For quite some time, we have discussed having a gathering of scholarship recipients. It sounds like a great idea but logistically, it simply didn’t make sense. Well, the upcoming National Convention is providing the opportunity for us to gather, celebrate and cultivate the Dr. T. A. Starzynski Scholarship Program.
On Friday, July 15, there will be such a gathering at Nest 4 (MR) on the corner of Bendix and Keller Streets. The evening will begin with dinner being served from 7:00-8:30. Tickets are available for the cost of $25 per person which includes dinner and an evening of fun! (Winner need not be present.) Nest 4 will provide refreshments for a minimal cost. Vegas games will begin at 7:30.
Bus transportation from the hotel begins at 6:30.
This sounds like a perfect evening to me. One gets to support the Scholarship Program, possibly win a bit, socialize with Members, and support the local Nest! What could be better!?!
Show your alumni status proudly; wear some type of garment from your college. It may be a shirt, hat, cheerleading outfit, football uniform, wrestling singlet, or bring your pom-poms.
All are invited! This event is open to everyone, not just Convention Delegates. It would be nice to see former recipients attend.
The first grant of the scholarship program was issued in 1962 to James Sopata of Nest 8, Pittsburgh and Joanne Zielski of Nest 401 Enfield, Conn.; each received $250! Since that time, the PFA has awarded over $720,500 to more than 11,000 Falcon Members!
Chairing the Scholarship Committees is something I enjoy and embrace. There have been many improvements made to the program. There are now three categories-Achievement receives $1,500, Involvement receives $1,000 and General receives $750. The Mary Kus grant of $3,000 is chosen from the Achievement Category. The deadline is February 15 of each year; the application is available online the beginning of December.
Our website has a list of all recipients, take a look!
As always, if interested in making a donation, please send your check to my attention to: Polish Falcons of America, 381 Mansfield Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15220. The program is funded exclusively from donations. We need a few more Genevieves, Pats and Matthews!
Looking forward to seeing you in South Bend!
Hey Campers! Have you checked out our Digital Camp Scrapbook? In it, you will find tons of photos and videos! The Lip Sync Contest songs are in there, as well as the cabin photos. Go ahead and take a look. You are bound to find you and your friends in there somewhere. Thank you to Courtney and Holland for coming up with this really nice addition to our camp experience.
I hope that by now everyone has had a chance to see all of the rest of the photos from camp on Facebook. There are so many great pictures! Some of my most favorite are the ones from the campfires on the beach with the sunset in the background. Click here to go to the Polish Falcons National page to view the photos.
I have already been in contact with the St. Vincent De Paul staff about next year’s camp. Since our National Convention is the week after the Fourth of July, we cannot have camp that week. I am trying to move camp week to July 31 to August 7, 2016. As soon as I receive the final decision from the camp, I will let everyone know. Then, you can plan early to join us. I’m hoping that we get even more campers and adult helpers to join us next year! I have some exciting ideas for new team challenges and activities. Keep a lookout for the final word on the dates.
Have a great end to your summer and good luck in the new school year!
I returned safely home from the National Golf Tournament last week. I don’t want to talk about the return trip. The only thing I will say is that I arrived home at 3:15 a.m. and I had to be in the office that morning for a couple important meetings. Enough said about that.
About the Tournament, I want to commend Pat Heineman and Nest 45 for doing an outstanding job as host of the Tournament. They did a great job and from what I could see, everyone had a fabulous time. Even though I only played the first round on Thursday, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in St. Louis. I had the pleasure of golfing with Paul Sadowski, District II President, Jeff Beilfuss, Nest 907, Cicero, Ill., and Rich Starnick, from Nest 74, Auburn, N.Y. The course on Thursday was at Eagle Spring Golf Club. It was a nice course and I played my normal game. I was probably most happy with my putter. One of these days I will be a better golfer. One of these days. For inquiring minds I shot a 108.
