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Richard C. Gorecki Scholarship

  • Are you currently enrolled in college?
  • Will be you be entering at least your junior year of college in the fall of 2022?
  • Have you been a Benefit Member for at least four years in good standing with a permanent plan for at least the last year?
  • Do you have a 3.0 G.P.A.?

If the answer to these questions is yes, please visit our Scholarships page and fill out an application to apply for the Richard C. Gorecki Scholarship Program. This year, the applicant may submit their application online!

Three $10,000.00 grants will be awarded if there are qualified applicants.

If you have any questions, please reach out to vptrish@polishfalcons.org.

VP Trish: Marian Wesolowski

As many of you know, Druhna Marian Wesolowski passed away last November. This weekend, there will be a memorial service at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Elma, New York. The mass is being held on Saturday, January 15 at 9:00 a.m. (EST). The mass will be streamed on YouTube for those who are unable to travel to Buffalo. The link is https://youtu.be/EOSaScVQvw0.

Druhna had served as the National Physical Education Director from 1981 until 2004. Marian had joined Nest 6, Buffalo, at the age of 8 and was very active with the Polish Falcons. Druhna touched the lives of so many and is greatly missed!

May Marian rest in peace!

Czolem!

VP Trish: Thank You, John!

Tim and John – dressed alike, again!

As we all know, social gatherings have been quite limited this last year and a half. Well, last March, there was a retirement party scheduled for John Kuzmirek along with a dinner with the National Board of Directors (who were in for a Board of Directors in-person meeting). That March 2020 meeting was the last in-person meeting until last weekend. Funny, prior to this, all meetings were in-person.

Finally, after all this time, we were able to have a Board of Directors meeting here in Pittsburgh. It was decided to celebrate John while they were in town.

On Friday, November 19 (almost two years after John retired), we were able to thank John and celebrate all that he brought to the Polish Falcons of America. The Board, John’s family, staff and former staff went to Cefalo’s in Carnegie for our evening. What a nice surprise when we pulled up to the restaurant (which is housed in a former church), the Falcon logo was on the marquee! So cool!

John and Theron

We enjoyed a wonderful meal, then celebrated John. Tim, Trish, Ryan, Evie, Marianne and Chris shared a few fond memories. Theron Holladay, Sr. from Parkway Advisors came, shared and also gave John a gift of an autographed basketball (signed by Kyle Timmermann). Kuz used to harass Kyle that he was a much better basketball player than Kyle ever was.

John was presented with several gifts – a pizza Chris (and some staff) made of money along with gift cards. The Polish Falcons gave John a Hawaiian-themed Notre Dame shirt along with a moon glass cube (that changes color) with a plate with the inscription, “Thank you John Kuzmirek for your service. Polish Falcons. Czolem!”

Others also presented John with gifts.

John brought much to the Polish Falcons – his financial background, his experience as a business owner, his wit, humor and expertise. John made sure he had a good successor – Ryan! Thank you Paula for submitting John’s resume to the PFA!

We thank you John, we miss you and we love you! Czolem!

John and the Board


Another contribution I made to the evening were my cookies for dessert. A few asked for my recipe for Coconut Macaroons!

Coconut Macaroons

Combine: (mix by hand in a bowl with a large spoon, no need for a mixer)
• 1  14 oz. can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
• 1  14 oz. package coconut (5 1/3 cups flaked coconut)
• 1 ½ teaspoon almond extract

Fold in:
• Two large egg whites

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto your parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake:
• At 325 degrees
• 15-17 minutes until edges are lightly browned

Transfer immediately onto cooling rack, you may just move the paper onto the racks.

Have fun! Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from me and mine!


Sweet Potato Crunch

Mix and Mash:
• 2 pounds of cooked sweet potato (I used canned)
• ¾ cup sugar
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 1 egg

Place in 1 ½ quart casserole dish.

Mix:
• 1 cup graham crackers (broken into small pieces)
• 4 tablespoons melted butter
• ½ cup chopped walnuts
• 1 cup brown sugar

Sprinkle onto sweet potato mixture.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

My grandmother used to make this all the time; I thought it was her recipe. Nope, she found it in a cookbook. None the less, it is sooooo good!

VP Trish: Druhna Marian Wesolowski

Trish and Marian on October 7, 2018 at a luncheon in Buffalo for breast cancer awareness hosted by Jill Stark

It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that our Marian Wesolowski passed away the morning of November 22. Druhna had been quite ill for a long time.

Druhna had been the National Physical Education Instructress from 1981 (initially with Druh Edmund Pett) and retired in 2008.

Marian and I met through our work with the Polish Falcons, but we became good friends. I spent lots of time with her at the lake. I shall miss her, but I shall cherish all the memories I have of Marian – both my personal ones as well as Falcon ones.

