the new Prior, Father Tadeusz Lizinczyk. The new Provincial
year Father Joseph Olczak.
Pauline Fathers concelebrated Mass during PWA Day
at the Shrine.
Regis, Council 40 President, and Theresa Violanti,
District XII President, present gifts during mass.
Listwan, Vice President of Group 598, and Sophie
Marshall, District IX President, in Polish costumes,
followed by Bernadine Regis, Council 40 President,
present gifts during mass.
Virginia Sikora presents donation to Father Lizinczyk.
Adeline Holda (Group 661 Secretary-Treasurer) at
left, National Director Felicia Perlick, center,
Sophie Marshall (Distirct IX President) at right.
Polish Museum of America
IL-The Polish Museum of America held its annual Summer Ball
Fundraiser on Friday, June 26, 2009 at Cafe La Cave in Des
Plaines, Illinois. Polish Women's Alliance of America was
represented by Vice President Sharon Zago, who presented the
annual donation to Maria Ciesla, President of PMA (also PWA
member of Group 819), and Wallace Ozog, Chairman of PMA with
the PMA director Jan Lorys looking on. A beautiful long stem
rose was presented to major donors presenting that evening.
In her remarks, Ms. Zago stated that the PWA has always been
happy to cooperate with the PMA on exhibits and other matters.
She also encouraged everyone to attend the current exhibit
"Forgotten Beauty Polish Folk Costumes Exhibition"
from June 27 to August 15, 2009 that displays the lithograph
collection of Zofia Stryenska on loan from the PWA Charitable
and Educational Foundation.
POLISH MUSEUM OF AMERICA
is a special exhibit that will introduce you to the world
of vibrant and distinctive Polish traditional folk costumes.
The exhibit presents regional costumes from all across Poland
in addition to work by the multifaceted Polish artist Zofia
Stryjenska, who was dubbed the Princess of Polish Painting.
Many of the Stryjenska lithographs in the exhibit are on loan
from Polish Women's Alliance of America. Curated by Paulina
The exhibition will be on display from June 27 - August 15,
2009 at the Polish Museum of America, 984 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL, 60642-4101. Telephone: (773) 384-3352. Open Monday
- Wednesday and Friday - Sunday from 11am to 4pm.
ANNIVERSARY MAXIMIZER PROGRAM
We are very happy to be able to announce
to our membership the 110th Anniversary Maximizer Program.
Beginning in August, we will be mailing out this special
offer to increase your current coverage by selecting one
of two single-payment options. Best of all, there is no
medical required and your certificate number will remain
the same.This offer is being
targeted to current members between the ages of 1 and 55
who have a paid-up insurance certificate(s). If you have
more than one paid-up certificate, you will be eligible
to increase your coverage under each policy. The mailing
dates of this special program allow sufficient time for
you to review the options being offered and to respond by
sending the signed acceptance document and payment back
to our office prior to the deadline date.
For example, the August mailing was sent out to those members
who were issued their
certificates in the month of October and are between the
ages of 1 and 75. It was later decided that beginning with
the September mailing, only the target group of ages 1 to
55 will be receiving the offer in the mail because it is
most beneficial to this age group. However, if you are a
current member with a paid-up certificate(s) and are between
the ages of 56 and 75, you will still qualify to participate
offer. Please call our office for a verbal quote.The
Maximizer Program will run from August 2008 thru July 2009
and we are extremely pleased to be in a position to offer
you this opportunity to increase your insurance in the easiest
way possible.If you should
have any questions regarding the 110th Anniversary Maximizer
Program after receiving your customized offer in the mail,
or if you would like a verbal quote, please do not hesitate
to contact the office of the Secretary/Treasurer office
for assistance. The toll free number is 888-522-1898.
