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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

PFA National Convention Announcement

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At a Special Meeting of the Polish Falcons of America National Board of Directors held on Friday, May 29, 2020, the Board voted unanimously to hold a virtual Regular Convention on Saturday, November 21, 2020, and a Special Convention in July 2021 in New Britain, Conn. Click here for a statement from PFA National President Timothy L. Kuzma that describes the details of the Board’s decision and the plan for the Conventions.

VP Trish: 2020 Gorecki Recipients

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It pleases me to share the decision of the independent Richard C. Gorecki Scholarship Committee. Their decision was approved by the Polish Falcons of America Board of Directors at our meeting held last weekend.

First of all, the Independent Committee is comprised of five very special individuals who so generously give of their time and expertise and choose our recipients.

They are:

  • Mary Louise Ellena-Wygonik – President of the Kosciuszko Foundation, teaches at LaRoche University
  • Robert Tierney – Vice President of the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh
  • Kevin Richards – Youth Director for Slovene National Benefit Society
  • Jolanta Lion – Director of the CMU International Film Festival, Assistant Director of The Humanities Center, teaches Polish at CMU
  • Susan Wuchenich Parker – Member of the Serb National Federation, Associate Professor of Early Childhood & Special Education teaching at Robert Morris University

After much discussion, they chose:

  • Mateusz Conrado – Nest 79, District XIII (since he is a Nest 79 Member, he will receive $11,000). His major is Nursing, attending Grand Valley State University with a GPA of 3.4.
  • Matthew Dutczak – Nest 42, District II. His major is Masters of Wind Band Conducting with a GPA of 3.6, and he is attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
  • Timothy Eckert – Nest 907, District II. He is currently attending the Liberty University College of Medicine as a Graduate student. His GPA is 3.9.

The Independent Committee reviewed and discussed and as is the usual, they were extremely impressed with all of the applicants.

The Scholarship Committee of the PFA Board of Directors is:

  • Patricia Del Busse – Chairperson
  • Patricia Capozoli – District IV Director
  • Edward Ciesla – District I Director
  • John Kowarik – District V Director
  • Thomas Washington – District VII Director

Thank you all for everything you do for our Scholarship Programs!

#GivingTuesdayNow: Support your Nest!

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05/12/2020 Update: Contributions now being accepted through May 31, 2020.

Support your Nest!

#GivingTuesdayNow (May 5) is a global day of generosity and unity, a day to come together and give back in response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19, no matter who or where we are.

If able in this difficult time, PFA National Headquarters is asking Polish Falcons Members to make a contribution to support their Nests.

Our Nests have been closed for five weeks or longer. There is little or no income and bills still need to be paid. How much would you have spent at your Nest over the course of five weeks? Are you able to donate that amount or a portion of it?

Today through May 12, let us come together as Falcons for our Nests. This is your chance to show support for your Nest and make a donation to help the Nest get through these challenging times. No amount is too small. Thank you for giving.

Click here to make your contribution.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Relief Program

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04/08/2020 Update: Applications Now Available Here.

Several years ago the Polish Falcons of America created a Disaster Relief Program to assist Members who were affected by a natural disaster. Since that time, PFA has provided thousands of dollars in assistance to our Members. In light of the current situation as a result of the world-wide pandemic, the PFA National Board of Directors voted to approve a new program to provide assistance to those Members affected by the virus.

Applications for the program will be available on the PFA website starting on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. The program will be open until December 31, 2020, or until the funds available are exhausted. Because of the limited funds available, applications will be handled on a first come, first served basis. The amount of each grant is $250.

Below are the requirements for the program.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. An individual Member who has been infected with the coronavirus.
  2. An individual Member with an immediate family member who has been infected with the coronavirus. Immediate family member is defined as a spouse, children, parents or in-laws, or someone who is dependent on the care of the Member.
  3. An individual Member who has experienced a significant financial setback as a result of the coronavirus. These applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  4. The applicant must be a Member of PFA in Good Standing (which means all National Dues must be current at the time of application).
  5. Grants are available to one per household.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Physical Education Director Chris Puskar at cpuskar@polishfalcons.org or by calling National Headquarters toll-free at 800-535-2071.

