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Courtney Caughey-Stambul

“Let’s Walk!” Challenge for April

For the month of April, our “Let’s Walk” challenge is: a Scavenger Hunt! Click here for a list of items that you are to look for as you do your daily walks. Take the list with you and check off the items as you find them! Once you have completed your “hunt,” scan and send the form to Druhna Chris at cpuskar@polishfalcons.org. Take a photo of one of the things from the list and send that also. List and a photo are required for a prize. The deadline for submitting is May 3, 2021. Have fun!

Download Record Sheet

NEW: PFA’s Safeguard CD Annuity

Chart based on PFA’s Safeguard CD Annuity, $15,000 deposit, 5 years at 2.50% vs. Bank CD, $15,000 deposit, 5 years at 0.70%. For illustrative purposes only.

Where would you choose to invest?

PFA’s Safeguard CD Annuity:

  • 3 years – guaranteed interest rate of 2.25%*
  • 5 years – guaranteed interest rate of 2.50%*
  • 7 years – guaranteed interest rate of 2.75%*

Annuity earnings are tax-deferred. Defer paying income tax on interest earnings to later in your life and take advantage of a lower tax bracket!

Learn more by contacting John Denning at 800-535-2071 or by email at jdenning@polishfalcons.org.

*Conditions apply

2nd VP Dan: An Update

Photo: Chase, Abigail, Jack

Goodbye 2020! Welcome 2021. Who would have ever thought that our world would change so much this past year, and where will 2021 bring us?

2020 was the year of Zoom! I am not a fan! While I must admit this is a great way to get things done and see everyone, I still prefer in person. It has also enabled us to have more meetings, not only the Board, but also District Presidents, Nests Presidents and other Officers. Our Board of Directors will also be meeting this year in their sub-Committees done with Zoom.

We already know that our second phase of the National Convention is postponed until 2022. National is moving forward and still planning many of our regular 2021 events. Some of them will be in the fall instead of spring or summer. By now, states have started the vaccine shots and many people have received them. Our lives are slowly trying to get back to some kind of normal.

Just on a personal note, I am a grandfather again with the birth of my first granddaughter, Abigail (already a Falcon Member!). She joins the family with her two brothers, Chase and Jack. My son Josh and his wife Erica will be busy with these three! High school basketball season finally started here in Connecticut. After a lot of debate, the season was placed on hold in November and now started in mid-January. This season will be cut almost in half with a limited schedule. My daughter Mallorie has joined the coaching staff this year. For years our staff coached against hers, but she’s now back home in the high school she played for.

While this pandemic is still going on, please everyone and your families stay safe and healthy. Hopefully we all get through this soon.

Czolem!

Dan Michalak
Second National Vice President

Message from John Denning: My Battle with COVID-19

We almost made it a complete year without getting the virus. My wife and I have been working from home since early March 2020, taking all the precautions, washing our hands, social distancing, not seeing family and friends, etc. When we had to leave our home for shopping, we wore masks, face shields and gloves.

On March 1st, I started to notice that something was not quite right. My pulse on my Fitbit was running extremely high, and my heart felt like it wanted to explode out of my chest. Along with that, I also noticed chest pain and tightness and a lot of uncontrolled coughing, neck pain and a headache. I just assumed that I was getting a cold, so I treated it as such for a few more days.

On March 8th, I decided to go and get tested for Covid-19 and my results came back POSITIVE. The doctor at MedExpress said that I needed to go straight to the ER at my local hospital, and she wanted to call 911 to transport me there. I told her that I only lived a few blocks from the hospital and that I would drive over myself and get checked in. I called my wife and broke the bad news to her.

Once I got into the ER, they started running tests and bloodwork, along with a chest X-ray that came back showing a problem with my lungs. The ER doctor said that just to make sure they wanted to run a CAT scan of my lungs. My wife was now on her way home and wanted to get tested also to see if she had the virus, so she went straight to the testing center. Sure enough, POSITIVE test results. Now she wanted to come to the ER where I was but the Covid-19 protocol states no visitors.

My CAT scan results came back positive for blood clots in my lungs, and my oxygen level was very low. My heart rate was also racing because of the breathing problem from the clots, causing my heart to work harder and it put me in A-Fib. At this point I am trying to keep my wife calm; she is going crazy because she can’t visit me, and they decided that they were going to admit me in the ICU Covid-19 wing. After several hours of being in the ER waiting in the hospital to get me transferred to the Covid-19 quarantined isolation room, I then also realized that none of my family was going to be allowed to visit.

The next test my doctor said he wanted to run was an Echocardiogram of my heart to make sure that the clots had not moved into my heart valves. The test came back negative, but they still could not get my heart back in rhythm and this was a big concern.