President and Secretary-Treasurer Take Part in 90th Anniversary
Observances of Polish Independence in Warsaw
official observances of the 90th Anniversary of the Independence
of Poland were held in Warsaw on November 11, 2009. A wreath-laying
ceremony with full military honors took place at the Tomb
of the Unknown Soldier. The President of Poland and dignitaries
from around the world tool part in the observances.
the 90th anniversary of its emergence from 123 years of
foreign domination on November 11, 2008. All across Europe
commemorations were held, marking the end of World War I
on this day 90 years ago. For Poland, however, the day symbolized
more than the end of a bloody war. It symbolized the end
of 123 years of partition by Russia, Prussia, and Austria.
Poland's independence, as we know, was short-lived. The
Nazis and Soviets dominated the nation for many more years-from
1939 to 1989-but now at long last the nation is free!
"Today is a day of
joy," President Lech Kaczynski declared in military
ceremony which was held on the large square in front of
the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Warsaw. He spoke after
a military band played the national anthem and cannons boomed
at a gathering that included German
Chancellor Angela Merkel and the presidents ofAfghanistan,
Ukraine, and Georgia, as well as thousands of Poles waving
Polish flags, and representatives of Polonia from around
PWA President Virigina Sikora
Trela Vander Noot represented PWA at the Mass which opened
the day's activities; at the military ceremony and wreath-laying
at the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier; as well as at the concert
held in Teatr Wielki in the evening and at the gala reception
The next day, President Sikora and Secretary-Treasurer Trela
Vander Noot visited Wspolnota Polska, where representatives
of Polonia from around the world met with the new Wspolnota
President Maciej Plazynski and where President Sikora addressed
the assembled guests.
They also visited the Institute
for Blind Children in Laski outside of Warsaw, which PWA
members have generously supported over the years. It was
the 104th birthday of Director Zofia Murawska who is herself
blind but still a vigorous and strong leader, clearly dedicated
to the children of Laski.
official observances of the 90th Anniversary of the Independence
of Poland were held in Warsaw on November 11, 2008. A wreath-laying
ceremony with full military honors took place at the Tomb
of the Unknown Soldier. The President of Poland and dignitaries
from around the world tool part in the observances.
Sikora and Secretary-Treasurer Trela Vander Noot also visited
the Institute for Blind Children at Laski. It was a very
special occasion as Director Zofia Murawska celebrated her
104th birthday on the day of their visit.
Virginia Sikora Visits Poland
as Head of PAC Charitable Foundation
PWA President Virginia Sikora is
currently serving a term as President of the Polish American
Congress Charitable Foundation. In that capacity, she recently
traveled to Poland, together with Legal Counsel and Vice
President for Financial Affairs Chris Nowotarski, to visit
institutions and charities that will be beneficiaries of
the Foundation in the coming year. During
their five-day stay in Warsaw, President Sikora and Mr.
Nowotarski visited the Institutes for the Deaf and for the
Blind in Warsaw, a school for underprivileged children in
Ksiazki, a small town north of Warsaw, as well as the Institute
for Blind Children in Laski. They
also visited with Jozef Cardinal Glemp, Primate of Poland,
and with Mr. Andrzej Stelmachowski, founder and outgoing
president of Wspolnota Polska. Mrs. Sikora had also planned
a visit with Irena Sendler, humanitarian, World War II hero,
Nobel Peace Price nominee, and Honorary Member of PWA, but
Mrs. Sendler was too ill to receive visitors that day. She
died on May 12th, a few days later. The
PWA also has a long history of bringing aid to the children
of Poland. The Dziecko Polskie Fund (Polish Children's Fund)
has received donations from thousands of PWA members over
the years and money from this fund has gone to support orphanages
run by Polish sisters, to purchase vans for crippled children
and equipment for a school bearing Maria Konopnicka's name,
and to assist blind children in Laski. All PWA presidents,
starting with Adela Lagodzinska, have visited Laski and
supported this amazing institution, which was founded by
a Franciscan sister in 1921. For over 90 years, Laski has
provided a loving, supportive community for the blind of
all ages, from kindergarten to high school and beyond, teaching
them basic skills, foreign languages, crafts, and trades.
