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1920 – 2017


Members and officers of Polish Women’s Alliance of America mourn the passing of Honorary President Helen V. Wojcik on March 28, 2017, in Summit, Illinois. She was 96 years old. She was predeceased by her husband of 52 years, Stanley, and her brothers Joseph, Alex, and John Siwek, and by her sisters Jeanette (Chwierut) and Alice (Stec). She is survived by her brother Frank Siwek of Florida; her children Nancy Workman (Gaylord), Kenneth (Karin), Marlene Radcliffe (Guy), and Larry (Eileen); her grandchildren Cassandra Workman (Keith Williams), Marlana Radcliffe (Zachery Tracer), and Michelle and Jacqueline Wojcik; and great-grandchildren Damian and Elijah Williams. She was also a loving aunt and great-aunt to many nieces and nephews, all of them members of PWA. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Helen Wojcik and to her fellow members in Group 743 and Council 13.

Helen Wojcik was born on September 15, 1920, in Chicago to Frank and Weronika Siwek, both immigrants from Poland. She spent her entire life in Chicago and was very active, both in her Polish parish and in many Polish American organizations. Her mother was a dedicated member of PWA and took on leadership roles in the organization, at the group, council, and district levels; and she bequeathed to her daughter a love of the PWA, volunteerism, activism, and all things Polish. Helen started out as a member of her Garland and quickly became a hard-working member of her Group, participating in meetings, conferences, and fundraisers. In due course, she took on further leadership roles and by 1971, she ran for national office as Vice President and served in that role for 16 years under President Helena Zielinski. After President Zielinski retired, Helen Wojcik succeeded her as National President and served for two terms, from 1987 to 1995.

Helen Wojcik’s life spanned the major events of the 20th century and accompanied PWA’s incredible growth and achievements in those decades. She was witness to turbulent and historic events in Poland – from World War II and the communist regime that followed, through the election of Pope John Paul II and the rise of Solidarity, to the election of the first democratic government in Poland after 50 years of occupation and communist rule. Much of this history played out under Helen Wojcik’s tenure as president.

When she was elected to her first term, Poland was in its last years under communism and when the first partially free democratic elections were held in 1990, a new era of open cooperation between Poland and Polonia was about to begin. President Wojcik traveled to Poland numerous times, meeting with representatives of the new government and of charitable institutions, as well as with other political, religious, and cultural leaders. She was part of the Polish American delegation that accompanied the remains of Ignacy Jan Paderewski to his final resting place in Warsaw in 1990, and she was there in 1992 with Vice President Delphine Lytell and Glos Polek editor Maria Lorys when specially equipped vans for handicapped children funded by PWA members were delivered to two institutions in Tarnów and Kudowa Zdrój. She also traveled to Rome to meet with Pope John Paul II.

In the US, she served for many years as Vice President of the Polish American Congress (PAC) and in that capacity participated in the outreach and fundraising activities needed to help PAC fulfill its mission, both at home and in Poland. She served as Co-Chair of the PAC Committee for the refurbishment of the Statue of Liberty and establishment of the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island in 1985, raising over a million dollars from the Polish American community. She met with four sitting US Presidents, including Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

At PWA, Helen Wojcik oversaw the computerization of the organization’s insurance records, billing, and sales, as well the computerization of the production of the Glos Polek, all big steps and considerable changes to the way PWA conducted its day-to-day business. She introduced a series of sales seminars in the states where PWA was active and brought about a professionalization of the sales force, along with the promotion of many new insurance products.

As Honorary President she was instrumental in 1998, the year of PWA’s 100th Anniversary, in the effort to grant Honorary Membership to Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, a member of PWA since birth and a true supporter of Polish American causes. This was the first Honorary Membership awarded by the PWA in over 50 years since Helena Sikorska was honored in 1943. Helen Wojcik retired after two terms in office and was granted the title of Honorary President in 1995. Delphine Lytell succeeded her as National President.

Helen Wojcik continued to serve as an advisor to the National Board after her retirement and also continued to remain very active in PWA activities. A few years ago, a Scholarship Endowment Fund in her name was established and it is hoped that this will be a way that Helen Wojcik will continue to touch the lives of PWA members in the future. She will also live on in our memories.

May she rest in peace. Czesc Jej Pamieci!

Installation Dinner, 1991: from left in front row: National Treasurer Olga Kaszewicz, Vice President Delphine Lytell, National President Helen V. Wojcik, Honorary President Helena Zielinski, and Secretary General Maria Kubiak. In back row, from left: National Directors Lillian Pesdan, Regina Solms, Virginia Sikora, Clementine Mashinski, and Albina Swierzbinska.


From left, Maryland State President Victoria Lukaszewska, U.S. Senator from Maryland and long time
PWA member Barbara Mikulski, and President Helen Wojcik, presenting an award to Senator Mikulski.