When you are in the hospital, you have a lot of time to think about a lot of things. As most of you know, I am the Polish Falcons of America National Sales/Marketing Director. I have always made sure that if something bad were to happen to me, that my family would be financially stable. I have a substantial amount of life insurance that would take care of paying off our mortgage and provide a nice monthly income for my wife. As I laid in that hospital bed, I thought to myself, “What if this gets worse and I need to go on a ventilator or even pass away from the complications of Covid-19?” We have all read or heard the nightmares that come along with this horrible Virus. Then my thoughts turned to our son, Caleb, who is planning his wedding for this coming New Year’s Eve. I think, “Please God don’t take my life and have them go through this during what is supposed to be one of the best years of his life.” I cannot even imagine my wife doing this on her own without me by her side. As these thoughts kept racing in my mind, I had one peaceful thought – finances were not going to be their problem if Covid-19 would end my life. I have that covered, thanks to my life insurance.

After four up-and-down days in the hospital, my A-fib reset and my pulse regulated, and I was able to come home. I guess I do not need to mention how happy my wife is about that.

I will end with saying – please do not ever take life or loved ones for granted. Life can literally change in a minute. As I know here from experience as well, make certain your loved ones would be taken care of if you suffer any life changing event.

PFA’s New Member Referral Program

How it works:

Complete the card here and mail to: Polish Falcons of America, Attn. Referral, 1016 Greentree Rd., Suite 201, Pittsburgh, PA 15220 or email to info@polishfalcons.org with subj. Referral.

If the referred individual joins PFA as a Benefit Member with a permanent life insurance policy or annuity, you receive $20. Referrals will be paid on a monthly basis.

If the referred individual joins PFA as a Fraternal Benefit Member or with a Juvenile Term policy, you receive $5. Referrals resulting in a Fraternal Benefit Membership or Juvenile Term policy are not eligible for drawings mentioned below.

All PFA Members who submit a referral card that results in a new Benefit Membership will be entered into drawings for a cash prize! AND, every successful Benefit Membership referral counts as an additional entry!

Next Drawing: Sept. 30, 2021 ($500 prize!)

The Nest that submits the most referral cards resulting in new memberships will receive $500!

VP Trish: National Golf Rules

If all continues to go well, the National Golf Tournament should be enjoyed as scheduled! Nest 610, Erie, Pa., is prepared to welcome the golfers for the event on August 12 & 13. Of course, the Hammer is played the day prior to the Tournament.

I will be sending an email to the golfers asking about their planned participation in this year’s Tournament. Please respond and share with others who might be interested!

The Golf Commissioners met via Zoom on March 8 and revised the National Golf Tournament rules. The rules were approved by the National Board of Directors at the Board of Directors meeting held on March 13, 2021.


National Golf Tournament

Participants:

  • Must be a Member in Good Standing by the beginning of the Tournament

Format:

  • Two Person Scrambles one day
  • Individual Tournament one day

National Golf Commissioner Responsibilities:

  • Application – Oversee creation and/or modification for all information pertaining to the Tournament
  • Work with Communications Director for publication and posting of all information related to the Tournament
  • Communicate with all golfers with details prior to the event, confirming their registration and handicap
  • Waivers – All participants must complete and sign a waiver form to participate in the Tournament. The Commissioner shall oversee the preparation, distribution and collection of the waivers.
  • Assign the Foursomes
  • Scoring – Tabulate the results for both events
  • Posting of pairings of starting holes and foursomes for both days

The host Nest/District and the National Golf Commissioner shall work together to:

  • Establish the entry fee for golf and all functions
  • Establish the Prizes for the Tournament
  • Assemble and distribute a Welcome Packet to all golfers

Host Nest/District will:

  • Post $500 deposit to secure the event (this will be refunded upon successful completion of the Tournament)
  • Select and secure either one or two courses
  • Make hotel arrangements in the area taking cost, amenities and location into consideration
  • Arrange for entertainment at their facility in the evenings
  • Provide meals (lunch on the courses and dinner both evenings) for all golfers and guests
  • For evening functions, provide transportation to the hotel and venue and back both nights

Date:

  • Second Friday and Saturday of August, if possible, if not Second Thursday and Friday of August

Scoring:

  • PFA will accept a League handicap or Ghin card.
  • If a golfer doesn’t have a League handicap or Ghin card, PFA will use a Falcons’ handicap (this is determined by the average of scores from three previous PFA National Tournaments).
  • The handicap for new golfers without League handicap, Ghin card, or Falcons’ handicap shall be women-30, men-20.
  • Double par-pick up (once you reach, double par, you pick up your ball and take that score.)