The director of Laski is Pani Zofia Murawska, who although
partially blind herself, is still going strong at age 103.
Pani Marta Zielinska, one of the staff members at Laski,
and some of the children welcomed the guests from the United
States warmly. They presented Mrs. Sikora with a bouquet
of flowers and the children sang and recited poems.The
Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation has already
donated computers to the school in Ksiazki, and other donations
will be considered after Mrs. Sikora and Mr. Nowotarski
present their report to the Board. But Polish Women's Alliance
also promised to help - - in their own name: the Polish
Women's Alliance Charitable and Educational Foundation will
donate a system of lights used to teach blind children to
Laski. President. Sikora saw the lights in use in one of
the classrooms during her visit and when Pani Murawska told
her they needed another set for the children, she was happy
to say that Polish Women's Alliance would donate it! The
lights have already been ordered and are sitting in boxes
in the Home Office, packaged and ready to be sent overseas.
Dear Members: Contributions
to the Dziecko Polskie Fund are always welcome. Please make
your checks payable to the PWA Charitable and Educational
Foundation and write "Dziecko Polskie" in the
memo line. Please mail your checks to the PWA address at
6643 N. Northwest Hwy. 2nd Fl. Chicago, IL, 60631.
Jozef Cardinal Glemp, Primate of Poland
Mr. Stelmachowski, Wspolnota Polska
the children of Laski
the children of Laski
Memory of Irena Sendler
Sendler passed away on May 12th, 2008, in Warsaw, Poland.
She was 98 years old. Irena Sendler was a true heroine who,
as a young woman during World War II, saved 2,500 children
from deportation and certain death by smuggling them out of
the Jewish Ghetto. She was a social worker for a Catholic
charity in Warsaw and was able to go in and out of the Ghetto
as part of her job. She organized a clandestine organization
that helped find homes for the children. Her
life is a testament to the power that one individual has to
make a huge difference in the world and to triumph in the
face of evil. Her courage and selflessness, as well as her
love and respect for others, earned her accolades and awards
throughout her life, but she remained humble, always saying
that she felt that she should have done more. Irena
Sendler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, the
same year that she was officially recognized as a national
hero by the Polish parliament and the same year that she was
named Honorary Member of Polish Women's Alliance of America.
The resolution bestowing Honorary Membership on Sendler passed
unanimously at the 35th National Convention in Cleveland.
PWA President Virginia Sikora had planned to visit Mrs. Sendler
during a recent trip to Poland, but she was too ill to receive
visitors and died a few days later. PWA
officers and members join the world in honoring the life and
legacy of Irena Sendler - - hero, patriot, and humanitarian.
We offer condolences to her family and friends in Poland and
around the world. May she rest in peace. For
additional information, visit the memorial page at
THE IRENA SENDLER PROJECT
PWA Co-Hosts Reception for Founders of Irena Sendler Project
IL - As part of the Polish American Month Program at the Chicago
Public Library, the PAM Committee chaired by Maria Zakrzewska
invited the founding members of the Irena Sendler Project
to come to Chicago to speak about their work at the main downtown
branch of the library on Thursday, October 30, 2009. They
also showed a video presentation of the play about Irena Sendler
in a Jar." Prior
to the event at the library, a reception was held for the
visitors at the Polish Consulate in Chicago. Polish Women's
Alliance of America was one of the hosts of the reception.