Tentative plans are for a mass in Florida on January 8 with a mass in Buffalo on January 15.

There will more details in upcoming blogs, as well as in the next issue of the Sokol Polski.

May Druhna Marian rest in peace!

Czolem!

In June of 2016, Marian stopped to visit us while at Angola Camp. Pictured: Dan Michalak, Chris Puskar, Marian, Trish

VP Trish: Nest 610 Awards

As I mentioned last week, it seems that Erie is the place to be! On October 24, John and I attended the Nest 610 Awards Dinner. I have attended this numerous times and am always amazed at the attendance.

One year, we were on our way to Myrtle Beach. The best is the time I was in Connecticut for an event. I had rented a car and they had given me a Buick LeSabre which I considered to be a “pappap’ car. Well, I was wrong! That car was great! As I drove to the airport in Hartford on Sunday morning, between the leaves and the car, I found myself in Massachusetts. I quickly realized my error and turned around. When we flew out, it was true what I have always heard about autumn in New England. The colors were magnificent. I had a layover in Washington, DC. Again, enjoying the fall foliage as we took off. I landed in the burg, drove up to Erie (yet again enjoying the leaves!) and arrived at Nest 610. A bit late, but they were fine with that as the Steelers were on.

Think about this, there is a cocktail hour, dinner and an awards presentation! Every year, there are so many who come to socialize, thank and acknowledge those who work for the good of the Polish Falcons, specifically Nest 610!
This year is so unique as we all know. Last year, there were no dinners, gatherings or celebrations. I understand the Legion of Honor recipients received their awards as they were delivered by Tony (Pol).

The Star of Merit folks had to wait until the awards dinner. What is so impressive about that is that even though Members did not receive their awards last year, they still gave their all for the golf tournament (and I am sure other events as well!).

That speaks volumes! Just goes to show that while Members do appreciate their awards, they give because of their love for the organization. A huge thank you to all of you!

It takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication to nurture, lead, cultivate and manage a Nest, especially one with a building. I would like to thank all the Nest 610 Officers and Members who make Nest 610 a success!

Hopefully, this trip was the beginning of Nest visits!

Czolem!

VP Trish: Halloween Recap

Erie seems to be the place for us these days as I have been back up there twice in the last week!

Nest 610 once again sponsored a bus trip to Buffalo for the Bills game. Greg Wieser was the lead on this trip with help from Dan Wisinski.

The morning of October 31, I dressed in my Halloween costume (as a Bills fan) and climbed aboard with the others and made the trek to Buffalo. It was a good game, although a bit boring and scary the first half! We arrived early enough to tailgate, socialize and roam around the area enjoying the festivities as so many felt the need to celebrate hours before the game. There was a bit of rain so John bought me an old lady hat to keep my head dry. Our seats were at the top of the stadium. Once I made it up there (an usher had offered the use of an elevator and for some silly reason, I said, “no thank-you!”), we had a good view. It would have been a bit better if the guys in front of us would have been seated during the first three quarters, but it was still fun to be there and the Bills won! That day, while I watched the Bills game, the Steelers beat the Browns!!! A fantastic football day! Another terrific job done by Greg and crew!

Prior to my Erie trip, the kids and I had some Halloween fun! Ryanna and I went to the mall to trick or treat. The mall does a great job, but the crowd was probably 50% smaller than the last time. Lots of fabulous costumes on both adults and kids!

Friday night, Ryanna thought she wanted to visit the Demon House with her Gaga but changed her mind once she became aware that there are people inside not just decorations! There is no way one could get me there! Maybe next year, Courtney and Dave will go with John!

Ryan and Ryanna were able to trick or treat both Saturday and Sunday nights. Of course, it rained on Saturday but Sunday was a bit dryer. Fun, none the less! It is nice that we are able to get back to some somewhat normal activities!

So, the slide has begun! Halloween is over and before you know it, we will be wishing all a Happy New Year! Enjoy!

Czolem!

VP Trish: Fall Season Fun

When I was younger, I hated fall. I realized that the colors were beautiful, but that is because everything is dying. Now, I appreciate every single day! I have always enjoyed decorating for everything but now, I have my little helper. Look at the fabulous job Ryanna did in our front yard (photos below)! John did okay too with the inflatables.

Fall brings lots of fun – football, school, Halloween, visits to farms for pumpkin picking and hayrides, Thanksgiving, baking, cooler temperatures (just to name a few). More blessings!

It also is time for the Nests to receive forms from the National Office regarding their Nest. This information is very important for our tax-exempt status. This year, the forms will be handled electronically. The Nest President will receive an email and a link for you to submit the forms. Hopefully, this will slim line the process and encourage more Nests to participate.