If you would like to make a donation to help support this program and increase the number of grants available to Members in need, please send check payable to Polish Falcons of America, Attn: Chris Puskar, 1016 Greentree Rd., Suite 201, Pittsburgh, PA 15220.

Class of 2020: We want to celebrate you!

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Polish Falcons of America wishes to celebrate the Class of 2020, since sadly, most will not have a graduation ceremony next month due to COVID-19. If you are a PFA Member graduating from High School or College this year, we would like recognize your accomplishment in the summer issue of the Sokol Polski. To be included, please send an email to cpuskar@polishfalcons.org with your full name, Nest number, school and degree (i.e. high school diploma, certificate, bachelor’s, etc.) by Friday, May 1, 2020.

An Important Update from Polish Falcons of America

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The health and safety of all our Members is of the utmost importance to the Board of Directors, Executive Management and staff of Polish Falcons of America. We hope that each and every one of you is coping as best as possible in these unprecedented times. If you, a family member or friend has been directly affected by COVID-19 please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Following is an update from National Headquarters about the status of the organization and the things we are doing to deal with the crisis.

Relief Program

Earlier this week we announced a relief program for our Members. Complete details can be found here, or by contacting National Physical Education Director Chris Puskar at cpuskar@polishfalcons.org. You can also call National Headquarters toll-free at 800-535-2071.

This program, and our Disaster Relief Program, are funded primarily through the generous contributions of our Members. If you want to make a donation to help your fellow Members, please send directly to National Headquarters at Polish Falcons of America, Attn. Chris Puskar, 1016 Greentree Rd., Suite 201, Pittsburgh, PA 15220.

National Convention

At a recent meeting, the National Board of Directors voted unanimously to postpone the National Convention scheduled for this July in New Britain, Conn. This decision was not taken lightly as the Convention is the Supreme Governing Body of our organization.

Another important factor here is the fact that Nests and Districts must meet prior to the Convention to elect delegates and nominate National Directors. The Board did not believe there was a safe or effective way to do this in time for the Convention. In order for everyone to plan for the Convention, the decision was made to postpone the Convention.

The obvious question is: What are we going to do about the Convention? We do not have an answer yet. Be assured that the Executive Committee and Board are exploring all the options for the Convention. I expect that an announcement for the Convention will be made by the end of April or early May at the latest. We are mindful that Nests and Districts will need time to plan their important meetings.

Future Leaders Conference

Since the Conference was going to be held in conjunction with the Convention this year, this event is also being postponed. National Physical Education Director Chris Puskar is also working on alternatives for the Conference. An announcement concerning the Conference will be made by the end of April.

National Golf Tournament

As of today, the National Golf Tournament is still scheduled for this August with Nest 610, Erie, Pa., as host. We are monitoring this situation closely and are prepared to make any changes if necessary. Please watch for any announcements via email or posted here.

National Headquarters Operations

It is important that all Members know that Polish Falcons of America is still open for business. While most of the staff is working remotely, we are still processing all our business as usual. We are accepting new applications, accepting premium and dues payments, and paying all claims. You can contact the office by email at info@polishfalcons.org or by calling toll-free at 800-535-2071.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at tkuzma@polishfalcons.org. Please stay healthy and safe.

Czolem,

Timothy L. Kuzma
National President

Falcon Fun at Home!

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Polish Falcons of America is excited to share new “Falcon Fun at Home” activities with our Members during this time. Be sure to check back as we will be posting more soon.

  1. Special page for kids and their families! Enjoy this collection of fun things for families compiled by PFA. Click here to visit the page.
  2. Upcoming live Easter workshop! Join PFA Cultural Commissioner Larry Kozlowski on Facebook for an Easter workshop on April 3rd at noon eastern. Like us on Facebook.
  3. Recipes from the Sokol Polski! Download a PDF of Polish recipes from past issues of the Sokol Polski magazine. Click here for the recipes.

Please share with your family and friends. Czolem!