The guests of honor were Megan Stewart-Felt and Norm Conard
from Kansas and Kinga Szymanska from Warsaw, Irena Sendler's
translator during the last two years of her life. The
story behind the Irena Sender Project is truly remarkable:
in 1999, four high school students (three freshmen and a junior)
from rural Kansas, working on an extracurricular National
History Day project, came across the story of an unknown heroine
in a far away land who had saved 2,500 children during World
War II. Nine years later the project continues
has taken the Kansas students to places they never expected.
girls knew from the start that they wanted a project that
would teach them more about the Holocaust and they knew that
they wanted their project to be in the form of a play. Their
teacher, Mr. Conard, gave them a box of old newspaper clippings
to look through, and there they found a short article on Irena
Sendler. They were amazed to read that she had saved 2,500
children from the Warsaw Ghetto, and they decided to learn
more. They were even more amazed when they found out that
Irena Sendler was still alive! They initiated a correspondence
with her and before long had her input and support for the
only did their play of Irena's life, "Life in a Jar"
win national recognition, it has since been performed over
250 times all over the world, and the media attention generated
by this story made Irena Sendler an internationally acclaimed
heroine when she was well into her 80s, earning her a nomination
for the Nobel Peace Prize. And it took the girls to Poland
to meet Mrs. Sendler and to establish a real friendship with
her. It also led to the founding of a special educational
foundation in Kansas that is devoted to helping schools teach
the Holocaust and to finding and documenting the lives of
other unsung heroes all over the world. The
four students from Uniontown High School in Uniontown, Kansas,
are now all married and all have graduated from college. Megan
Stewart-Felt is working at the Lowell Milken Center in Fort
Scott, Kansas. The LMC is an educational foundation developing
exciting history projects around the world, using unsung heroes
to teach respect of all people. Sabrina Coon-Murphy is teaching
kindergarten at an elementary school in Fort Scott, and saw
the birth of her first child in April of 2008. Elizabeth Cambers-Hutton
is living in the Lebanon, Missouri area and has graduated
from college and is married. Jessica Shelton-Ripper has graduated
from Pittsburgh State University and is planning on graduate
work in education, her daughter was born in August of 2007.
All four are still involved with the project. As
Mr. Conard, the girls' history teacher, likes to say, this
is a story about four Protestant girls who discovered and
brought to the world's attention the untold story a Polish
Catholic woman who had saved the lives of Jewish children.
learn more about their history project:
students' web site is here:
Irena Sendler was named an Honorary Member of Polish Women's
Alliance of America in 2007. She died in Warsaw on May 12,
caption: The photo at the top of the article shows a scene
from the play about Irena Sendler's life entitled "Life
in a Jar." Megan Stewart-Felt at right plays the role
of Irena Sendler. The words "Tikkum Olam" in the
photo mean "Repair the World" in Jewish.
WOMEN'S ALLIANCE OF AMERICA
CELEBRATES 110th ANNIVERSARY
OVER 200 MEMBERS AND GUESTS ATTEND GALA EVENING
Over 200 members, officers, and
friends of Polish Women's Alliance of America gathered
on Sunday, June 22, 2008, at the Café La Cave in
Des Plaines, Illinois, for a gala celebration of the 110th
anniversary of the organization. Guests of Honor included
The Right Reverend Thomas Paprocki, Auxiliary Bishop of
Chicago, and The Honorable.Zygmunt Matynia, Consul General
of the Republic of Poland. The guest speaker was Mr. Frank
Spula, President of the Polish American Congress and of
the Polish National AlliancePolish
Women's Alliance was established in Chicago in 1898 as
a fraternal benefit society for Polish women and their
families. Its mission was to support immigrant women by
helping them to achieve financial security as well as
by offering them a place to meet, socialize, and organize.
PWA members founded programs that helped preserve Polish
culture and language for their children; they also joined
the fight for women's right to vote, to pursue higher
education, and to enter the professions; and they supported
the cause of Poland's independence during both World Wars
and during the many years of communist rule, maintaining
contacts with Polish women and activists and supporting
charitable and religious institutions in Poland.One
hundred and ten years later, the Polish Women's Alliance
is still going strong with 50,000 members across the nation,
including men and boys. Its mission remains unchanged
from what the founders envisioned. The organization continues
to promote Polish culture and language; it offers financial
services to its members and supports its youth through
scholarships and other activities; it fosters leadership
and good citizenship by supporting the communities in
which it is active; and it continues to maintain close
contacts with people and charitable institutions in PolandIn
her remarks, National President Virginia Sikora stressed
what an extraordinary achievement an organization founded
for women by women was in 1898 - - all the more remarkable
since it was started by women who were immigrants, new
to this country, often poor and unskilled, seeking better
lives for themselves and their families. Today's members
include fifth and sixth-generation descendants of those
founders, as well as newly-arrived immigrants from Poland.
