VP Trish: Time in Erie and Upper Western NY Part 1

It’s funny how in Falconland, there are times when we hit one geographical area repeatedly in a time period. This is the year for the Erie, upper western New York area.

In March, I attended mass and the St. Casimir’s celebration at Nest 123. This is also the time when Nest 123 presents their awards. It was a sunny, gorgeous day and travel was easy. Following mass, a luncheon was served at the club prepared by Nest Members and during his speech, President Andrychowski talked a bit about the club and the building itself. That is when I found out that there used to be a swimming pool where the bowling alleys are now! We also watched Druhna Becky Sienkiewicz on a sports segment of a local television channel discussing the Polish Falcons and the upcoming bowling tournament. Druhna did a great job! After chatting a bit, I hit the stores in the area getting some great bargains on snowsuits for the babies and a few items for myself. I headed back home enjoying the rather nice weather.

Later the next month, I was back at Nest 123 for the National Bowling Tournament. What a fabulous job they did! There were so many volunteers and folks working that those in charge were able to also enjoy the tournament (at least, it appeared that way!). The tournament began with a District Challenge held at the lanes at the club. Representing District V was Darryl Hine and me. It was so nice to have another District V Member at the tournament; Betsy Hine was also with us. Darryl and I did not win but we had a great time competing with other Members in a Scotch Doubles tournament. The tournament began the next day with the opening balls being thrown by 8-year-old Michael Popovich and 14-year-old Lauren Andrychowski. I love having youth Members get involved early! The weekend was spent socializing with fellow Falcon Members, bowling, dancing, eating and drinking. The food made by several Nest 123 Members was excellent! John Denning had driven me to the tournament but Bill Eveland, Nest 52 Member, was my chauffeur for the weekend, making me a very happy girl since we cruised around all weekend in a ’68 corvette! Friday night had an 80’s theme as the M-80’s band rocked the club! Most danced the night away and had a great time! Saturday night, we were entertained by their DJ Rich Chapman. The size of the crowd surprised me though because when I attend one of these events, the only place I go is the club. I figure I am there to support the Nest. Compliments to Nest 123 for a great tournament! Are you sure you wouldn’t like to do this again in 2015? We still need a host Nest and/or District.

In mid-May, the District IX Convention was hosted by Nest 610, Erie. I leapt out of bed at 5:00 in order to arrive at the Convention in time. There was a nice group of Delegates and a very busy day of planning for the future of District IX, hearing Officers reports, electing Officers and socializing. There were a few issues that took a bit of time but the Convention was over by 3 p.m. The issue of National dues, inactive Nests, mergers, National camp, the Legion of Honor, the Falconette Commission and awards, were just a few of the topics discussed. Personnel at the National Office was discussed, specifically Courtney, Allyson (who is now replaced with Holland), Gabby working on our archives and Larry as the new Cultural Commissioner. There were a couple Officer changes but decisions were made thinking of the Good of the Order.

District IX gives out two $500.00 scholarships each year. The applicants have to have applied for the Starzynski in order to qualify (they do not need to have received one) and the winners are chosen by a random drawing. This year, there were only two applicants. Congratulations to Elizabeth Chodak (Nest 52) and Anna Dorman (Nest 493). The Members of Nest 610 were quite hospitable! When I left there, I had to drive to Harrisburg for another meeting (but that is for another blog!).

In early June, we were invited to attend a Grand Opening of another fraternal. The Loyal Christian Benefit Association is located (shockingly!) in Erie. Again, up very early and out the door to arrive on time. After a tour of their beautiful new headquarters, I jumped back into my car. I stopped in Rochester, N.Y. to visit Nest 52 President Gerri Wilson, who was recovering from surgery. I then continued my journey to Auburn, N.Y. because I was going to play golf in the District IX Golf Tournament. I golfed with the ladies from Nest 52 Rochester, N.Y. -Elaine Laboski, Carol Matla and Judy Klein. It drizzled all day but we still had fun on the links. The guys from Nest 6 were more than willing to share refreshments on the course; that warmed us a bit! Following golf, we had an excellent dinner, enjoyed the camaraderie and awards. A good time was had by all, thanks to Nest 74.

That evening, I drove to visit former National Physical Education Director Marian Wesolowski…..and the journey continues.