From left, Vice President Delphine Lytell, National President Helen Wojcik, and a young friend in Poland, during the presentation of two specially equipped vans for handicapped children donated by PWA members to two institutions
in Poland for special needs children in Tarnow and Kudowa Zdroj.


Honorary President Helen V. Wojcik (right), Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski (center) and National
Treasurer Olga Kaszewicz (left) in Chicago in 1996 during a book signing of
Mikulski’s book, “Capitol Offense.”
PWA members who joined the event pictured in the back row include District III President Evelyn Lisek
and President Delphine Lytell.




- Celebrating Women's Ethnic Voices -


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



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



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

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

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

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



Part of an International study with Jagiellonian University

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



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

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

Please take our recruitment survey here: bitly.com/StoLat2

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

If you have any questions, you can contact Mary Rogers or Katie Lee, the graduate students in charge of the project (email: rogers10@illinois.edu or kmlee6@illinois.edu) or their advisor Dr. Kate Clancy at the University of Illinois (email: kclancy@illinois.edu). Thank you!




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


Antoinette Trela

Lucyna Migala






The Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation (PACCF) is again sponsoring a Cultural Program for American teenagers of Polish descent in the summer of 2017. This has been made possible due to the success of several previous summer programs.

This time we will be sending one group of 25 participants ages 13 to 15. Participation is open to members of the four Polish Fraternals, and the Polish American Congress on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to allow as many students as possible the experience of such a trip, previous participants will not be eligible. The group will depart from Chicago on Saturday, July 8, 2017, and will return on Saturday, July 22, 2017. Participants will be chaperoned during their travel to and from Poland and for the duration of their stay in Poland.

This year, the program is organized through the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, which has a long history of offering excellent study programs to students from foreign nations. The program will include 45 hours of Polish language instruction provided by teachers trained to work with young people. A placement test will be administered on the first day to determine students' knowledge of Polish and classes will be structured accordingly. Sightseeing tours of Kraków, Zakopane, the Wieliczka Salt Mine, and Nidzica Castle are planned, along with sports activities, dance workshops, and film showings.

The cost for the trip is $2,600 per person. This includes round-trip airfare, lodging, all meals, luxury coach transport, and entry fees to venues. Of this cost, participants will pay $900 and the PACCF will pay the balance of $1,700 per person. A non-refundable deposit of $450 is due no later than April 15th, 2017 and the balance is due by June 1st. Deposits should be sent with the form below. (Deposit will be returned only if your child is not selected.)

Please click here to download the Application Form.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact AlinaSlomiany at 773-763-9942 at PACCF or Antoinette Trela at 847-384-1206 at PWA.




We are happy to once again offer this opportunity for PWA members ages 3 to 14 to win Cash Card Prizes in
the 2017 Easter Coloring Contest. Contest Rules follow. The deadline is postmark April 15, 2017.

You can download the coloring picture here.


1. Download the Glos Polek as a PDF and print out the picture on page 10, or download
the picture directly from the link above, color it, then send to:

PWA Coloring Contest
Polish Women's Alliance of America
6643 N. Northwest Hwy, 2 FL, Chicago, IL, 60631

2. Deadline: Postmark April 15, 2017

3. Please include the following information on a separate sheet of paper, attached to your coloring picture:
Name, Age, Address, PWA Group Number, Telephone Number, and Email Address.

4. Contest is for PWA members only, ages 3 to 14.

5. Prizes - the following prizes will be awarded in each age category:

* 1st Place: $50 Gift Card
* 2nd Place: $25 Gift Card
* 3rd Place: $10 Gift Card
* Honorable Mentions: Five Participation Certificates

6. Age Categories - there are five age categories: 3 - 4 years; 5 - 6 years; 7 - 8 years; 9 - 11 years; 12 -14 years.

Questions? Call the Home Office at 888-522-1898
or send email to pwaa@pwaa.org




Our selections for the first quarter of 2017 are two books about World War II hero Irena Sendler who, as a young woman, saved thousands of children from the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto from certain death. There is also a young adult version of the book that you may want to share with your children ages 12 and up. Both books are available from Amazon.com. Irena Sendler is an Honorary Member of PWA.

The Extraordinary Story of the Woman Who Saved Thousands of Children from the Warsaw Ghetto
By Tilar J. Mazzeo

Young Readers Edition: A True Story of Courage
By Tilar J. Mazzeo, adapted by Mary Cronk Farrell (ages 12 plus)

From bestselling author Tilar Mazzeo comes the extraordinary story of Irena Sendler-the "female Oskar Schindler"-who took staggering risks to save 2,500 children from death and deportation in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. Irena Sendler was a young Polish social worker living in Warsaw during World War II. The book relates her incredible story of survival and selflessness, set during one of the worst times in modern history. As the leader of the children's section of the underground organization Zegota, the Catholic Sendler, with guts of steel, daring cunning, and unfaltering courage, smuggled thousands of children out of the walled Jewish ghetto, at times among dirty linen or in coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through the dank sewers and into secret passages that led to abandoned buildings, where she convinced her friends and the resistance network to hide them.