The dues rosters will be going out (via the US postal service) to all the Nests before Halloween. If the National Office does not collect your dues, hold on to the roster. This will provide standing status for all your Members. If the National Office does collect, keep one roster for the Nest and return the other one with the forms needed so that the billing is done correctly.

Hope you get visits from lots of little ghosts and goblins! We don’t get any visitors, so John and I will be attending the Buffalo Bills football game that day with the folks from Nest 610.

Czolem!

Druhna Chris: Zlot Memories & Volleyball!

Remember the 2018 Zlot at Orchard Lake in Michigan??? Remember how much fun it was?!? Just look at the photos! Remember your Falcon friends? Now is your chance to reunite! Join us at the National Youth/Adult Volleyball Tournament over the weekend of November 5 – 7, 2021 in La Porte, Ind. All of the details and registration information can be found HERE. Early registration closes on October 4, 2021. You can save $5 per participant before then. So, come on out and enjoy our first Falcon Youth Event since the pandemic! Bring your friends; they don’t have to be Members. Be sure to read all of the information about registration and complete the Insurance Waiver for COVID precautions. Let me know if you have any questions. See you in November!

Druhna Chris: History of Volleyball

With the PFA Youth/Adult Volleyball Tournament on the horizon, I wanted to share some interesting information that I have found about volleyball and its origins…

A man named William G. Morgan invented the game in 1895 in Holyoke, Mass. This happened at around the same time James Naismith invented the sport of basketball. Morgan wanted to find a sport that was less violent and intense than basketball. So originally, he called it “Mintonette.”

His first attempt at the sport was to think about tennis, but he raised the net to just above the head of an average man. Then, he had to find the correct type of ball to use. He had the Spalding company make a leather-covered ball with a rubber inner tube. He and two of his friends drew up the first 10 rules of the game.

Morgan arranged to make a presentation of the game to the YMCA Directors of Physical Education and the International Committee of YMCA’s. He proposed that the object of the game was to keep the ball in movement over a high net from one side to the other. At this time, one of the directors suggested that the name be changed to “Volley Ball.” The only other change to the name was to make it one word – VOLLEYBALL!

A handwritten copy of the rules was presented to the YMCA Directors, and a committee was appointed to study and produce suggestions to promote the game. These rules were included in the 1897 edition of the 1st Official Handbook of the North American YMCA Athletic League.

In 1916, the YMCA convinced the NCAA to publish the Volleyball rules and a series of articles the contributed to the growth of the sport in college.

In 1918, the rules were amended to limit the number of players to 6, and in 1922 they were amended to set the number of hits per side to 3, which is how the game is played today.

Volleyball, according to the Olympic Program Commission, is the most widely played sport in the world. It has over 900 million fans and more professional leagues than any other sport.

I hope you will jump on the band wagon and join us for the Youth/Adult Volleyball Tournament in La Porte, Ind. the weekend of November 5-7, 2021. All the information you need can be found by clicking here. The Early Registration Deadline is October 4, 2021. You can save $5 per participant if you register early. Remember that you do not need a full team, as we can always put you on a team. So, gather your friends, Members or not, and join us for the fun!

VP Trish: Nest 610

Congratulations to the Officers and Members of Nest 610 on a fabulous golf tournament! Members were so pleased to reconnect, but Nest 610 made the 52nd National Golf Tournament so much better! Those who worked (volunteered) were pleasant, energetic and helpful!

As I have mentioned, working with Bob Sulecki, Greg Wieser, Jim McCall and other Nest 610 Members was wonderful. Greg and I were working together to pave the way for future tournaments, as this was my first as the National Golf Commissioner. I have my opinion as to how this position should involve working with the Host Nest and handling some of the work (mainly the actual golf).

Tiarra McGinnis (Communications Assistant) and I worked together to create a Certificate of Appreciation for me to present to Greg and Bob. It was a simple piece of paper (although nicely framed!) that merely said thank you! We acknowledge and value all that you and Nest 610 did to orchestrate such a fabulous event! Thank you for Fun, Fraternalism and Camaraderie!

At the completion of the Awards Presentation on Friday evening, President Kuzma helped me present this award. He mentioned that collectively the Executive Committee, along with the Board of Directors has had some trepidation regarding the success and future of our Nests (especially those with buildings). Nest 610 has not only survived but thrived during the pandemic. They continued to operate (on a limited basis) but also made considerable improvements to their Nest building. Our President thanked and congratulated the Members but especially Nest President, Bob Sulecki, as he was the lead during this time. Hats off for a job well done!

The Nests and Members are the major component in the Polish Falcons! Without you, we would not exist.

Czolem!