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Courtney Caughey-Stambul

VP Trish: National Golf Commissioner

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It is with great pleasure that I accept the position of National Golf Commissioner.

Druhna Mary Whalen informed our President, Tim, that she would no longer be interested in holding the position of National Golf Commissioner. Thank you, Mary, for a job well done!

Tim asked for my suggestions as to whom should take on this role. I gave him a list of names that I thought might be interested as well as do a good job. I included my name on the list and expressed why I would like to do this.

I did chat with Druhna following my appointment and she shared information regarding the golf. Having chaired a number of National Golf Tournaments, I have worked with Druhna Mary as well as Druh Robert Wienczkowski (who held the position prior to Druhna).

In recent years, I have lost my desire to golf (although with Ryanna golfing, things may change!) but I still like the game and enjoy the tournaments. The advantage with me is that I will not be on the course but at the clubhouse able and willing to help the host Nest.

The first National Golf Tournament I participated in was in 1994, hosted by Nest 493, Batavia, N.Y. There were 248 golfers!

Since that time, I have either participated or helped at most of the National Tournaments (two of the tournaments I missed were due to my involvement with our Youth Programs) and been the Chairperson of several. I have chaired other tournaments during this time for my District, the Polish American Congress Charitable Foundation, the Polish Falcons Heritage Foundation as well as numerous other outings on a personal level. During this time, I have served as the District IV Golf Commissioner (not the entire time but most of it).

Whether I participated in the tournament or not, I was still involved with some of the logistics prior to the event by communicating with the golfers, working with the host Nest and helping with the waivers.

Obviously, things have changed considerably since 1994. Rules have changed, golfers have changed, expectations have changed. With that being said, I intend to modify the role of the National Golf Commissioner.

My thinking is that some of the logistics of the tournament should be handled by the Commissioner:

  • Corresponding with the golfers prior to the tournament including the golf waivers
  • Setting up the foursomes
  • Registration at the tournament
  • Suggestions for fundraising for the host Nest/District
  • Fun games other than the actual golf for the participants
  • Prizes
  • Scoring

Obviously, the Chair of the tournament from the Nest would be involved and have input. My plan isn’t to come in and take over but to help you create a fun experience for the golfers as well as for you!

In one of my other blogs, I talked about how the National Golf Tournament inadvertently led me to my position as your National First Vice President.

I look forward to working with the golfers! If any of you have any suggestions, please let me know. I am more than willing to listen. We need to increase participation as well as entice other Nests to be the host.

Keep safe! Keep warm!

Czolem!

My email: vptrish@polishfalcons.org

My phone: 724-747-3179 (my cell phone since I am working from home most of the time)

PFA’s New Member Referral Program

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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!

Drawings: Feb. 28, 2021 ($250 prize!) and Sept. 30, 2021 ($500 prize!)

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

2020 Virtual Sharing of the Oplatek

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Thank you to everyone who attended our Virtual Sharing of the Oplatek on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020!

Please enjoy the following highlights and photos (screenshots!) from the event.


Prayer and Message from Fr. Timothy Whalen, PFA National Chaplain


A Polish Christmas Tradition: Sharing of the Oplatek


Remarks by Trish Del Busse, PFA National First Vice President

Ordinarily, we would walk around, share the Oplatek, hug, kiss and offer each other a very Merry Christmas and good wishes for the New Year. This year is quite different and very challenging in so many ways. But we are still gathering (even though virtually) and it is still the most wonderful time of the year!

I would like to offer a few reminders from books and movies:

  • The true spirit of Christmas lies in our hearts!
  • Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we cannot see!
  • The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!
  • Christmas isn’t just a day; it is a frame of mind!

Christmas gift suggestions:

  • To your enemy, forgiveness.
  • An opponent, tolerance.
  • To your friend, your heart.
  • A customer, service.
  • To all, charity.
  • To every child, a good example.
  • To yourself, respect.

Jesus is the reason, Christmas is the Birthday of our Lord.

And so, this Christmas season may our hearts with gladness glow, as we remember the blessed story that took place so long ago. This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ child. Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide-open heart that thinks of others first.

John and I along with our family Wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Wesolych Swiat!

I usually wish a Happy, Healthy New Year, but this year, I will also add out with the old and in with the new!

Hopefully, 2021 will bring us much optimism, joy and prosperity. Instead of wishing for an extraordinary 2021, let’s pray for a somewhat ordinary 2021!

Czolem!


Cicha Noc (Silent Night) (Video Credit: Polish Eagle)


Special Message from Larry Kozlowski, PFA Cultural Commissioner


Photos (Screenshots!) from the Event

Click to enlarge.

Additional Carols:

VP Trish: Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child!