This heroic tale of survival and resilience in the face of impossible odds tells the true story of a bold woman, overlooked by history, who risked her life to save innocent children from the horrors of the Holocaust. The Gestapo caught up with Sendler in 1943, but she didn't break under torture. Sentenced to execution, she was able to escape, as Zegota members managed to bribe the prison guards. Sendler survived the war and her bravery was honored with Israeli recognition as Righteous Among the Nations, personal praise from Pope John Paul II, and Poland's highest civilian decoration, the Order of the White Eagle. In 2007, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, the same year she was designated ninth Honorary Member of the PWA. Sendler died in 2008 at the age of 98 with several of the persons she saved as children at her bedside.

Tilar J. Mazzeo is a cultural historian, biographer, and enthusiastic student of wine and food culture. She divides her time among Vancouver Island, British Columbia, New York City, and Maine, where she is a professor of English at Colby College.

Mary Cronk Farrell is an award-winning author of Children's/Young Adult books with a passion for stories about people facing adversity with courage.

Please send comments and reviews via email to pwaa@pwaa.org with the subject line "Book Club." We'll be happy to post them online.





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

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

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

Thank you! Bog zaplac!



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

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

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




On January 22, 2017, The Polish Museum of America in Chicago celebrated the 80th anniversary of its founding. The elegant evening was held in the Sabina P. Logish Great Hall of the Museum, with many distinguished guests from the Polish American community in attendance, including many members of Polish Women's Alliance of America. There is a long history of cooperation between the two organizations with PWA officers serving on the Board of the Museum and PWA member Maria Ciesla having served as a longtime former President. Current President of the Museum Richard Owsiany, Director of the Museum MalgorzataKot, and PRCUA President Joseph Drobot spoke to the guests, revisiting the history of the PMA as well as its many contributions and milestones.

The official opening of the Museum took place 80 years ago, on January 12, 1937, in the Polish Roman Catholic Union Auditorium on Milwaukee Avenue. Among the participants were representatives of the Polish government, Polish American organizations, and Chicago dignitaries. During the ceremony PRCUA President Joseph Kania stated in his speech: "In the Archives and Museum, which we established in the PRCUA Headquarters, we want to collect, neither for us nor for this organization, but for the whole Polish American community, all the most precious memorabilia, which will be handed over to future generations. We dedicate the Polish Museum at the PRCUA to the Polish American community, may it always serve for the glory of the whole community in the most beautiful and useful way." PWA was one of the founding members of PMA and has supported the Museum during the 80 years of its existence.

Over the decades, the Polish Museum has fulfilled its mission as custodian of the archives of Polish emigration to the U.S. and of the Polish American community. Its collections span a wide range of categories-visual art and sculpture, numismatics, ceramics, photographs, textiles, costumes, folk art, armor, documents, and memorabilia, to list a few. The Library of the Polish Museum (founded over 100 years ago) is the premier assembly in the country of books in both Polish and English. A highlight of the Museum is the Paderewski Room, a collection rich with artifacts and information reflecting the career and life of the musician, diplomat, and humanitarian, Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

The 2017 celebrations took place under the splendid large-scale painting by Polish artist Stanislaw KaczorBatowski (1866-1946), Pulaski at Savannah (1933). Acquired by the Polish Women's Alliance in 1939, this powerful work of art was donated to the Museum by the PWA in 1941 as a gesture of collegiality and support for the institution that benefits all Polonia in America, thus assuring the picture's accessibility to the public.

In photo above, from right, PWA members in attendance at the anniversary celebration: EwaCholewinski, Barbara Ciepiela, Lidia Rozmus, Lidia Filus, and Czeslawa Kolak. Also, Ryszard Owsiany, Joseph Drobot, Judith Drobot, and Malgorzata Kot.

Congratulations to the Polish Museum of America
on its 80th Anniversary!





-Download Donation Form from Link Below-

A Christmas Luncheon and Fundraiser, hosted by Council 27, was held at the PWA Home Office in Chicago on Sunday, December 11, 2016. Over 50 people gathered to support our collaboration with the Women & Leadership Archives at Loyola University Chicago (WLA) on preserving PWA archives donated to the university in the past year. Secretary-Treasurer of PWA Antoinette Trela and Council 27 President Bo Padowski welcomed the guests. Nancy Freeman, Director of WLA, and Bozena Nowicka McLees, Director of the Polish Studies Program at Loyola, were presenters and they explained how Loyola will be working with PWA and conservation experts on preserving the documents and photos that were donated to them by PWA and on making them accessible to students and scholars from around the world. Donations for the project were presented to Nancy Freeman and Bozena Nowicka McLees, and proceeds from Sunday’s event will also be channeled to Loyola for their work on PWA archives.

