Polishfest 2016

A “family-oriented festival” of Polish live music, song, folk dance performances, ethnic foods, crafts and culture will be presented on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 from noon to 5 p.m. at the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning (Commons Room, 1st Floor). This cultural event is FREE and open to the public. A variety of cooking demonstrations and food sampling, make-n-take kids crafts, folk art demonstrations, and a holiday craft and gift mart will be centered around “A Celebration Of Christmas in The Old Country.” This year’s festival will also celebrate the rich culture, music and folklore of Pittsburgh’s Lithuanian Community. Take a trip to the “Old Country” without leaving Pittsburgh. It’s FREE!

Featured entertainment will include: Bociai Lithuanian Chorus, Frania’s Polka Celebration, Lajkoniki Polish Folk Ensemble, Living Traditions Folk Ensemble, Radoslaw Fizek (Polish Folk Songs and Christmas Carols) and the Echos of Lithuania.

For more information, contact L.G. Kozlowski, Festival Director, at lgk505@aol.com or 814-969-5940.

Polishfest ’16 is partially sponsored by the Polish Falcons of America and the Polish Falcons Heritage Foundation.

VP Trish: Have you met our Cultural Commissioner?

A few years ago, Lawrence (Larry) Kozlowski joined the Polish Falcons as our Cultural Commissioner. What a great move that has proven to be! Larry has tons of experience and knowledge which he so graciously shares with all of us.

His workshops have been very successful and all who attend are thrilled! Last year, he was the host of the First Annual Polish Falcons of America Wigilia. The group was so pleased with the program and the reenactment of a traditional Christmas Wigilia. There were quite a few tears as many thought back to their childhoods, their parents and so many wonderful memories. The Wigilia will be held this year on Saturday, December 5. The program will be slightly different this year, but all who attend will be as pleased as they were last year (at least, that is our hope!).

Larry also attends all of our youth events and the kids love him. He engages them and is able to educate them in an entertaining way. This year at camp, he was teaching Polish dancing. When he played the first song, I thought he hit the wrong button. But no, he had a Motown song up first to get the kids moving. His intention was to show the correlation between just dancing and Polish dancing. It worked! Larry can boogie!

Thursday evening, he taught us how to celebrate St. John’s Eve. We were all dressed in togas, wearing wreathes of flowers on our heads (each of the kids had made their own, Shari Pekarovic made mine, thank you!) and carrying a wreath with a candle (there again, I didn’t make mine!). We walked around the huge campfire the older guys had built, as Larry shared the tradition. All then walked to the lake and placed their wreaths in the lake. Surprisingly, the water took them out. Later that night, we were able to see the soft glow off in the distance. Druhna Chris and I each got to release a Sky Lantern that had been signed by all at camp. That was incredible. This was followed by the sharing of the Oplatek. As is usual, there were lots of tears and kind words shared with one another.

Even though not all of us in attendance were of Polish decent, we all enjoyed the Polish traditions. Again, Larry did a fabulous job of explaining and encouraging all to participate!

Larry is available to visit your Nest or District (at our expense) to share his knowledge of the Polish culture. Please contact me if you are interested.

Czolem!

Druhna Chris: 2014 Schedule of Events

Well first of all, I hope that everyone is enjoying their holiday season, shopping, decorating and baking. I know that at this time of year everyone gets really busy, so I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope that Santa brings you everything you want and that you get to spend lots of time with family and friends celebrating, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

2014 looks to be another exciting year for the Polish Falcons of America. The Walking Program continues, and all paperwork should be turned in by Feb. 1, 2014. I have already started the search for new and unusual prizes for everyone. If you need copies of the Walking Program paperwork or have any questions, feel free to email me and I can send you what you need.

The Polish Falcons of America Third Annual Future Leaders Conference will take place the weekend of Feb. 21 – 23, 2014. Invitations will be sent to the individuals who are invited to attend. I am hoping to be able to fill all of the spots this year. The Future Leaders will be presented with information that will help them to understand the inner workings of the PFA and to prepare them to become leaders in their Nest, District, or even at National Headquarters. I am looking forward to working with these youth Members again.

The Adult Volleyball Tournament will be held the weekend of March 14 -15, 2014. A special “Thank You” goes out to the Officers and Members of Nest 86 Hamtramck, Mich. for hosting this year’s event. Play will take place at the Michigan Elite Volleyball Academy in Warren, Mich. The entry fee is $60 per player and $30 per guest. We will be staying at Comfort Inn Warren in Warren, Mich. The number to call for reservations is 586-268-9020. The cost is $69 plus tax per room per night with breakfast included. The deadline to book a room is March 1, 2014. The deadline for entry into the tournament is March 3, 2014. All of the information and entry forms will be on the website under the Adult Programs tab. Just download the application and mail it with your check to: Druhna Chris Puskar – Volleyball, Polish Falcons of America, 381 Mansfield Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15220.

Zlot-Banner

The biggest event of 2014 will be the 36th Polish Falcons of America National Zlot. The Zlot will take place the week of July 6 – 12, 2014 at Edinboro University in Edinboro, Penn. The campus is about 120 miles north of Pittsburgh and should give us everything we need to have another great gathering of youth Members.

The Zlot may look a little different in 2014, as we are adding some things and bringing back some things. Hopefully we can reach out and give everyone something that fits their interests. We will have our usual events of Volleyball, Track and Field, Drill Competition, Gymnastics and Swimming.

We have added an Arts & Crafts competition this year. The theme of the competition is “Friendship.” There are four categories: Polish Crafts, Painting and Drawing, Photography and 3-Dimensional Art. You prepare the artwork at home and bring it with you to the Zlot. The art pieces will be judged on Construction and Materials, Difficulty/Complexity, Finishing and Display, Neatness and Best Representation of Theme. Awards will be given in each age group.

The other event that is new to our Zlot is a Singles Bowling Tournament. Everyone will participate in the COED Tournament. The age groups will be the same as in all our competitions. The Preps will bowl two games with bumpers. All other divisions will bowl three games. The Tournament will be held at Eastland Bowling, the same place as the 2013 Adult National Bowling Tournament was held.

Following the bowling, we will be having dinner at Nest 123 Erie, Penn. Special thanks to Nest 123 for their hospitality. After dinner, Druh Larry Kozlowski, our Cultural Commissioner, will host a Cultural Workshop for all the participants at Nest 123. It should be a fun-filled evening.

Friday will be the last day of activities for the Zlot. We will have our Closing Mass and our final dinner on campus that day. Of course that evening we will have our Closing Dance complete with Druhna Trish’s snack smorgasbord! I know I can’t wait for that!

I hope that you will get excited and get all the youth Members that you know to join us for some fun-filled competition and camaraderie. Come and see your old friends and make some new ones. If you have never been to one of our events, this would be a good one to start with attending. You will find out what an amazing organization you are a part of and how many amazing people there are in the PFA. If you are not a Member, now is the time to sign up and join in the fun!

I know that some of our youth Members have already started the countdown to the Zlot. I am not sure whether they do it just to get excited or to stress me out! Either way, I am glad that the Zlot is an important event in their lives and I hope it will be another Falcon activity that can be kept forever in their hearts and memories!

I am working and planning to help all the Nests to be able to participate in 2014.

As always, if you have any questions about any of our activities, please feel free to contact me and I will do whatever I can to help. Email is probably the best way to get in touch with me but you can call the office too. My email is cpuskar@polishfalcons.org and the phone number at the office is 800-535-2071 toll-free or 412-922-2244.

Once again Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!