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Years ago, when I first heard about the Elf on the Shelf, I was totally baffled by folks wanting to participate in this nonsense. I mean, it is Christmas time! There’s cleaning, decorating, shopping, and baking responsibilities added to our already overwhelming lives! Who has time or desire for something else to do!!??

Well! A few years ago, Mimi (Ryan & Ryanna’s other grandmother) decided that this is a wonderful thing; Fisbee arrived at their home. When I would go down there, the kids would be so excited to show me what Fisbee had been doing. Ryanna would take my hand and lead me to Fisbee! The excitement and the joy! The kids decided that I needed an Elf and sure enough an Elf arrived at my home.

All of a sudden there was an Elf who needed a name; the name Sparkle was chosen. Sparkle jumps from location to location and periodically brings a gift (like their hats for the Polar Express!), but usually she just hangs out. On December 6, she ran into St. Nicholas! Some days, she leaves us a note. Ryanna finds it interesting that Fisbee writes like Mommy and Sparkle writes like Nonni!! Wonder why?

Sparkle also doesn’t make messes and misbehave. I mean, the Elf flies back to the North Pole every night to report to Santa, so why would she be naughty! Plus, she helps! When I purchase wrapping paper, there is no need to hide it because Sparkle takes it up to Santa! Sparkle is also a baker (she is mine after all!).

Ryanna expected Sparkle to have a new outfit this year and sure enough she did. Notice her pretty plaid skirt, her fuzzy vest and of course, her footwear!

The greatest joy of all is seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child! The Elf is a perfect example!


I am trying to get into full swing with my baking, using some of my typical recipes but I thought I would share this one:

Cranberry Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Beat until creamy:

  • ¾ cup softened butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ¼ cup sugar

Add:

  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

Add:

  • 1 cup cranberries (fresh if possible)
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks (same aisle as chocolate chips)
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Using a scoop, please cookies on greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes.

Generally, I chill my cookie dough; this is one that doesn’t need it (think it is because of the corn syrup?).


Looking forward to sharing the oplatek with many of you during our Virtual Oplatek.

Please encourage the younger Members who are graduating next year to visit our website regarding information on our Scholarship Programs. Our program is funded by donations from Members, and they want to see their kindness go towards helping a Member on their road to a higher education.

Czolem!

VP Trish: Polar Express! (and Nest info)

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Obviously, our ways of celebrating and enjoying have been drastically modified this year. Our ride on the Polar Express was no exception. I remember when I had mentioned to Ryanna that we wouldn’t be able to ride the Polar Express this year (Two years ago, we rode one in Ohio and last year, one in New York.), she asked if we could do this at home. This got my wheels spinning, and the only thing I think that could have made this better would have been if I had played the audio version of the Polar Express Story in the car (which we have and have listened to previously), but I hadn’t thought to do that!

Last Friday, Conductor Nonni put on her conductor hat and climbed aboard her beautifully decorated train (Gaga wrapped battery-operated Christmas lights around the luggage racks, the hood and the wreath that he had secured to the grill along with a Rudolph nose. He also affixed reindeer antlers and Polar Express flags to the racks, placed a Polar Express sticker on the front window and attached a Polar Express license plate to the front of the car). The first stop was to pick up Ryan, Ryanna and Mama. The kids donned the hats that elf, Sparkle (another story) brought, then came out of their house to the sound of a locomotive (YouTube!). Once they showed their tickets, they jumped in. While riding around the neighborhood enjoying the decorations provided by the community, they sipped hot chocolate and ate cookies. When we chugged through Mon City, Santa was in his little house so we stopped to visit with him. Of course, we had to social distance.

Once aboard again, we continued on our journey. When we arrived back at the station, (the outside of the station was decorated with lots of lights including their climbing dome) there was a visitor with Gaga. It seemed that Santa made an early stop to Ginger Hill! The family room had been decorated including a tree and lots of other decorations.

Santa gave each of the kids a bell ornament (if you know the story, this is very important!). Probably the best surprise for the kids was the “sleigh” that Santa used that night. We took a walk to my garage and were surprised to find that Santa had driven to our house in a red corvette! Santa allowed the kids to sit in the car, start it, and bring up the headlights!

Ryan & Ryanna understand that the real Santa never leaves the North Pole as he is too busy. His helper, Bernie (a friend of John’s), was able to get out of his extremely warm suit and spend some time with us. Each of the kids gave Santa some candy as a thank you! Santa will receive cookies in a couple weeks!

The amusement, the joy and the fun made this night another wonderful experience that I am blessed to share with my grandchildren. I would love to hear how you are celebrating all the while keeping you and yours safe.


Nest Information

Each Nest Financial Secretary received their end-of-year packet of paperwork around Halloween. Most of the forms are not due until February 28. BUT, if your Nest has the National Office collect your Nest dues, we need the roster and forms returned to us (deadline was last week). Please submit this or there will be no changes made to your Nest dues bills.