A musical performance by Farid Ishnikayaev, violinist, and a presentation by Glos Polek editor Mary Piergies about Polish Christmas Traditions completed the program. A Holiday Gift Table with books, calendars, and Christmas ornaments was also available to the guests. Three raffles were held (a Cash Raffle, a Book Raffle, and a Jewelry Raffle) to raise more funds for this worthwhile cause.

Special thanks to all donors and organizers who contributed support to our event as well as to those who donated raffle prizes: Council 27, Group 211, Group 693, Antoinette (Trela) and John Schoen, Bo Padowski, Mary Derwinski, Maryla Folmer, Barbara Mirecki, Mary Piergies, Donna Urbikas, and D&Z House of Books.

Photos below taken by Ryszard Makowski.


PWA Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette Trela (center) presented donations for the PWA Archives Preservation Project
to Nancy Freeman, Director of WLA (at left) and Bozena Nowicka McLees, Director of the Polish Studies Program at Loyola

From left, Barbara Miller, Mary Derwinski, and Antoinette Trela


From left, Iwona Puc-Piechocka, Teresa Makowski, Helena Martinez, Mary Piergies, and Michal Niemkiewicz


From left, Barbara Mirecki, Antoinette Trela, Farid Ishkinyaev, Bo Padowski, and Mary Piergies

Violinist Farid Ishkinyaev performed three classical compositions and a medley of Christmas carols

Barbara Mirecki of Group 693 at the Holiday Gift Table

A warm buffet luncheon catered by Red Apple Restaurant was served

Guests at the PWA Christmas Luncheon and Fundraiser

Michal Niemkiewicz and Magdalena Hornik

Nancy Freeman, Director of WLA, during her presentation


Special thanks to all donors and organizers who contributed support to our event as well as to those who donated raffle prizes: Council 27, Group 211, Group 693, Antoinette (Trela) and John Schoen, Bo Padowski, Mary Derwinski, Maryla Folmer, Barbara Mirecki, Mary Piergies, Donna Urbikas, and D&Z House of Books.

To make a contribution in support of the PWA Archives Preservation Project at Loyola University WLA, please download the donation form here.

Photos: Ryszard Makowski






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

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






Continuing our series highlighting achievements and contributions of Polish Americans, we focus on two women who have distinguished themselves in service to our country in the political arena -- a senator and a congresswoman. PWA member and US Senator Barbara Mikulski just retired after serving for 30 years. Both she and Representative Marcy Kaptur hold the records for the longest serving women in Congress — and both of them are proud Polish Americans!



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




KRAKOW, JULY 26 - 31, 2016


Krakow's World Youth Days 2016 are scheduled from Tuesday, July 26th, through Sunday, July 31st. Pope Francis will arrive in Krakow on Wednesday, July 27th. There are plans for four mass-audience events with the Holy Father. Youth Day delegates will welcome Pope Francis in the afternoon of Thursday, July 28th, on the Krakow Blonie common, a five-minute walk west from the Old Town historic center. A Way of the Cross will take place on Friday, July 29th at 5:30 p.m. A prayer vigil will be held on Saturday, July 30th, starting at 7:30 p.m. Finally, Pope Francis will celebrate an open-air Mass on Sunday, July 31st. The last two events will take place in the Brzegi area of Wieliczka, just outside of the Krakow city limits, which will be able to accommodate millions of pilgrims.

The 2016 World Youth Day in Krakow is to be the second such event held in Poland. The previous one took place in Czestochowa in 1991 with Pope John Paul II attending. Over 1.5 million participants from all over the world gathered together that summer, and an even greater number of young people are expected to descend on Krakow in 2016 to meet the Holy Father here and pray with him.

The organizers have already reserved all students dormitories in Krakow for 2016 WYD participants, but many will need to find other lodgings so it is crucial to book accommodations in Krakow as soon as possible, if you are planning to attend. Millions of people of all ages are expected in Krakow this summer to take part in WYD and to see the Pontiff.

Pope Francis will also travel to Czestochowa to participate in observances celebrating the 1050th anniversary of Poland’s Christianity, and to Auschwitz to meet with survivors of the infamous Nazi concentration camp.

The motto of the 2016 World Youth Days in Krakow is “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy,” one of the eight beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount.


World Youth Days 2016 will take place in Kraków, Poland, from Tuesday, July 26, to Sunday, July 31, 2016. The schedule of central events at WYD 2016 will follow the traditional pattern as previous World Youth Days. Pope Francis will attend and take part in the celebrities. The Pontiff will also attend ceremonies marking the 1050th Anniversary of the Baptism of Poland and he will visit the Shrine of Our Lady in Czestochowa and meet with survivors of the Nazi concentration camp in Auschwitz.

