American Polish Festival and Craft Show

This year’s American Polish Festival and Craft Show will be held July 11-13, 2014, on the grounds of the American Polish Century Club, 33204 Maple Lane, Sterling Heights, MI.

The American Polish Festival draws thousands of festival-goers each year. The festival will feature live band performances, Polish Dance Ensembles, Polish and American food, refreshments, inflatables for the kids and an Outdoor Craft Show.

For crafters, the festival offers a 12’ x 12’ area for the entire weekend, although some charges may apply. Participants will be responsible for their own tables, chairs, fire resistant canopies and fire extinguishers. No electricity will be provided.

Admission to the festival is free, but there is a daily parking fee of $5.00 per car.

For more information, call (586) 731-2866, e-mail americanpolishfestival@yahoo.com or visit http://www.americanpolishfestival.com.

Source: Polonia Media Network

PACCF Scholarship Opportunity

The Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation is formally announcing that it is accepting applications for the Richard Gorecki Scholarship for this year. The amount of scholarships will be between $500 and $1,000, as determined by the Scholarship Committee.

To be eligible, the applicant must be a citizen of the United States of America and of Polish ancestry.

Applicant must be a full-time student enrolled as a sophomore, junior, senior or post-graduate in an accredited undergraduate or graduate program at a college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0.

Applicant must be a member of their local Polish American Congress Division, or if none in their area, then a member through the National PAC.

Application process is as follows:

1. Completion of a PACCF Scholarship application.

2. Submit a resume, including: a. Name and relationship to you of the nearest family member(s) from whom you ascribe your Polish ancestry; b. Description of your academic and career goals

3. Submit an original certificate of your most recent transcript, including an original certified copy of your GPA.

4. Submit a description of your personal involvement in the community.

Applications can be obtained at www.paccf.org, by emailing paccf@paccf.org, or by calling 773-763-9942. Deadline to apply is April 15, 2014.

CMU International Film Festival to feature Pittsburgh premiere of Polish film

On March 20 – April 5, 2014, Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. will host the “Faces of Work” International Film Festival. The festival will feature a Polish film, “Wałęsa: Man of Hope.”

As published on the festival’s website:

The eighth edition of the Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival, sponsored by the Humanities Center, is dedicated to the legacy of world-renowned filmmaker, psychologist, and Carnegie Mellon professor, Paul Goodman, and to his professional focus on the human challenges and achievements of diverse groups of workers worldwide. Audiences will have the opportunity to explore “Faces of Work” through Paul’s compelling short films along with the Pittsburgh premiere screenings of new, distinctive, and award-winning international films and documentaries from Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Sweden, Romania, Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, France, Egypt, Chad, Iran, India, Israel, Vietnam, China, Canada, and the USA.

Paul’s dedication to emphasizing global awareness in his teaching and research and to exploring the theme of work in both international and local Pittsburgh communities prompted his desire to bring to light important but often overlooked aspects of work by diverse individuals using his favorite teaching mechanism – filmmaking. “Faces of Work” takes its inspiration from Paul’s vision; its international roster of films will provide a visual examination and interpretation of global working conditions and spaces, and the people in them.

From Polish director Andrzej Wajda’s biopic of Wałęsa, former electrician and controversial President of Poland whose championing of workers’ rights contributed to the fall of communism in eastern Europe; to Paul Goodman’s depiction of the challenging assignments of ship-breakers in India; to Frederick Wiseman’s insight into the daily operations of a publicly-funded research university, this year’s feature films and documentaries will engage audiences with the efforts of workers around the globe, and examine how their contributions to our economy improve or challenge local and global societies in countless ways.

Polish Falcons of America is proud to serve as a sponsor of the CMU Film Festival and the “Wałęsa: Man of Hope” showing. It is the Pittsburgh premiere of the film directed by Andrzej Wajda.

For additional information, please visit http://www.cmu.edu/faces.

Sochi 2014: Poland’s best winter Olympics

Robert Strybel, Warsaw Correspondent

In Sochi, Russia, Poland’s best winter Olympic games ever got off to a bad news/good news start. The bad news was that 31-year-old Justyna Kowalczyk, the 2010 Vancouver gold medalist, managed only a disappointing sixth place in the skiathlon, a 15-kilometer (9.4-mile) cross-country race. To make matters worse, an x-ray showed an injury that had plagued Justyna since January was a fractured bone in her right foot, casting doubt over her further competition in Sochi.

But that setback was soon offset by ski-jumper Kamil Stoch, 25, who soared past his Slovenian and Norwegian rivals to capture Olympic gold in the men’s normal hill ski jump. And, as if to confirm the Polish saying that there is no bad thing that doesn’t produce some good, regardless of her injury Kowalczyk said she was determined to “win or croak” (“wygrać albo zdechnąć”). On painkillers and with a tightly bandaged right foot, she not only finished but won the women’s 10-kilometer (6.3-mile) cross-country event, giving Poland its second gold medal.

Stoch meanwhile won his second ski-jumping gold of the Olympics when he triumphed on the large hill, stripping Japan’s Noriaki Kasai of a chance to become the oldest ever Winter Games champion. Yet another gold medal for Poland was won by speed-skater Zbigniew Bródka who beat his nearest rival, Dutchman Koen Verweij, by a microscopic 0.003 of a second.