Nest 610 constructs float for Memorial Day parade

The Perry 200 Commemoration took place this summer in Erie, Penn. The event recognizes Erie’s role in Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s naval victory in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Perry’s fleet, including the Flagship Niagara, was built in Erie at the urging of Erie citizen Daniel Dobbins; the construction of that fleet almost single-handedly led to the transformation of Erie from a quiet frontier village to a bustling maritime port and manufacturing center.

On Memorial day weekend, a large parade is organized in downtown Erie. The organizers ask businesses, civic organizations and others to participate. This year, it was suggested that Erie’s Polish community construct a float!

Under the chairmanship of Nest 610’s Maria Wawrzyniak, and with donations from many Polish organizations in Erie, including Nest 610 Erie, Penn., a float was constructed and entered in the parade, making the Erie Polish community very proud. The pictures shown below are part of the float that is now on display at Nest 610. Along with Maria, other helpers were Carol Niedzielski and her brother Vinnie, Mary and Betty Krysiak, Sherri Wieczorek, Kristen Baginski, Designer Carol Widomski, Brian Herman, Bill Hoderny and Dan Wisinski.

Parade-1

Parade-2

Druhna Chris: The Polonaise Ball in Erie

On Saturday October 27, 2012 I had the honor of attending the 48th Annual Polonaise Ball in Erie, PA sponsored by the East Side Federation of Polish American Societies. I was excited to be able to attend as one of our Polish Falcons Future Leaders, Rachel Mazzone of Nest 123, was a candidate for Queen of the Ball. I was also glad to bring along 2 more of our Future Leaders group, Melissa Puskar and Christy Paterni to support Rachel.

So on Saturday afternoon, Christy, Melissa, and I got in the car and headed up to Erie. It was a pretty rainy day so we cranked up the tunes and started singing. We listened to a lot of the songs we used for the camp line dance competition. It was a lot of fun and made the two and a half hour drive go quickly. Before we knew it we were near the Nest 610 club where the event would be held. We decided to stop in a nearby gas station and get all dolled up for the Ball. We jumped back in the car and completed our trip in a few short minutes.

When we arrived, we first saw Rachel in her beautiful purple gown. She was just gorgeous. She was already a Queen in our eyes! Becky Sienkiewicz had saved us seats with her family and gave us a warm welcome along with Rachel’s parents, Sue and Tony Mazzone! They were all very proud of Rachel and so were we. We also had the opportunity to meet 2 of the past Queens, who are also members of the PFA, Danielle Sienkiewicz and Anastasia Mazzone. I was glad to be able to congratulate Anastasia on her recent marriage!

After some welcoming comments and an invocation, we were treated to a home cooked fabulous meal. It seems that my two traveling companions especially enjoyed the mashed potatoes. I enjoyed the whole thing. Who doesn’t like it when someone else cooks for you!

At the end of dinner, the formal program began as each of the four candidates and their escorts were introduced. My favorite part of the evening was when they performed the Polonaise. They did a beautiful job and it was a pleasure to watch. Even though Rachel was not chosen Queen, she looked beautiful and her parents and family should be very proud of her. I know that Melissa and Christy and I were!

Then the dancing and fun began. Everyone one was able to relax and enjoy the rest of the evening. Melissa, Christy, and I headed back to Pittsburgh after getting back into our comfy clothes. It was still raining and dark, but the radio was playing and we all enjoyed the ride back home.

Thank you to the Mazzone’s and their extended family for your hospitality. Thank you to Rachel for being an excellent representative of the Polish Falcons of America. You made us proud. Thank you to Melissa and Christy for joining me and keeping me company on the drive. You made my day more enjoyable!

Czolem!
Druhna Chris

Biography of Rachel Mazzone…

Rachel Mazzone is the 19 year old daughter of Anthony and Susan Mazzone. She is currently attending Penn State Behrend with a career goal in Psychology. She is a scholarship recipient from the PFA and the East Side Federation. She is doing an internship at Sarah Reed Children’s Center and is a Director at the PFA Nest 123. She is a bowler at Nest 123 and is employed at Giant Eagle as a cashier. She is a part of the Polish Falcons Youth Leadership program and attended the conference in February. This summer she chaired an event, “Spread the Wave to Cure Cancer” at Padarewski Park and raised over $2600 to donate to the John Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation and is keeping this an annual event. She is part of the Penn State Educational Partnership Program, (PEPP). She is on the St. Stanislaus Parish Day committee in charge of the children’s games. Her escort this evening is Derek Sauers.