• Tuesday, July 26: Opening Mass with Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Kraków
• Thursday, July 28: Welcome Ceremony for the Holy Father, Pope Francis
• Friday, July 29: Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) with Pope Francis
• Saturday, July 30: Evening Vigil with Pope Francis
• Sunday, July 31: Concluding Mass with Pope Francis

The organizers hope that 2016 will be an opportunity for pilgrims to discover the origins of World Youth Day, as Kraków was the place where Karol Wojtila was formed, inspired, and called to serve Christ and the Church as a young person himself. As Cardinal Dziwisz said to the WYD delegates and organizers from around the world who gathered in Rome this spring, "To truly know a poet, one must visit that poet's homeland. To truly know St. John Paul II and World Youth Day, one must come to Kraków."

Registration for WYD 2016 is now open. Group leaders should go to www.krakow2016.com/en/
to begin the registration process for their groups.






On April 14, 966 AD, a year after his marriage to the Christian Princess Dobrawa of Bohemia, the pagan ruler of the Polans tribe, Mieszko I, was baptized and converted to Christianity. This event is considered to be the founding of the Polish nation and marks the entry of Poland into the community of Western European Christian states.

As with most high-ranking marriages at the time, Mieszko’s was a political alliance, and the baptism was a political, rather than a spiritual, conversion. Some two years before his baptism, Mieszko began negotiations with the Bohemian ruler, Boleslav I the Cruel. Those negotiations resulted in Mieszko marrying Boleslav’s daughter, Dobrawa, sometime in 965. Because she was Christian, Mieszko was to be baptized, as part of the marriage agreement. This act would bring his state closer to the Bohemians, decrease the likelihood of attacks from German forces invading under the pretense of bringing Christianity to pagan nations, and neutralize the power of Poland’s influential pagan priests, who were blocking Mieszko’s efforts to centralize Polish rule. Though the exact date is unknown, it is believed that Mieszko was baptized on or around 14 April 966, which would have been Easter Monday of that year.

In accepting Christian baptism, Mieszko effectively baptized the entire Polish nation. The consequences were considerable. Poland entered the community of Western European Latin-rite Christian states. He did this not only for spiritual and moral reasons, but for political and national security ones. The Holy Roman Empire–-as well as any other Christian country in Europe-–theoretically had the right to attack Poland under pretext of bringing Christianity to the Poles. By accepting Christianity, Mieszko neutralized that threat. Though the pagan priest caste in Poland organized many rebellions, and it was centuries before the majority of Poles followed suit and converted, Mieszko’s baptism invited the spread of Latin culture and literacy into Poland, moving the allegiance of the country towards the West (Europe), rather than the East (Russia), and this had enormous consequences throughout the history of Poland and determined its place in Europe over the last one thousand years. The Christianization of Poland restructured the state’s power elite, downgrading traditional tribal elders and pagan priests and upgrading incoming clergy who helped education, culture, and diplomacy to flourish in Poland, and placed it firmly in the sphere of Western European culture, traditions, and politics.

By the 13th century, Roman Catholicism became the dominant religion in Poland, although it did take over 200 years to accomplish this goal and to diminish pagan influences in the culture. Today, Poland continues to be a majority Catholic country and Poles celebrate the day that Christianity was introduced to the nation with many religious, cultural, and political observances.

During this 1050th anniversary year, many concerts, exhibitions, rallies, and religious observances are planned throughout Poland, with a visit by Pope Francis scheduled for late July, where he will participate in Krakow’s World Youth Days from July 26th to July 31st. The Pontiff will arrive in Poland on July 27th. In the U.S., the major event will be held at the Orchard Lake Schools in Michigan on June 22nd. Many other Polish American organizations, institutions, and parishes are planning observances and celebrations as well. Please let us know if your District, Council, or Group is organizing an event to celebrate the 1050th anniversary of Poland’s baptism and nationhood.

Mieszko I - Prince of Poland
and his wife Princess Dobrawa


Mieszko I (ca. 940 – May 25, 992) was the ruler of the Slavic Polans tribe from about 960 AD until his death. A member of the Piast dynasty, Mieszko became the first Christian ruler of Poland and is considered the de facto creator of the Polish state. He continued the policies of his father and grandfather, who were rulers of the pagan tribes located in the area of present-day Greater Poland (Wielkopolska). Both through alliances and through the use of military force, Mieszko extended Polish conquests and, early in his reign, subjugated Kujawy, Gdansk, Pomorze, and Mazowsze and made them part of the Polish state. For most of his reign, Mieszko was involved in warfare for the control of Western Pomerania (Zachodnie Pomorze), eventually conquering it up to the vicinity of the lower Oder River. During the last years of his life, he fought the Bohemian state, winning Silesia (Slask) and Lesser Poland (Malopolska).