Divisions:

One prize per division

  • Women (up to age 59) Scratch
  • Women (up to age 59) Handicap
  • Senior Women (age 60 and above) Scratch
  • Senior Women (age 60 and above) Handicap
  • Men (up to age 59) Scratch
  • Men (up to age 59) Handicap
  • Senior Men (age 60 and above) Scratch
  • Senior Men (age 60 and above) Handicap
  • May add a Junior Division if there are participants

If interested in hosting the event, the Nest/District should contact the National Golf Commissioner prior to the current year tournament. If there is more than one bid, all golfers will vote on the next host.


All of the District Golf Commissioners joined the Zoom call to revise these rules and I greatly appreciate their participation, suggestions and input.

The District Golf Commissioners are:

  • District I – Edward Ciesla
  • District II – Patricia Heineman & Jeffrey Beilfuss
  • District IV – Stephen Lubinski & Patricia Del Busse
  • District V – James Cox
  • District VI – Robert Kuzmicz
  • District VII – none (as of right now)
  • District IX – Kristen Baginski & Nicholas Carter
  • District XIII – Charles Johns

If you have any questions, please contact me or your District Commissioner.

See you in August!

Czolem!

VP Trish: 2021 Starzynski Scholarship Recipients

The National Board of Directors met last weekend. At this meeting, the recipients of the Dr. T.A. Starzynski Scholarship Program were chosen. It gives me great pleasure to list the following for the 2021-2022 school years.

Congratulations to all!

Samantha Smith of Nest 610, Erie, Pa., was selected as the Mary Kus recipient.

Samantha will receive $3,000.00!

The following were chosen for the Achievement Category…

Each will receive $1750.00!

  • Victoria Baliga – Nest 36, Southwestern CT, District V
  • Jonathan Gable – Nest 8, Pittsburgh, PA, District IV
  • Robert Lewicki – Nest 36, Southwestern CT, District V
  • Sophia Starzynski – Nest 946, Sommerville, NJ, District I
  • Nolan Witt – Nest 6, Buffalo, NY, District IX

The Involvement Category included the following…

Each will receive $1250.00!

  • Ella Futch – Nest 52, Rochester, NY, District IX
  • Emma Karczewski – Nest 80, South Bend, IN, District VI
  • Adrian Sierzega – Nest 956, Ozone Park, NY, District I
  • Jessica Sierzega – Nest 956, Ozone Park, NY, District I

There were two in the General Category…

Each will receive $800.00!

  • Sylvia Lemanski – Nest 36, Southwestern CT, District V
  • Ava Catherine Yobst – Nest 176, Pittsburgh, PA, District IV

Districts represented this year: I, IV, V, VI & IX

The applicants are representing nine Nests: 6, 8, 36, 52, 80, 176, 610, 946 & 956

Members of the Scholarship Committee: Trish Del Busse (Chairperson), Mark Albin, Patty Capozoli, Dan Michalak & Chris Puskar

Czolem!

There’s still time to contribute to your IRA for 2020!

Tax season is here, but there’s still time to make a regular IRA contribution for 2020. You have until your tax return due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $6,000 for 2020 ($7,000 if you were 50 or older on or before December 31, 2020).

For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2020 is April 15, 2021.

You can contribute to a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, or both, as long as your total contributions don’t exceed the annual limit (or, if less, 100% of your earned income). You may also be able to contribute to an IRA for your spouse for 2020, even if your spouse didn’t have any 2020 income.

Don’t miss this opportunity to make a contribution! Every dollar you contribute to your Polish Falcons IRA will earn tax-deferred interest AND you may be able to deduct your contributions on your federal tax return, which puts more money in your pocket!

Contact John Denning at 800-535-2071 or jdenning@polishfalcons.org to learn more.

Additional information at irs.gov.

Polish Falcons of America and its Representatives do not offer tax or legal advice. Please consult an appropriate professional regarding your situation.

“Let’s Walk!” Challenge for March

Okay walkers, I have walked 46 miles this month! I am sure that there are walkers out there who can beat that total! Send me your mileage for February and we will see who walked the farthest this month. As was stated previously, a small prize will be awarded to the person with the most miles walked for the month of February.

Email me with your miles walked by March 5, 2021. Our February winner will be announced in an upcoming Mid-Week Update.

Our new challenge for the month of March is a Partner Walk! Keep track of your miles and we will find the pair of walkers that walks the most miles in the month of March. Be sure to snap a photo of the two of you walking together! At the end of March, I will ask for the number of miles you and your partner walked and the photo of you two walking. Again, winners will be announced in the Mid-Week Update and small prizes will be awarded to the partners that walked the most miles.

Download Record Sheet

Enjoy your walking! -Druhna Chris