Today, many of our members are college-educated, they
represent all walks of life from politics to medicine
to education to business. But their dedication to family,
faith, and their Polish heritage is very much like it
was for PWA members a hundred and ten years ago.
President of Polish
National Alliance Frank Spula was the guest speaker and
he also addressed the extraordinary achievements of Polish
women in the last century, as they fought - - and won
- - the battles for greater freedoms for themselves, more
opportunities for their families, and independence for
the nation of their ancestors.
The Chairperson of the
Anniversary Gala was National Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette
Trela Vander Noot. The Mistress of Ceremonies was former
National Director of PWA from the state of Massachusetts
Jennie Starzyk Benton. The invocation was offered by Bishop
Thomas Paprocki. The siniging of the national Anthems was
led by Former District III State President Evelyn Lisek.
The toast was offered by Honorary President Helen V. Wojcik.
Awards to "Fraternalists of Distinction," chosen
by members from PWA Districts, were presented by National
Vice President Sharon Zago. The closing prayer was said
by Monsignor Walter Ziemba. A raffle was also held. Proceeds
from the event will be donated to PWA's general scholarship
fund as well as to the PWA National Scholarship Endowment
Fund. Music was provided by the Carl Linden Orchestra.
The following "Fraternalists
of Distinction" were honored at the Banquet. Sincere
congratulations all of these members for their many years
of service to Polish Women's Alliance of America.
District I Regina Solms
District II Sophie Emery
District III Josephine Kras
District VI Diane Reeve
District VII Irene Honc-Jadlos
District VIII Jennie Starzyk Benton
District IX Jadwiga Czerwinska
District X Marion Listwan
District XI Mary Kurtz
District XII Therese Violanti
District XIV Bertha Kuckla
of the Anniversary Banquet was Secretary Treasurer
Antoinette Trela Vander Noot, pictured here with
the Mistress of Ceremonies Jennie Starzyk Benton
from Massachusetts and National President Virginia
President of PWA Virginia Sikora with Auxiliary
Bishop of Chicago Thomas Paprocki at the 110th
President of PWA Virginia Sikora (second from
right) with special guests at the 110th Anniversary
Banquet of PWA, from left, President of PNA Frank
Spula, Monsignor Walter Ziemba of Orchard Lake,
and Consul General of the Republic of Poland Zygmunt
Matynia and his wife Bozenna.
Executive Officers at the 110th Anniversary Banquet,
seated, from left: Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette
Trela Vander Noot, National President Virginia
Sikora, Honorary President Helen V. Wojcik, and
Vice President Sharon Zago. Standing, National
Directors Helen Simmons, Dawn Muszynski Nelson,
Marcia Mackiewicz Duffy, and Felicia Perlick.
Presidents at the 110th Anniversary Banquet.
of the Youth Committee, Monica Moriarty, Daniel
Sasula, Ryan Thompson, Ann Miklas, and Ambrose
Kucharski, with District XIII President Alicia
Van Laar at the Banquet.
the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown,
AWARDED HERITAGE GRANT
PWA has been allocated
$3,260 through the Heritage Preservation CAP Program in Washington,
to hire a professional
conservator to assess our artifacts and library collections.
The assessment will be
a blueprint for conserving these PWA artifacts,
wood artifacts and furniture,
metalwork/metal sculpture, historic objects, library/archival
materials, photographic materials, stone artifacts and sculpture,
textiles and costume, and valuable treasures
such as the original letter
to PWA from Madame Curie.