Mieszko’s marriage in 965 to the Bohemian princess Dobrawa and his baptism in 966 put him and his country firmly in the cultural sphere of Western Christianity. Apart from the great conquests accomplished during his reign (which proved to be fundamental for the future of Poland), Mieszko was also renowned for his internal reforms. On his death in 992, he left to his son, Boleslaw Chrobry, the first crowned king of Poland, a country with greatly expanded territories and a well-established position in Europe.






President of Poland Andrzej Duda and Maria Mirecka Lorys


Congratulations and Best Wishes to Maria Mirecka Lorys who celebrated her 100th birthday on February 7, 2016, in Nisko, Poland. Mrs. Lorys, a longtime member and officer of Group 693 and a former officer of Council 27, also served as the Polish
editor of Glos Polek for over 30 years. She retired a few years ago, moving from Chicago to her family’s home in Raclawice in southeastern Poland. Her health is excellent and she continues to write and travel and she actively supports many charitable causes, both in Poland and in the U.S. Over 130 guests gathered to celebrate her birthday on Saturday, February 6, 2016, at a reception in Nisko. Her daughter Ewa Regulski with husband Michal, and her son Jan Lorys with wife Carleen were present, as was Group 693 President Grazyna Migala. Before the reception a Mass was held, concelebrated by 12 priests as well as the Bishop of the Diocese of Sandomierz, Krzysztof Nitkiewicz.

On Friday, February 12, 2016, Mrs. Lorys was honored at an awards ceremony held at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, where the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda presented her with the Polonia Restituta medal and lauded her for her many achievements — from her work as a young woman in the Polish Underground during World War II to her support of Poland during the years of communist rule to her current charitable work for Polish families living in the Ukraine. He said that her life exemplifies courage, dedication, selflessness, and patriotism. We send our sincere congratulations to Mrs. Lorys and wish her much health and happiness in many more years to come. Szczesc Boze!

You can see a video of the presentation ceremony here:




Work is steadily progressing on the interior and exterior renovations for the Anawim Women’s Shelter (a 501 ( c ) 3 Not For Profit) located in the Humboldt Park area in Chicago, IL, thanks to the ongoing support from the Polish-American community and other generous individuals and businesses here in Illinois and beyond.

Most of the labor, including the architect, general contractor, tradesmen, and other workers have pledged their services pro bono. In addition, residents of the Anawim Men’s Shelter located on the grounds of Holy Trinity Mission Church, also in Chicago, are providing their labor, in appreciation for the assistance and shelter that they have been given, in their time of need.

Currently, the plumbing is being put into place so that the cement can be poured for the lower level floor, after which all electrical and HVAC work will be completed. Beams are being put into place on all three levels, after which insulation and dry wall will be installed. New windows that were purchased at a greatly reduced price, due to a generous donation are being delivered in the coming weeks. While there is still much work ahead, the progress being made on a weekly basis brings this much-needed project closer to becoming a reality. Completion is anticipated by mid-2016.

Part of the criteria for being considered a resident of the shelter is that the women must be actively participating in a substance-abuse program, or have successfully completed a program, but now need help and/or a safe place to stay while they get back on their feet. As with the men’s shelter, those who are able to hold down either part-time or full-time work must contribute something back to Anawim. Those who are not able to work are assigned duties within the shelter, including rotations of cooking, cleaning, and other duties. Everyone is expected to give back in some way for the help they receive.

The PWA Charitable & Educational Foundation is again proud to offer our support to the Anawim Women’s Shelter project this holiday season, but we need your help. Earlier this year, through the generous donations made to the PWA Charitable & Educational Foundation – Anawim Project, we presented Teresa Mirabella, President of the Anawim with a check in the amount of $ 5000. This Christmas season, we would like to surpass that amount.

We ask for your generosity to assist those less fortunate within Polonia. Donations to the PWA Charitable & Educational Foundation (a 501 ( c ) 3 Not For Profit) are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you are able to participate in this fundraiser, please click on the link below, download and print the donation form, and return to us with your check. Thank You and God Bless You!

Click here to download Donation Form






The drawing of the winning tickets in the PWA Charitable & Educational Foundation National Raffle took place on Sunday, August 16, 2015, at the Polish Center of Wisconsin, in Franklin, WI, during a luncheon following the PWA Memorial Mass held at St. Josaphat’s Basilica in Milwaukee, WI. National President Delphine Huneycutt drew the winning tickets, assisted by District VI President Diane Reeve and Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette Trela. Sincere thanks to all who supported
our National Raffle. Bóg zaplac!




Lucky Second Prize winner Tom Rasmussen of Wisconsin was present at the luncheon and drawing. In photo, from left, National President Delphine Huneycutt, Tom Rasmussen, District VI President Diane Reeve,
and National Secretary-Treasurer Antoinette Trela. Congratulations, Tom!!



Explore your Polish heritage
with these beautiful booklets!