The impressive showing, particularly Stoch’s golden double, pumped him and his three mates – Maciej Kot, Piotr Żyła and Jan Ziobro – full of hope and adrenaline ahead of the team ski-jumping event. All four were Małysz’s boys, youngsters a decade ago, when champion Adam Małysz was putting Poland on the world’s ski-jumping map and inspiring a generation of young imitators. Although several years ago he hung up his skis for the car-rally scene, Małysz is remembered as one of the most successful ski-jumpers in the sport’s history.

As it turned out, the Polish foursome fell short of the podium, landing in fourth place behind Germany, Austria and Japan. But optimists were quick to note that that too was a record of sorts: never before had Poland captured the No. 4 slot in that particular Olympic competition.

Days went by with no new Polish medals in sight. In women’s biathlon, a sport combining cross-country skiing and rifle shooting, the Polish team landed in 10th place. In all other competitions Poland also fell short of even the bronze slot. In fact, for a time it appeared Poland would be one of the few countries ever to bring home only Olympic gold. That changed on the penultimate day of the games when Poland took bronze in the men’s speed-skating pursuit, marking the country’s fifth medal in Sochi and the second for speed-skater Bródka. Not to be outdone, the same day their female counterparts – Katarzyna Bachleda-Curuś, Luiza Złotkowska, Natalia Czerwonka and Katarzyna Woźniak – won Poland’s first silver medal of the games.

But there was more bad news from Justyna Kowalczyk who had to drop out of the grueling 30-kilometer (over 18-mile) Olympic cross-country race at the 13th kilometer. At the start of the competition, a rival bumped and hurt her leg – an injury that caused unbearable pain and forced her to call it quits. But “the divine Justyna” continued her national heroine status in spite of the setback. Some even said she had actually won two gold medals in Sochi – the second for her undaunted spirit, courage and determination.

Although Poland has taken part in winter Olympic games since they were first initiated in 1924, it has never been a winter-sports powerhouse. In fact it took until 1956 for the Poles to win their first ever medal (bronze) in the Nordic combined skiing event in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. The first winter Olympic gold was captured in 1972 by ski-jumper Wojciech Fortuna in Sapporo, Japan. The previous Vancouver Olympics gave Poland six medals, the same number as in Sochi, but only one gold, three silver and two bronze. All told, Poland now has 20 winter Olympic medals to its credit.

Sochi’s quadruple gold gave Poland 11th place among the 100 competing nations ahead of countries with a larger overall medal count such as Sweden (15) and China (9). Host country Russia captured the games’ top slot with 33 medals ahead of Norway (26), Canada (25) and the U.S. (28). Russian President Vladimir Putin had spent more than $50 billion to bankroll the event in a bid to enhance his country’s neo-imperial image.

The speed-skaters, who had brought home from Sochi one-half of Poland’s Olympic medals, all agreed that Poland needed at least one indoor speed skating rink enabling year-round training. At present, open-air rinks operate only during the colder three to four months a year, and at other times the skaters are forced to use facilities in Germany, Holland, Canada and the U.S.

The Sochi games appear likely to reinforce the country’s attachment to ski-jumping, but may also spark new-found interest in speed-skating. The lack of indoor facilities may be a nuisance to high-performing competitors, but not to the young amateurs just trying things on for size. In winter, Poland is a land peppered with frozen lakes and ponds – the ideal place for youngsters to get their start. Eight years from now, maybe some of them will be ready to meet the challenge in the Tatra Mountains. That is if Poland and neighboring Slovakia win their bid to co-host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Druhna Chris: Fundraiser for Your Nest

As part of the National Zlot in 2014, all participants will receive a Souvenir Program Book. It will list the Zlot schedule, additional information and good wishes from everyone who places an advertisement in the book. The book will help with the costs for participants, the Zlot, and can even raise some funds for your Nest. Here is how it works.

First of all, if your Nest has athletes that are participating at the Zlot, the cost per participant for room, meals and transportation to and from the Zlot is $250. This entry fee will need to be sent in with your application prior to the Zlot. Following submittal of the application and entry fee, advertisements can be solicited for the program book. Any money raised by you for the book will come back to you as a refund. So, if you solicit $250 in ads, you will get a $250 refund which will pay for one athlete to attend the Zlot. After all of your athletes entry fees are covered, for every excess dollar you raise, you will receive ½ of the amount over the $250 back for your Nest. So, if you have four participants attending the Zlot and you raise $1200, you will get a refund of $1000 for the four athletes and another $100 as ½ the excess amount.

If your Nest does not have any athletes participating in the Zlot, you can still take part in the fundraising aspect of the event. Any money your Nest solicits in ads will get you ½ the amount back after the Zlot. So, if you solicit a $100 ad, after the Zlot is completed, your Nest will get a $50 refund as the fundraiser.

I am certainly hoping that all of our Nests participate in the fundraiser and take this opportunity to support our youth Members. I know that a lot of you remember when you went to a Zlot. I certainly remember going to the National Zlot and how exciting and fun it was. I am so glad that my own children are able to participate in the Zlot and compete with their Falcon friends from different regions. I hope that you feel the same way, and that we can keep the Zlot going for our children’s children.

Click on the Zlot banner at http://polishfalcons.org to download a sponsorship packet and access all of the information you will need to collect and submit advertisements for the program book (sizes, cost, address, etc.). Thank you in advance for your support of the PFA youth Members!