Vice President Sharon
Zago and Treasurer Barbara Miller will work together on this
to ensure its completion.
Our acceptance of the
2007 Heritage Grant and The Conservation Assessment Program
is the first step in obtaining
additional funding to begin the actual preservation work. It
great privilege to continue
the work set forth by our dedicated PWA forebearers. Lets
leave our PWA legacy to
our PWA children, our leaders of tomorrow.
RISING" Video Available at PWA Home Office
Komitet Oswiaty has
obtained the DVD and VHS versions of the "Warsaw Rising"
documentary and it is now available with a selection of poetry
inspired by the War to be used at your District, Council,
and Group meetings. A deposit is necessary to use the film.
To reserve the film or to obtain the poetry, please contact
the office of the Vice President at 888-522-1898 Ext. 1208.
A sample poem from the collection follows.
The Girl Scout - Harcerka
When she was dying in
she told her girlfriends she was ashamed
-after all there was a war on, she was a soldier-
she really was ashamed but could she ask
she really had never been to a party
after she died could they dress her up in the dress with lace.
When she died they dressed
her in that dress
and all four came to attention by her bed
and stood there for an hour. Anna Swirszczynska
Alliance of America
6643 N. Northwest Hwy., Chicago, Illinois, 60631
The phone number
will remain 1-888-522-1898.
E-mail addresses will remain unchanged.
Our phone numbers are the same but
please note NEW extensions!!
Please note that after our move, the
main telephone numbers have remained the same, but the extensions
are now a little different. The number "1" has been
dropped from the extensions. Please keep a copy of the extensions
listed below for your use.
These main numbers are unchanged:
Main Number 847-384-1200
Toll-free Number 888-522-1898
Fax number 847-384-1494
Web site www.pwaa.org
If you would like to reach someone in the office and you know
your party's extension, you can dial the extension number
right after you hear the "Welcome to the PWA" message.
If you do not know your party's extension
but know the name of the person you are calling, then right
after the welcome message you should press the pound sign
(#) and enter the first 4 letters of the person's last name
and you will be connected with that person.
If you are calling to take care of one
of the following business matters, please dial the extensions
as listed below
New membership and sales Bo Padowski
228 or press 1
Billing & cash withdrawals Teresa Makowski 218 or press
Loans or death claims Barbara Ciepiela 227 or press 3
Accounting Wladzia Bula 216 or press 4
For the address and business hours information press 6
For all other inquires Grace Dubowski 226 or press 7
In addition to the above choices you can also contact the
following offices by dialing the extension right after the
President, Virginia Sikora 201
Vice President, Sharon Zago 208
Secretary-Treasurer, Antoinette Trela-Vander Noot 206
Accounting, Wladzia Bula 216
Office Manager, Maryla Folmer 220
General inquires, Grace Dubowski 226
Secretary to President Sikora 201
Secretary to National Secretary 210
Editorial Office, Glos Polek 217
If the person at the selected telephone
extension is not able to answer the telephone within 4 rings,
you should leave a voice mail message, clearly stating your
name and telephone number and someone will call you back as
soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Oswiaty Is Looking to Add PWA History Books to Community
Library Collections Nationwide
- Please join in the effort -
Komitet Oswiaty has recently taken
on the project of finding homes for our cherished PWA history.
Available in English is the recently published history book
about our organization entitled In the Ideals of Women is
the Strength of a Nation, published in 2003 by Donald and
Angela Pienkos, ISBN 0880335300, Library of Congress Control
We also have copies of previously written history books available
in the Polish language. Volume II of the History of Polish
Women's Alliance of America covers the years 1939-1959. It
was written by former editor Maria Lorys and published in
1980. Volume III published in 1981 was written by former National
President Helena Zielinska, spanning the years 1959-1981.
If you are involved in your community library or know of a
community library that could use these books in their public
circulation, please contact Vice President Sharon Zago at
1-888-522-1898 Ext. 1208.