An important part of the mission of Polish Women’s Alliance of America is to preserve our Polish language, culture, and heritage — and we have been doing that for over 116 years. Recently, we published seven booklets in the PWA Polish Heritage Series that we are happy and proud to offer for sale to you now. The booklets will be a welcome addition to your family library and will also make great gifts for family and friends. You can purchase the set of seven booklets for $20, including postage. As more booklets are published, you will be able to order them individually for $3/each plus postage.

Set of seven booklets includes:

• Christmas in Poland
• Easter in Poland
• Poland’s Nobel Prize Laureates
• Famous Polish Women
• Poland’s Historic Cities
• History of Polish Women’s Alliance of America
• Polish Composers

• Coming Soon: Polish Traditions: A Journey through the Calendar Year

Please download the order form at the link below and mail to:

Polish Women’s Alliance, 6643 N. Northwest Hwy, 2 FL,
Chicago, IL, 60631

Or you can send an email with your order to secretarytreasurer@pwaa.org.
Please add “Heritage Series” to the subject line.

Make checks payable to Polish Women’s Alliance of America.

Or you can call 888-522-1898 to order by phone and pay by credit card.






Many PWA members carry on the culinary traditions and recreate favorite family recipes passed down from their mothers
and grandmothers. Here are two such recipes, from two beloved babcias.


A New Take on an Old Recipe

Sharon Milewski of Group 267, District XIV, Eastern Pennsylvania, was recently featured on the front page of the Scranton Times Lifestyles section. She had won the weekly “Local Flavors” contest with an updated version of her grandmother’s zucchini bread recipe. Sharon was lecturer in the Science Department at the University of Tennessee for many years, until she decided to moved back to Pennsylvania where she bought a farm in Susquehanna County. She raises chickens, sheep, and goats (all of which have names), so the recipe features goat milk as well as goat cheese. Of course, the zucchini is also grown and harvested on Sharon’s farm. Sharon is an environmental toxicologist and she continues to teach science at Luzerne County Community College, but her sustainable farm and growing healthy, organic food are now her passions.

Sharon found the original recipe in her mother’s recipe book many years ago. It came from her grandmother, Rose Chmielewski, who died when Sharon was 4. Sharon knows that her grandparents raised goats, so she thinks that her grandmother may well have used goat milk and goat cheese in the recipe. Sharon substituted molasses for brown sugar in her version of the recipe below. Photo shows Sharon with her goat, Sitka. You will find a link to the entire article below.

Sharon’s Molasses Zucchini Bread

Ingredients: 1/2 cup goat milk, 1 teaspoon chèvre goat cheese, 2 cups grated zucchini, 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon wheat germ, 2 teaspoons baking powder (aluminum-free), 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg, pinch of allspice, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 2/3 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup molasses, 2 eggs

Directions: Combine milk, cheese, and zucchini. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients. Melt butter, then add molasses when butter is warm. Add the eggs and sugar to butter mixture, then combine zucchini mixture and butter mixture. Add dry ingredients to the zucchini-butter mixture, stirring by hand only to combine ingredients—do not overstir. Pour batter into a buttered loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes.

Click here to read article from the Scranton Times.

A Tried and True Recipe for Pierogi Dough


Marta Mirecki of Group 693, District I, was recently interviewed on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition program, about pierogi, and how she makes them from a recipe passed down from her grandmother, Stanislawa Mirecki, longtime member and officer of Group 693, who passed away in 2004. Marta, a graduate of Northwestern University, a former US Navy officer, and a culinary school graduate is now a personal chef (see her website at www.TinyHouseChef.com), as well as a wife and mother of two young children, living in Washington D.C. Marta also teaches cooking classes, and her pierogi class is one of the most popular at Hills Kitchen in D.C.

Stuffed dumplings are featured in the cuisines of many nations, but the Polish version is among the most delicious. The secret is in the dough, which needs to be thin and light, but strong enough to hold hearty fillings like potatoes, cabbage, mushrooms, or ground meat. Marta remembers how her grandmother never measured the ingredients—she used her eyes and hands to know when the dough was just right and if it needed more flour or water. Her daughters and granddaughters would watch her place the ingredients on the counter, and then scoop them back into a measuring cup to see how much of each ingredient Babcia had used; her pierogi dough recipe follows. Marta says that pierogi taste best when stuffed with memories—the secret ingredient! Recipes for fillings, more tips on making pierogi, and a link to Marta’s NPR interview are below.

Babcia Mirecka’s Pierogi Dough

Ingredients: 2 cups sifted flour, plus extra for dusting and kneading; 1 egg; 1/2 to 2/3 cup lukewarm water; 1 tsp salt

Directions: Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Beat egg lightly and mix into flour with a spatula. Add water, starting with 1/2 cup, adding more drops as needed. Once the dough comes together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for a few turns; add flour as needed. Form the dough into a ball. Smush the ball down with your palm pushing away from you, then reform the ball and continue smushing down on it. Add flour a little at a time as needed, and use your dough scraper to loosen the dough from the work surface if it starts to stick. If at any time the dough gets too springy, cover it with a cloth and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Continue kneading until the dough is even and smooth. Roll the dough as thinly as you like with a rolling pin. Flour the rolling pin, dough, and work surface just enough to keep everything from sticking. Cut the dough into rounds using a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Stuff with filling and seal well. Cover pierogi with a cloth to prevent them from drying out before cooking.