I did attend the meeting of the PFA Golf Commissioners on Wednesday evening at the Nest. I had hoped the Commissioners would talk about the future of the Tournament and I was not disappointed. National Golf Commissioner Mary Whalen guided the discussions and when all was said and done, I am confident the Commissioners will work hard to improve the Tournament and increase participation. The Commissioners did not solve every problem, but this group is up to the challenge and will give it their best effort. I do not want to get into too much detail as Druhna Whalen will present a report to the Board of Directors with recommendations for the Board to consider.
That said, everyone agrees that increasing attendance is the number one priority for the future success of the Tournament. The Commissioners were open to new ideas and possibilities for the Tournament. None of us can predict the future, but if we are willing to take on the challenges today we will be better prepared for the future, no matter what it may bring.
I am happy to report that Nest 336, Jackson, Mich., will be the host of the Tournament in 2017. The last time Nest 336 was the host of the Tournament was back in 2006. Congratulations to Nest 336 for accepting the host duties for the Tournament.
As I said, increasing participation in the National Golf Tournament, as well as all of our PFA events (Nest, District and National) is a paramount goal for our organization. We have to figure out new ways to attract Members, and get them to engage with the wide variety of programs and benefits we offer. I, the Executive Committee, Board of Directors and staff are open to your ideas. Let me know by commenting on any of our blogs or just send an email or call. I look forward to your feedback.
As I write this I am on my way to St. Louis for the PFA National Golf Tournament. Unfortunately, I will only be able to participate the first day of the Tournament. Regardless, I expect to have a great time. When I was getting in line to board the first leg of my flight I ran into Steve Lubinski, from Nest 146, New Castle, Pa., and his foursome who are also headed to the Tournament on the same flight. Nest 146 will be the host of the Tournament in 2016. He said the courses have been secured and they will be finalizing housing soon. Now that’s planning.
Even though I haven’t even made it to St. Louis yet, I am sure that Pat Heineman and her crew of volunteers at Nest 45 are more than ready for all the Falcon golfers. The weather should be great. I was in St. Louis less than a month ago as Nest 45 was the host of the District II Convention and their hospitality was outstanding.
One of the many challenges facing our organization in recent times has been the decline of participants in many of our events. This year, there will be about 55 golfers at the Tournament. That is a decline from 2014. Granted, Nest 45 is far from where many of our Members live, but this has nothing to do with the effort put forward by the Nest. They have done everything possible to attract as many golfers as possible for the Tournament. This year, we even allowed non-members to participate. (We’re doing the same for National Bowling next year.) This issue is more than just geography. Other events have also been declining. It’s time we start creating strategies and ideas to reverse this trend.
I will attend the meeting of the Golf Commissioners this evening and I want to get a healthy discussion started about what we are going to do. We have to be willing to look at all alternatives for the future. Things that worked well in the past are not working today and they probably aren’t going to work in the future. We aren’t going to agree on everything, but we have to be willing to admit that we have to do things differently. I don’t have an agenda for the meeting, nor the solution, but I do have some ideas I want to share. I look forward to a good meeting where there is a good debate and we are open to new possibilities.
I do know that after the tournament, we will conduct a survey of all the participants to get their input and thoughts about their experiences in St. Louis. These kind of surveys have proven to be useful to help us evaluate our programs and learn ways to make them better. One of the “problems” with the surveys is that they only give us the perspective of the people who are there. Don’t get me wrong, this input is extremely valuable and we need it. But I also want to know why people are not returning to the tournament, or why they have never come. We are going to work on how we can figure this out.
I will do a follow-up blog on my long journey home from the Tournament tomorrow evening.
Finally, on behalf of the entire organization, I want to thank everyone, from National Golf Commissioner Mary Whalen to Host Chairperson Pat Heineman, to all the volunteers at Nest 45 for all the work you have done. It does not go unnoticed. This Tournament would not be possible without you. Thank you! Czolem!