Each Nest President received a letter via email regarding the election of Nest Officers. The point of the letter is about the Nest elections. “Since these are unusual circumstances, especially concerning gatherings, the Board of Directors approved the recommendation of the Legal Committee that a Nest can extend the term of its current Officers for an additional year. This would eliminate the need to hold a meeting to conduct an election this year. Please note that a Nest can still conduct a meeting, virtually or in-person, if it chooses to do so.”


Keep safe! Enjoy the preparations for Christmas, try not to get bogged down by the work and simply enjoy the season.

VP Trish: It’s Scholarship Time!

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Before you know it, the scholarship deadlines will be here!

The National Board of Directors met prior to the Convention. The Scholarship Committee met and recommended the following changes to our scholarship programs; which the Board approved.

Richard C. Gorecki Scholarship Program:

  • Minimum Membership requirement has been reduced to four years.

The other requirements remain the same, especially the need to have a permanent plan of insurance in force at least one year prior to your applying.

Application and all supporting documents must be postmarked by April 15, 2021.

Dr. T.A. Starzynski Scholarship Program:

  • Minimum Membership requirement has been reduced to two years.
  • Amount of grant in the Achievement Category has been increased to $1750.00.
  • Amount of grant in the Involvement Category has been increased to $1250.00.
  • Amount of grant in the General Category has been increased to $800.00.

The other requirements have not changed.

Application and all other documents must be postmarked by February 15, 2021.

The newly-revised applications are available here. There is also a list of past recipients for both programs – very interesting!Thank you to those of you who donate to the scholarship fund; there were quite a few who donated during the Convention.

  • Nest 725 donated in Memory of:
    • Nest 725 deceased Members $100.00
    • Caroline Knetsch $50.00
    • Celia Ggrabczyk $50.00
    • Robert Beilfuss $50.00
    • Lottie Fik $50.00
  • District II – $100.00 in Memory of deceased Members
  • District II Legion of Honor – $100.00
  • District IV – $100.00
  • District VI Legion of Honor – $500.00
  • Nest 31 – $100.00
  • Nest 42 – $100.00
  • Nest 45 – $100.00
  • Nest 86 – $100.00
  • Nest 118 – $100.00
  • Nest 123 – $100.00
  • Nest 176 – $100.00
  • Nest 827 – $100.00
  • Nest 6 – $100.00 in Memory of Yvonne Pelletterie
  • Vicky Aitken – $100.00 in Memory of her Mother, Florence Kowalczyk Aitken
  • Kathy Perez – $50.00 in Memory of Frania Tracz
  • Dorothy Kopchik – $50.00 in Memory of Frania Tracz
  • Ron Staniszewski, Bob Jakubiec and Teresa Opalacz Landy – $300.00 in Memory of Ilene Kennedy and Frania Tracz
  • Louise Barnes – $400.00 in Memory of her husband, Raymond and her parents Wanda & Jerry Podgorny
  • Richard (Joseph) Federowicz and Family – $250.00
  • Ryan & Kate Gregg and Family – $100.00
  • Chuck & Julianne Johns and Family – $100.00
  • John & Connie Denning and Family – $100.00
  • Joan & John Pawlukiewicz and Family – $100.00
  • Barbara & Frank Wloch and Family – $100.00
  • Patty & Goog Capozoli – $100.00
  • Tom & Barb Eckert and Family – $250.00 in Memory of deceased Members of District II

Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Czolem!

2020 PFA National Convention

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The 42nd Quadrennial National Convention of the Polish Falcons of America was held virtually on Saturday, November 21, 2020. After months of preparation, we are happy to announce the Convention was a success with 226 Delegates in attendance. Thank you to those who participated. Click here for election results and replays of videos shown during the National Convention.

Virtual Sharing of the Oplatek

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You’re invited to join us virtually for a beloved Polish Christmas tradition – sharing of the Oplatek wafer – on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. eastern.

This virtual “Sharing of the Oplatek” is free and open to all. Gather via Zoom to wish one another a blessed Christmas, good health and good fortune, offer forgiveness, and look towards a New Year.

Make your own Oplatek wafer, use a cracker/cookie of your choice – or request a wafer from us.

Click here to learn more and register.

VP Trish: Sweet Potato Crunch

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This recipe is one that my grandmother always made; I thought she created it. I have shared this with many, giving my grandmother, Jule credit for it. Finally one day, I asked her how she came up with it, to which she replied, “I didn’t, I found it in a cookbook!” I was so amused, all this time bragging about her culinary expertise! But seriously, it is really good for those of us who enjoy sweet potatoes!

Cook 2 pounds of sweet potatoes (I used canned, as did Jule).

After cooking, drain, mix and mash. Then add the following:

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg

Pout this mixture into a 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 on sweet potato mixture.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes!

It is fabulous!