Let's all work together to share our rich history with as
many community libraries as possible!
ARCHIVES TO THE NEWBERRY LIBRARY
and is Recognized by Polish Geneaological
Society with the "Wigilia" Medal
Speakers at the Luncheon included,
from left Director Rosalie Lindberg of the Polish Genealogical
Society of America, author and Newberry Associate Grace
Du Mehl, PWA President Virginia Sikora, Jack Simpson of
the Newberry Library, PWA Treasurer Barbara Miller, and
"Glos Polek" Editor Mary Piergies.
Chicago, IL-On Thursday,
September 7, 2006, a special celebration took place at the
prestigious Newberry Library of Chicago, one of the largest
private libraries in the country. The PWA had donated a significant
portion of its archives to the library's Local and Family
History Department earlier in the year, and the luncheon marked
the official presentation of PWA archives to the Newberry
During the move from the large home office in Park Ridge to
smaller quarters in Chicago, the need for a suitable space
for PWA records became very clear. The records needed to be
stored and preserved correctly, as well as catalogued and
made accessible to the public, especially to scholars and
historians. The Polish Genealogical Society of America provided
assistance in this project and PWA gratefully acknowledges
their support. In addition, PWA was advised by Mr. David A.
Joens, Director of the Illinois State Archives.
After months of effort and deliberation, the Newberry Library
in Chicago was selected as the repository for the Polish Women's
Alliance records. The Library provides excellent storage,
together with professional restoration and preservation services,
and their collections are available to researchers and scholars
of local and family history from all over the world.
The celebration began with words of welcome to the assembled
guests from PWA Treasurer Barbara Miller, who was the chairperson
of this event. Her remarks were followed by a short history
of Polish Women's Alliance and how the organization started,
over 100 years ago in Chicago, by Editor of "Glos Polek"
Mary Piergies. President Virginia Sikora then delivered her
remarks and officially presented the PWA archives to Mr. Jack
Simpson, Curator of the Family and Local History Department
at the New-berry. She also gave him a copy of a photograph
taken at the very first National Convention of the PWA.
Mr. Simpson thanked the PWA for the historic donation and
said that the work on the records would begin shortly. All
the insurance applications would be catalogued and filed in
acid-free folders and the other records would also be preserved
and stored. He asked for Polish-speaking volunteers in the
coming year to help with some of the translations. The PWA
records should be available to the public in about a year's
The next speaker was Rosalie Lindberg, Director of the Polish
Genealogical Society who commended the PWA on making this
donation which will make family research so much easier for
the thousands of Polish Americans who are interested in discovering
their family roots. The PGSA was holding its convention in
the Chicago area and its officers and many members were present
at the luncheon.
The final speaker was Grace DuMelle, an author and associate
at the Newberry. She stressed how significant the PWA archives
were because women's histories are very hard to research.
Women did not vote or own property or graduate from schools
in significant numbers or even become US citizens in their
own names, so up to the 1930s there is very little primary
source material available about their lives. The PWA records
will provide a wealth of information about women, their families,
and their lives for a period in our nation's history when
very little specific historic information is on the record.
The Newberry Library and all its staff were clearly very excited
at the PWA donation. A tour of the Library concluded the event.
IS RECOGNIZED WITH THE WIGILIA AWARD
PWA Treasurer Barbara
Miller accepts the Wigilia Award from PGSA President Mr. Edmund
recognition of PWA's donation of its archives to a public
institution where they will be more accessible to family historians,
the Polish Geneaological Society of America presented the
"Wigilia Award" to the PWA during a special luncheon
held on Saturday, September 9, 2006,
in Schaumburg, IL. The medal and award letter are posted here,
The luncheon included a colorful performance by the PNA Folk
Dancers. The Polish Genealogical Society was founded in 1978
and its mission is to collect, preserve, and disseminate information
on Polish and Polish American history.