Click here to hear Marta's NPR interview, get tips on making pierogi, and find recipes for fillings.




Are you sure you are getting the best discounts
on your prescription medications?



PWA is happy to offer members and friends this FREE resource that will save families up to 75% on the cost of prescription medications -- the RxCut Pharmacy Savings Card.

The RxCut Pharmacy Savings Card is FREE with NO enrollment, activation, or expiration. There are over 54,000 participating pharmacies across the U.S, and Puerto Rico, including all major chains.

It is simple and easy to use. All you have to do is download, print, and cut out the card and keep it in your wallet or purse for easy access. The Rx Cut card guarantees that you will receive the lowest possible price at the pharmacy, whether it's your insurance co-pay, the pharmacy cash price, or the RxCut Plus discounted rate.

Once you have your card, follow these easy steps to make sure you are receiving the best possible price at the pharmacy
for your prescription drugs:

  • Visit www.rxcut.com/PWA and click on "Find the lowest price" to price your medication using the Internet, or
  • Call the Customer Service line at 1-800-808-1213 and have them find the lowest price for you, then
  • Present your RxCut card at the pharmacy with your prescription.




Stay healthy! Read our Healthy Living Column here.





Help Support PWA Every Time You Make a Purchase
at Your Favorite Store or Restaurant

Every time you pay for a purchase with a Gift Card at one of the participating retailers or restaurants, you will earn money for Polish Women's Alliance and support our fraternal and charitable work. We know that many or our members and friends shop at the businesses that are part of the program every day for gifts, groceries, books, toys, clothes, and household items. Or you can use Gift Cards as the perfect birthday, graduation or other gift.

Please consider supporting us every time you shop or eat out!

You can order Gift Cards online or by sending in an Order Form and check. Gift Cards will be mailed out once a month, on or about the 22nd, so your Order Forms need to reach us by the 15th of the month. Please allow 5 business days for your order and check to arrive at PWA. See link below to download Order Forms.

Or you can order your Gift Cards online at www.shopwithscrip.com
You will need to create an account and enter PWA's enrollment code 4ABBLL873219L.

Here are just some of the participating vendors.



By paying for your purchase at the retailers or restaurants listed above with a Gift Card, you can raise money for PWA and its many charitable and educational programs, each time you make a purchase. You can order your Gift Cards either by using the Order Form at the download link below, printing it out, and mailing it in to PWA with a check, or you can go to to order your Gift Cards online at www.shopwithscrip.com . You will need to create an account and enter PWA's enrollment code 4ABBLL873219L.

Order Forms sent in by mail should arrive at the PWA Home Office by the 15th of each month.
Gift Cards will be mailed once a month, on or around the 22nd.

You will find more details and a list of participating vendors on the Order Form.
Questions? Call 1-888-522-1898




or go to


Remember, with every Gift Card you purchase,
you are helping raise funds for PWA!







Support our PWA members in college!
Support out PWA Scholarship Programs!
Send in a dollar (or more) to help our young members
reach their dreams and achieve their goals.

National President Delphine Hunneycutt is making a special appeal to all PWA members,
and to past PWA Scholarship Recipients in particular, to support our college-bound members
in their quest for academic success.

Our youth is our future. Download the coupon below to send in
your donations.









If you would be willing to become a mentor for a PWA member who is currently in high school or college and who might be interested in pursuing your profession or line of work, please join our Directory. The Directory will be posted online at www.pwaa.org.

Please send an email to secretarytreasurer@pwaa.org with the following information:

  • Your name and PWA Group No.
  • Your profession
  • Your areas of interest and professional expertise
  • Your email address and phone number





It is a program where the members can go to purchase ink and toner at a 10-40% savings and 10% of what the members purchase goes back to PWAA.




Recently the New Jersey Department of Insurance approved a new regulation, which may apply to you. If you are New Jersey resident senior citizen (age 62 or older) insured by a life certificate or annuity contract with us, Polish Women's Alliance of America, you have a right to designate a third party to receive a copy of any notice of cancellation, nonrenewal, conditional renewal and lapse. The Notification form number PWA/N/TP/02 has to be filled out, if you decide to designate the third party to your life insurance certificate or an annuity contract.
The third party must consent to appointment by signing the designation notice. The third party may terminate the designation by written notice to you and us. You may terminate or change the third party by written notice to us.
The Department's requires that the third party election must be returned by certified mail with return receipt requested.


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