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Courtney Caughey-Stambul

VP Trish: National Golf

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Life is funny! We experience the butterfly effect so many times.

I went to the National Bowling Tournament in 1994 in Southgate, Mich. I ran into a friend of mine (whom I had met at Falcon Camp when we were kids), Terri Noga-Starnick. During one of our chats, Terri asked why I didn’t attend the National Golf Tournaments? I went home and asked my then husband, Rick, if he would like to go to the National Golf Tournament in August being hosted by Nests 493/493A in Batavia, N.Y. Rick suggested I call my friend, Bill Eveland from Rochester, and ask if he would like to join our group. Bill asked Rich Young to join us (all of this is important to the story!). Our foursome was one woman with three men. I didn’t give it a thought; I golfed with Rick all the time. The next year, we golfed in Erie, and again I golfed with Rick and two other guys.

Well back in those days, the women and men (oh my!) were not permitted to participate together. The tournament chairs didn’t understand how I managed to golf with Rick once, let alone twice!

I thought that was nonsense and told Rick I was going to start attending Nest meetings. I did, soon I became Nest 118 Vice President. In 1996, the National Convention was being held in Pittsburgh; I attended as a Delegate (whole new experience, but that is another story!). I put this in as a motion (that men and women could golf together); the Convention decided that was a Golf Commissioner issue.

My involvement on a Nest level continued. In 1999, Dolly Kokoski suggested I run for District IV President (I served for one year as I was not permitted to hold a National and District Office at the same time.). I was now very involved on a Nest and District level as well as National Golf, Bowling and Volleyball Tournaments.

In the fall of 1997, Anthony (Dutch) Surman called me and suggested I run for National Office. National Secretary/Treasurer Ted Kokoski was retiring in 2000. I found this quite amusing! Rick did not, and he thought I should consider it.

At the National Golf Tournament held in Saginaw, Mich. in 1998, Bobby Joe Gorny (I did not know him at the time), came over to chat. He told me that he was going to run for Second Vice President (not expecting to win, just to get his name out there) and thought I should do the same. I told him that I was signed up for classes the upcoming fall and that I was contemplating running.

At the National Golf Tournament in 1999 in Rochester, N.Y., Bob Wienczkowski (at the time, the National Golf Commissioner) suggested that I run for National Office.

At a District IV Oplatek in Donora in 1999, I suggested to Tim that he run for Secretary/Treasurer as I wanted to be National Vice President (I don’t think he appreciated that!).

Fast forward to springtime, I was asked to come into the office to meet with Wally and Tim. Tim had changed his mind and wanted to run for Secretary/Treasurer – would I run for Vice President? Now, while I was meeting with Wally and Tim, Rick was in Ford City meeting with Val and Mary Jo Wojton picking up “Vote for Trish for Secretary/Treasurer” giveaways (I learned to just get “Vote for Trish!”).

It amuses me that three different men, three different ages and three different Nests suggested I run. But had I not been a golfer, none of this would have ever happened!

I shall miss seeing the golfers this summer. I don’t golf much these days but I go to the tournaments.

Hope all is well with all of you. Keep safe and healthy! Czolem!

VP Trish: The Falcon Seal

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The emblem recognized as the official seal of the Polish Falcons of America was adopted by the organization in 1914. At the time, the emphasis of the Polish Falcons went beyond its traditional physical education activities among the youth, and into the mobilization of an army of Polish Americans prepared to fight for Poland’s independence in World War I.

In the emblem, the Falcon bird is shown breaking Poland’s chains of enslavement by use of arms. Behind the bird is a sword and bayoneted rifle. The physical education aspect of the organization is depicted by the dumbbells in the bird’s claws. To the left are the laurels of victory and to the right are the initials (ZSPwA), which stand for the original name of the organization – the Alliance of Polish Falcons in America (Zwiazek Sokolow Polskich w Ameryce). In the background is the burial mound in Krakow of Thaddeus Kosciuszko, the patron of the Polish Falcons. The mound is brightened by the sunshine of freedom.

The words in the circle surrounding the emblem, “Czolem Ojczynie Szponem Wrogowi,” translate to “Hail to the Fatherland — Talons to the Enemy,” one of the historic phrases of the Falcons.

The seal is a reminder to the Polish Falcons of today of their forefathers’ dedication to the principles of physical education, the love of their homeland — Poland, and their willingness to give their lives so that Poland may be free.

As time goes by, I am going to post information regarding the Polish Falcons that many of you may not know, or even if you do, will serve as a nice reminder.

This seal is my absolute favorite; I use it quite often.

I am hoping all goes well with the Districts in having their first (for most of us) virtual District Plenary Meeting.

A Bit of Insurance Lingo!

  • Insured – the benefit is on this person for when he/she passes away
  • Beneficiary – the person or persons who will receive the benefit (financial) when the insured passes away
  • Contingent Beneficiary – the person who will receive the benefit if both the insured and the primary beneficiary are deceased

Keep safe and healthy! Czolem!

Strawberry Recipes

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Celebrate the final months of summer with these easy and delicious strawberry recipes by Robert Strybel, our Warsaw Correspondent.

