On Wednesday, October 25, I spent the day in the office then headed up to Beaver Falls, Nest 318 later in the afternoon. Joining me in Beaver Falls was National Secretary/Treasurer John Kuzmirek, National Sales Director, John Denning (JD) and Staff Member, Tara Lazur. Nest 318 is struggling so we went up to help with the Wednesday evening activities. Wednesday is typically wings night so JD cooked wings and his special fresh French fries. We helped where needed and also socialized with the Members in attendance that evening. There was a nice turnout but in order for the building to remain open, there needs to be more support from their Membership. I got home about 11:00 p.m., late night but necessary.
Thursday morning, I was interviewed by Don Pienkos who is writing about the last 25 years in the Polish Falcons. Don wrote the first 100 years and is now continuing our story. Thursday at noon was the meeting of the Fraternal Societies of Greater Pittsburgh. After the luncheon meeting, I had another meeting regarding the upcoming Kidz Bowl for Kidz event. This is the fifth year for this event and we have raised a considerable sum of money for Children’s Hospital.
Friday was a day in the office but my evening was spent at a banquet for the Polish American Congress. President Kuzma is the secretary for this organization and was instrumental in the success of their meeting this year. It was a nice time with folks from throughout Polonia. Another long day!
Sunday morning, I was on the road by 7:30 to drive to Mocanaqua, PA for the District VII Convention. This is past the dates mandated in our Constitution but their Convention had to be postponed due to the devastation caused by the flood in late September. The Nest 163 building was used as a disaster relief center for quite some time. Many Members and others living in the area had to spend considerable time at the club, often, having to sleep there. We drove through that area the last week of September and I have to tell you that witnessing the damage caused by the flood was very humbling. I could barely speak after entering the club and seeing the cots lined up, the tables full of food, containers full of ice and beverages but more importantly the moods of the people there. They were chatting and finding a way to deal with what had happened to them. Several Nest Members spent countless hours at the hall helping where needed. This is a testament to the commitment and dedication of our Members.
The Convention ran smoothly with Officers being elected and plans being made for the upcoming two years. As I always do at Conventions, I updated the Members on programs and events happening on a National level. I then answered questions asked by the Membership. Of course, one of the discussions revolved around the upcoming National dues program. This group was very understanding of the need for the dues and did not think that $1.00 a month was asking too much especially considering the programs offered by the National Office.
Following the Convention, I watched a few football games and then got back on the road at halftime. I was unable to find a station broadcasting the Steeler game so I called my son, Gregory. Greg gave me a personal play by play of the second half of the game. He did a great job plus, it was fun. I spend the night in Altoona, and headed home early Monday morning. Since it was Halloween, I wanted to get there; it was the first Halloween for my grandson, Ryan. We went shopping, stopped to have his picture taken in a fall scene and bought a few pumpkins. That evening, I was able to enjoy the few children in my neighborhood as I passed out candy.
Here we go! November is here and life gets even busier!
Nest 182, Ambridge hosted the District IV Bowling Tournament. There was a decent turnout but the great thing is that there were several of us there who had known each other since we were children in gym class. Paul, George and Joe Stroz along with Ruth Leedy, Barbara Chervenak, Chris Puskar and I have known each other for quite a while. How wonderful that after all these years, we are still involved in Falcon events.
The next day, I helped with the Kidz Bowl for Kidz Bowling event hosted by the Fraternal Societies of Greater Pittsburgh. This is an annual event held to benefit Children’s Hospital. There were mascots from the Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Pirates and the University of Pittsburgh as well as a group of clowns. My grandson, Ryan was there briefly and Iceburg could not stay away from him! A nice group of kids showed up with approximately 25% of the participants being Members of the PFA!
Later in the week (on Tuesday), Druh Kuzmirek and I drove to New Jersey to meet with President Kuzma for a business meeting. After a successful meeting, we had lunch at a local Polish restaurant. Wednesday evening, John and I drove back to the burg. We were both very anxious to get home because we both had long drives ahead of us the next day. Now John and I have totally different views of a business trip but we both survived and I got a huge box of hot chocolate mix in return.
Thursday morning, I was back on the road heading to Connecticut. It had been some time since I was up in that neck of the woods. Nest 307, Southington was celebrating their 100th Anniversary. I was thrilled to share this wonderful evening with their Membership. The banquet was held at a beautiful facility and the food was fabulous. The male Officers of Nest 307 were dressed in tuxes and the ladies in gowns. Most of the folks in attendance cleaned up very well! Congratulations to the Membership of Nest 307!
While in the area, I was able to observe the Nest 36 gym class Members play volleyball. It was so nice to see the kids up there since I hadn’t seen them since we left camp in early August. Sunday was a lazy day spent watching football, then having dinner at the Choromanski household. It was Lori’s birthday with mine being the following day. Not only did we celebrate our birthday together but more importantly, I was able to meet the latest addition to their family. Katie and baby David, were also visiting. I was able to hold David and get my baby fix since I hadn’t seen Ryan for a few days. Bright and early Monday morning, I drove home getting home just before it got dark.
As was previously mentioned, several Members of Nest 163 were devastated by the September floods. The Polish Falcons sent each of these Members a check for $200.00 to help with expenses and to let the Membership know that we care about them. We received quite a few phone calls, emails and cards showing their appreciation. There is a link on our website if you would like to make a donation to help these Members. Many are not receiving anything from their insurance companies or FEMA. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated. Actually, one of these Members was not in need of financial assistance so he donated his check back to the PFA for the Dr. T.A. Starzynski Scholarship Fund.
Thanksgiving was spent with family and friends. This was the first time, I had Thanksgiving dinner outside of my immediate family. It was a nice change and very enjoyable! I have much to be very thankful for this year. Even though, times are tough, we need to look around us and see how truly blessed we all are.