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.

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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!

Nest 519 celebrates 100th anniversary

Nest 519 Middletown, Conn. celebrated their 100th anniversary with a 3-day extravaganza, starting with a Happy Hour on Friday night, September 20, which included traditional Polish cuisine and featured live entertainment.

The next day, September 21, was a Saturday Fun Day. There was a horseshoe tournament and games for the children as well as hot dogs and hamburgers. Saturday night was the formal banquet which began with the Nest’s youth Members performing the National Drill. The evening included many distinguished guests, dinner and dancing.

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Nest 519 concluded their weekend-long festivities with a Caribbean Beach Party, lunch and live entertainment, with a band covering Jimmy Buffett.

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Thanks to all of the committee Members for their hard work and dedication to this wonderful event, especially all of the Members who attended during this weekend to make it a wonderful and joyous occasion.

Nest 88 baseball team wins championship

Nest 88 New Britain, Conn. recently hosted a pizza party and awards night at the club’s hall in honor of the Polish Falcons Nest 88 baseball team topping the New Britain Little League to win the 56th Mangan League Championship title. The Polish Falcons has been one of the Mangan League’s best teams over the past four years, being the one to beat as they have won three consecutive championship games and two titles. Parents, family members and friends filled Nest 88’s hall as the proud teammates enjoyed the festive evening.

Mike McCarthy, the Polish Falcons baseball team coach for 22 years, was very proud of his boys. “I’ve always had good young men who are either very good baseball players or are willing to learn,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy himself played for the Polish Falcons from 1971-1976 in the Mangan League. Years later, when asked to coach, he immediately said yes, not knowing how long he’d end up doing it.

“In the Mangan League,” McCarthy explained, “you carry over players year-to-year. This year, I had six players returning from last year plus seven in draft and they mashed together as a good cohesive team. Manny Sandoval, Jr., began at the age of 12; he is now 16,” McCarthy continued.

“His mom brought him to practices when he was 12. I told his mom that he was the finest young man I have ever coached. Now, 4 years later, he became team leader in practices before and during games.”

Mike Riccardi played his second year with McCarthy’s Polish Falcons team, and he loves the game. He became the team’s number one pitcher, pitching the season’s first game that was won.

The Polish Falcon baseball team is an enthusiastic and determined team. An example is 13-year-old Elliot Garcia. Garcia, like his teammates, loves to play and plays hard every game.

“Even though I’ve singled out those 3 players,” McCarthy said, “the kids all contributed to every game throughout the season.”

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The Polish Falcons culminated the Mangan League Championship by playing hard and playing their best. They had the continuous support of their coach, Mike McCarthy, as well as their families. Putting all that together has resulted in this championship team.

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.

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