Strawberries and Sour Cream (truskawki ze śmietaną): Hull, wash and drain 1 qt. ripe strawberries. Slice thin into a large bowl and sprinkle with several t. or T. (your choice to taste) granulated or confectioner’s sugar. Toss gently and let stand at room temperature (but not in direct sunlight) for 2 hours or more. Fill fruit bowls and top each portion with a dollop of sour cream (or top American-style with whipped cream).

Homemade Strawberry Soda (domowa oranżada truskawkowa): If using very ripe strawberries in the previous recipe, a good deal of syrup will form. You can drain it off and mix with cold club soda for a refreshing soft drink that is tastier and healthier than artificially flavored store-bought soda. Drop in a few whole strawberries for visual appeal.

Super-Easy Strawberry Torte (najłatwiejszy torcik truskawkowy): Even young children can prepare this dessert and have the satisfaction of saying, “I made it myself!” Prepare fruits as in Strawberries and Sour Cream recipe (optional: drain off syrup for use in homemade soda or as ice-cream topping). Spoon strawberries over plain store-bought sponge-cake and top with aerosol-type whipped cream. Decorate top with a few whole strawberries.

VP Trish: Making a Difference

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Just about from the beginning of life, people (in addition to family members) make an impact on you. Quite often, these people are teachers but more for me were Falcon Leaders. Druhna Lottie Fik was someone who made a tremendous impact on me while growing up. (Many of you will agree!)

Back when I was young, we were afraid of authority figures. Druhna was not to be messed with but in time, one learned to respect her, not fear her.

Druhna Fik was truly an amazing woman way ahead of her time. In my opinion, she was very blessed to be married to Stanley (as he was to be married to her!). Think about this, in 1962 after 22 years of marriage and three children, Lottie became only the second woman to be a Chief Instructress of the Polish Falcons. This required quite a bit of travel!

Druhna held this position from 1962 until 1981. During this time, Druhna worked with three men – Edward Biestek (1960-1963), Gustav Pieprzyny(1963-1970) and Edmund Pett (1971-1981).

Back in those days, Druhna would write a new drill for each girls’ division every four years. Each National Zlot would have a new routine. These routines were beautiful and done to Polish music. My favorite is still the ball drill that we performed in 1972 at Notre Dame. I can remember Druhna giving the commands and counting in Polish. Marching was a big deal and I loved the way we marched!

Gymnastics was a major part of our program and Druhna wrote optional routines for each piece of equipment – high low bars, balance beam, vault and free-ex. Talk about creativity and talent.

Our National Drill has changed throughout the years. When Poland was still under Communist rule, the drill had only three rotations symbolically not facing the west. When we added the fourth turn, we needed to find an ending for the drill. At an Instructors’ meeting hosted by Druhna Marian Weslowski, we worked on the drill. Druhna Fik was there and suggested the ending that we still use.

It was always wonderful to spend time with Lottie, she always had a smile and was very supportive. Druhna even bowled in the National Bowling Tournaments. When Druhna Marian started National Camp in Angola, N.Y., Druhna Lottie was there helping with singing and dancing. Talk about dedicated! Druhna was 80 years old, sleeping on a cot in a cabin with several other women!

Even after Druhna retired, her involvement continued. She attended National Zlots helping with the youth Members from her Nest and District, as well as Instructors Clinics hosted by Druhna Marian. I have fond memories of Druhna calling me to discuss music and other things pertaining to the youth programs.

Even though most of us hadn’t seen Druhna in a while, so many of us still thought of her and asked about her often. Druhna Joan Beilfuss of Nest 907 (who spent many summers with Lottie) used to keep me posted. Obviously, her daughter Felicia and other family members would share Lottie stories.

Druhna Lottie’s legacy will live on. She was an amazing, strong wonderful woman who touched the lives of so many!

May Druhna Lottie rest in peace! Czolem!

VP Trish: A Garden Update

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It’s been about five weeks since I talked about our flowers and garden. We actually planted things a bit late, but they are still so pretty. I am excited!

There are three big squash on our plant, but they seem to be holding tight so I did not pick them yet. A pumpkin has decided to grow as well! I have been wanting pumpkins for years but hadn’t done so yet!

As you read this, Christmas is exactly five months from today! Perhaps, the baking should commence!

See below for photos of lots of our flowers including those planted in a silly goose! My daughter-in-law bought me two of these years ago and the plants seem happy!

Keep safe, wash your hands, and enjoy the glorious days of summer!

Esther Kim’s Real Life Story: A Mixed Legacy

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“The thing I regret the most about my father passing away as suddenly as he did was because he had no life insurance, because he had no long-term plan, his funeral was just what we could afford based off of donations from the church.” -Esther Kim

“When I think about my father, I want to be able to laugh and smile. I don’t want to have to think of all the negative implications that resulted from his poor financial planning.” -Esther Kim

Click below to watch Esther Kim’s story. Then, be sure your loved ones are protected. Contact John Denning at 800-535-2071 or jdenning@polishfalcons.org to learn more.

