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family

Announcing the 2021 PFA Virtual Pet Walk!

Celebrate National Pet Month in May! Grab your furry friends and join us for our first Virtual Pet Walk!

What: 1 mile walk with your pet(s)

When: Anytime beginning Saturday, May 15th through Saturday, May 29th

Where: Location of your choice!

Cost: $5 per family with pet(s)

Send us a photo of you and your pet(s) completing your walk and receive a PFA Virtual Pet Walk collar tag. Photos must be submitted to info@polishfalcons.org by end of day on Saturday, May 29th. All who register will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 Chewy.com gift card!

Click here to register.

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.

Virtual Sharing of the Oplatek

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: Thanksgiving Pumpkin Roll

Had too much fun with Halloween! After a few modifications, our house is decorated for Thanksgiving! As much as I love to decorate for Christmas, I enjoy Thanksgiving. My blessings are plentiful!

November celebrates several birthdays in my family! My baby brother and I are the 14th (Brad was born on my 5th birthday, best gift ever!), John is the 25th (my wild man is turning 60!) and my youngest son, Gregory, was born on November 30th.

As you know, I love to bake and now is the time to really get into full gear! I make pumpkin roll for Thanksgiving then the cookies start. This is not my recipe, but I shall share it:

For each 29 ounce can of pure pumpkin, you will have enough to make five rolls.

Cake:

Beat:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin

Add:

  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Grease a 15 X 10 jelly-roll pan, then add a sheet of waxed paper and grease that also. Pour batter evenly into pan.

Bake at 375 for 13-15 minutes.

Immediately flip cake onto sugar sprinkled tea towel. Peel off the paper, sprinkle more sugar, roll the cake in the towel, and allow to cool.

Filling:

Beat until well-blended:

  • 1 8 oz. package Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon (not an error) vanilla extract (I only use pure vanilla)

Unroll cake and towel, spread cream cheese mixture on cake. Roll, wrap in plastic wrap. (I also wrap in foil because I like to freeze mine). Or refrigerate for at least one hour.

These make wonderful gifts for those you are thankful for and give a delicious preview of what’s to come!


The end of year mailing went out last week to each Nest Financial Secretary. It contains all the reports that the National Office requires. There is a memo with the deadline dates for each form.

If your Nest has a trust fund, there is a new form for updated signatures.

There are also two sheets of forms for the Nest referral program.

If you have any questions at all regarding the forms required, please contact me.


Hope you all voted! Keep safe and healthy! Wash those hands!

2020 PFA Virtual Golf Tournament

It’s time to tee it up! Polish Falcons of America is hosting its first-ever Virtual Golf Tournament: Falcons, Eagles & Birdies – Oh, My! The Tournament will take place August 22 through September 30 and is open to both Members and Non-Members. Learn more and sign up by clicking here.

VP Trish: Kindness, Appreciation & Generosity

Nest 97 Member, Genevieve Borovicka, just celebrated her 99th birthday! Happy Birthday and Sto Lat! One of the surprises for Gramma was a phone call from polka great, Jimmy Sturr.

The gentleman pictured here with Druhna is her grandson, Ken Meier. Ken received a Dr. T.A. Starzynski grant back in 1994 ($750). Ken was the first Nest 97 Member to receive a grant and his sister, Kristine, was the third Nest 97 Member receiving a grant in 1999 ($800). Ken now serves as Nest 97 Treasurer, a position his grandfather once held.

Gramma was so excited and grateful that she decided to do her part and donate on a regular basis to the Dr. T.A. Starzynski Scholarship Program, contributing to the program’s sustainability. Each month, Druhna sends in a $10 check (along with silly jokes she cuts from magazines) and has done so over 300 times! We look forward to her correspondence each month!

The Polish Falcons, our recipients and I are very appreciative of Druhna Genevieve’s kindness. Perhaps there are a few more Genevieves out there?

When I attend National events, especially youth ones, it is always so nice to recognize previous scholarship recipients in attendance. It warms my heart when recipients are still active within the Polish Falcons.

Reasons to insure your children:

  • Scholarships are one of the many benefits of Membership
  • Juvenile insurance guarantees insurability later in life (if Lord forbid, something happens and your child becomes uninsurable)
  • The younger a person is when they obtain life insurance, the lower the cost

Keep safe! Czolem!

Druhna Chris: PFA Beginnings

With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the cancellation of PFA events, and with history being an important part of the Falcons, I would like you to share your experiences as a Member with us. I am interested in how you became a Member; was it through your parents or grandparents? What activities have you been involved in, or are still involved in today? What is your favorite memory? How have your friendships in the PFA flourished? What are some of the things that you have learned as a Member? These are all things that interest me.

I know that I became involved in the PFA through my Ciocia, Betty Bubacz. She was the Instructress for Nest 118 in Pittsburgh. She always stopped at our house on the way to gym class with my cousins. One summer evening, she saw how bored I was and decided I should go with them to gym class. So, I went. That night Druhna Leona Kozloski was there to teach Polish dancing. I had so much fun that I continued to go to gym class and have been active pretty much since then. I did have a bit of a break during college. I got involved again when our National First Vice President Trish talked me into attending a Nest meeting. She has been one of those lifelong friends who helps me with everything. As soon as my children were able to attend events, they became actively involved. They both, too, have made many lifelong friends in the PFA. My husband took a little longer to get involved, but has been my back-up and behind the scenes helper with everything I do in my job as the National Physical Education Director. My cousin Barbara Chervenak was, for a while, my helper at all the Youth Events as Secretary, and a general helper with everything. Now, my cousin Patty Capozoli helps me with all those events. We always manage to have a great time with each other and the youth participants. After my pause for college, I have been active in my Nest and District and with the National Office. The Puskar’s are a Polish Falcons family. All of my closest friends are Polish Falcons people. I am very grateful to my Ciocia Betty for taking me with her to gym class that day. Polish Falcons is a huge part of my life, and I love every minute of it.

Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear the stories of how you became involved in the PFA. I know that there are many, many families that have similar stories to tell. Now that we are all mostly at home practicing our “social distancing,” you might have the time to write down your story and send it to me. Maybe we will get enough stories together to put them into a book. I love photos too. Maybe you can send one or two with your story?

There is no age limit to who can send their stories. All ages can tell us about their favorite parts of the PFA. I am looking forward to hearing from you! Email your story to cpuskar@polishfalcons.org.

Czolem!