VP Trish: Home Improvements During the Pandemic

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There is always a positive to any situation (usually) and the pandemic is no exception. Even though John has worked at Lowe’s during this time, he has still done so much around the house.

I have the privilege of working from home so I have considerably more time here, no two-hour trip each day!

From the inventory depletion at Lowe’s and talking to my friends who own Root 88 Duprees (Greenhouse and Nursery), it is obvious people are doing so many more home projects than have been done in the recent past.

The most exciting is that the decorative deck became a usable deck! This required removing an entire doorway-sized glass block of windows, then installing a door! The deck is where I start and end my day.

Some of the things done were painting the living room, entry way and hall (even the ceilings!), installing new screen doors, landscaping, re-carpeting the basement steps, hanging a new chandelier above the steps, hanging Ninja warrior stuff off the deck (for the kids), building a climbing dome, cleaning out and power washing the gutters and the soffit and fascia.

John has a hang up about trees and shrubs too close to the house. He convinced me to have him cut out the holly bush that we had planted years ago. Now we have another flower garden and of course, we needed new railings to the side porch. Ryanna and I also planted a new garden around an old arborvitae. Ryanna repainted the chalkboard wall in their playroom.

Our neighbor calls Ryanna John’s apprentice as she is usually by his side working hard. They painted the concrete block foundation of the house, painted lawn furniture and built new drawers for the work bench he built in the garage. There is new lighting in the garage that is ridiculously bright! My Ryan is a helper often!

John gets to chop wood because the kids and I have quite a few campfires (along with s’mores).

Oh and new brakes on the car!

Would love to hear about your home projects? (Being nebby!)

Hoping you and yours are safe and are making the best of things. Life is quite interesting!

Keep safe and healthy! Now, go wash your hands!!!

Czolem!

VP Trish: Nest Information

By | News, Uncategorized | No Comments

FINALLY! All of the information regarding awards has been entered into an Excel spreadsheet. Soon, I will be emailing a copy of your Nest awards roster to the Presidents and Vice Presidents in each Nest. Please keep in mind, this is simply an awards roster with the dates of when a Member received their Bronze, Silver and Gold Star of Merit awards, as well as Bronze, Silver and Gold Legion of Honor awards.

Ted Kokoski, District IV Commandery Representative, presenting Paul Kokoski with his Bronze Legion of Honor at Nest 182.

  • This list does not include addresses, phone numbers, or insurance information.
  • This list does not indicate if the recipient is deceased.
  • I am leaving it so that you may manipulate the information if you so desire; you may want to add a column for deceased, or you may want to sort it so that the last recipients are listed.
  • Eventually, these rosters will be on the Nest pages.
  • I did my best on names. If there is an error, please let me know so that I may update our system. Several have had more than one name.

Grand Master Edward Ciesla had provided information regarding the presentation of awards during this health crisis. This information is available here.

Speaking of the Nest pages – The National Office discontinued a monthly mailing years ago. The information for the Nests is uploaded to the Nest secured pages. Each Nest has their own page. It is up to the Nest Officers to contact Courtney at ccaughey@polishfalcons.org to set up a username and password. Each quarter, I download a roster for each Nest. Shortly thereafter, Courtney uploads it to the Nest pages. If you haven’t seen a roster in any time frame longer than three months, you need to visit your Nest page.

The status of Good Standing for a Nest is not difficult to maintain. A Nest must submit all of your paperwork (including a Nest Officers form with a full complement of Officers), hold at least four meetings a year (with a quorum), and have at least 25 Benefit Members. If a Nest has done all of the above, the reason the Nest is not in Good Standing is probably due to one or more of the Officers not being current with their National Dues.

Hope you have signed up for The FIVER, the date to complete is almost here!

Wishing you and yours good health! Wash those hands!

Czolem!

A Note Regarding Awards Presentations

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Czolem Druhny i Druhowie!

I received an inquiry regarding Legion of Honor awards for 2020. Due to the fact that everything has been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Nests will not be having award banquets or presentations this year. One of the questions was; can a Nest apply for awards but not present until next year at their 2021 awards presentations? In essence they would be presenting two years of awards at one time.

After my discussion with First Vice President Patricia Del Busse, we agreed on the following resolution regarding the Legion of Honor awards for 2020.

  1. Nests should submit award applications for qualified individuals this year.
  2. Awards can be presented at any time a Nest chooses to do so once the applications are reviewed and approved. There is no need to wait for a banquet or other event, it can be done during meetings or other Nest events.
  3. If an award cannot be presented this year because it is only done during a Nest banquet, then it can be presented at next year’s banquet. It should be done in this order; the 2020 awards first and then the 2021 awards.
  4. Banquets should NOT be the deciding event on when awards can be presented.
  5. Anyone that deserves an LOH award this year should be awarded regardless of when they will receive it.
  6. National Headquarters will dispense all approved awards to the Nests via U.S. Postal Service.

Please let us know if this clarifies the issue or if anyone has other questions. You can contact me by email at cieslaed@rcn.com, or Druhna Del Busse at vptrish@polishfalcons.org.

Thank you!

Edward Ciesla
Legion of Honor Grand Master