Polish-American Community of Toledo (PACT) and Toledo Poznan Alliance (TPA) Annual Scholarship Competition ends May 31, 2016

The Polish-American Community of Toledo (PACT) and the Toledo Poznan Alliance (TPA) have announced that their Sixth Annual Scholarship Competition to award $4,000 to area Polish-American students is currently underway.

Over the past five years over $13,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to students of Polish-American heritage in the Toledo area.

The competition is divided into two categories — High School and College. Applicants must fill out an application form and submit an essay. The high school category is for students in grades 8 – 12. Their essay topic is “What is the meaning of your Polish American heritage?” The college category is for undergraduate students and the topic of their essay is “What individual or event associated with Polish culture has impacted you, your community, or country the most, and why?”

Those interested in applying have until May 31, 2016 to complete Scholarship Application Form and submit it along with their essay.

Click on the Scholarship Application icon on the right under “PACT Resourses” to download the application today.

Send you completed application and essay to PACT, P.O. Box 1033, Sylvania, OH, 43560.


IMG_5004
Polska Pryba
IMG_5076
First Place “Kielbasa King” Winners

Polska Pryba Crowned 2016 Kielbasa King

(Toledo, OH) — The team of Polska Pryba, led by Jeremy Pryba, was voted the People’s Choice and earned the title “Kielbasa King” for the Polish-America Community of Toledo (PACT) Fifth Kielbasa Cook-Off held Saturday at the St. Clements Community Center in West Toledo.

Polska Pryba competed in the Fourth Kielbasa Cook-Off in October 2014 and finished in second place and tied for the Celebrity Judges Award.

For the past 15 years, Mr. Pryba and his family have used the same recipe handed down to them. And just as their grandparents did, they make their kielbasa with Polish pride and love.

“Making kielbasa has brought the Pryba family closer together. Recently, even our younger children learned how to make it and to appreciate what has become a family tradition,” said Mr. Pryba.

Polska Pryba has participated in several PACT Kielbasa Cook-offs and has already won several awards.

“We hope to be able to take our kielbasa and market it commercially some day, along with some other Polish dishes like pierogi,” said Mr. Pryba.

For more information on Polska Pryba Kielbasa or to order some for the holidays contact Jeremy Pryba by email: jeremypryba@hotmail.com.

Polska Pryba earned a trophy and $350 for the first place finish. The team voted to donate the money back to PACT for use in the PACT / Toledo Poznan Alliance Scholarship Competition.

IMG_5002
Dzia Dzia and Bushia’s Old Fashioned Recipe
IMG_5063
People’s Chioce Second Place Winners

 



Finishing second in the People’s Choice was Dzia Dzia and Busia’s Old Fashion Recipe led by Mike Hofner and Ron Smith. They picked up a check for $200.

Dzia Dzia and Busia’s Old Fashioned Kielbasa recipe came directly from Mr. Hofner’s grandparents – hence the name! They have been making their kielbasa with the rest of their family for over 20 years and have participated in the PACT’s Kielbasa Cook-Off several times having won several awards.

 

IMG_5059
People’s Choice Third Place Winners
IMG_5005
Michalski’s Recipe

The third place finisher was the team of Michalski’s Recipe led by Adam Michalski. They picked up a check for $150.

Mr. Michalski says his family has been making kielbasa for five years, and it just keeps getting better and better! They have taken two recipes that have been in the family for years — combined them — and made it to their liking.

Mr. Michalski says his family has been making kielbasa for five years, and it just keeps getting better and better! They have taken two recipes that have been in the family for years — combined them — and made it to their liking.

“Making kielbasa is a true love for the family and we believe it helps to bring them all together,” said Mr. Michalski. “The more family members that help, the better!”

IMG_4999
Ed’s Kielbasa
IMG_5040
Celebrity Choice Award

The team of Ed’s Kielbasa led by Ed Mikonowicz captured the Celebrity Judges Award. Mr. Mikonowicz started making kielbasa 15 years ago. He remembers begging his grandma for her recipe. Many of his uncles would add their two cents and say that, “this batch needs this and/or this batch needs that.” The recipe was truly a family project. Ed started off working on the kitchen table with 70 pounds of pork and having to cut it up into small pieces. Today, he has the help of his son and he is able to make quick batches of 75 pounds in a matter of hours. His kielbasa has been served at small weddings, graduation parties, and many Christmas and Easter celebrations. Ed believes his kielbasa is one of the best in Northwest Ohio. It just took him a while to get the courage to enter the Kielbasa Cook-Off.

The judges were former Toledo Mayors Mike Bell and Donna Owens, Toledo City Councilman Tom Waniewski, 1370 WSPD morning air personality Fred LeFebvre, and WTOL and Fox 36 news anchor and reporter Joe Stoll.

Ten teams competed in Saturday’s competition for title of “Kielbasa King or Queen”. The Kielbasa Cook-Off is a family fun event where area teams / families compete in a friendly competition to see who makes the best homemade kielbasa from old family recipes.

“People in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan are so proud of their ethnic heritage. Most families have those special homemade recipes that have been passed down from generation-to-generation. PACT is looking for best homemade kielbasa recipe. We want to taste that secret family recipe for kielbasa,” said Stan Machosky, Past President, PACT.

Approximately 1,000 people showed up for today’s event. PACT estimates that it will net about $8,000 for the five-hour event.

Money raised by the Kielbasa Cook-Off goes to fund the annual scholarship competition and the Capital Campaign for development of Polish Cultural Center in the Toledo area. Over the past five years, PACT, along with the Toledo Poznan Alliance (TPA), awarded over $13,000 in scholarship money to area Polish-American high school and college students.

For more information on the Kielbasa Cook-Off, the PACT Scholarship competition, or other PACT events, visit www.polishcommunity.org or e-mail, info@polishcommunity.org.


paczkiIn Poland, tłusty czwartek is celebrated on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent.  Because Lent is a time of fasting, the next opportunity to feast would not be until Easter.  Instead of parading and partying like in Mardi Gras, Poles line up to buy their favorite pastries from their local bakery (piekarnia). Of course the most famous pastry is the Pączki, a deep fried doughnut filled with any number of sweet fillings.   Fat Thursday  is one of the busiest days of the year among bakers and confectioners with an estimated 20 times higher demand for pączki than on any other day of the year.   Fat Thursday (Shrove Thursday) marked the beginning of Fat Week – a time of great gluttony during which Poles would eat loads of lard (smalec) and bacon, sometimes washed down with vodka.

A popular Polish proverb is: “if you don’t eat at least one doughnut on Shrove Thursday, you will no longer be successful in life.”


This year, the Kielbasa Cook Off will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016.  It will be held at St. Clements Parish, 3030 Tremainsville Road in Toledo Ohio.  We are excited about this year’s cook off and want to get the word out early so potential contestants can register in plenty of time.  If you have questions, or would like to be a contestant in this year’s cook off, email us at info@polishcommunity.org or call Jack Sparagowski at 419-356-1811.

KIELBASA COOK-OFF

Contestant’s Information Sheet

1.  The Kielbasa Cook-Off is being held to determine who makes the “Best” home-made kielbasa in the Toledo area.

2.  The Cook-Off will be held at the St. Clements Parish, 3030 Tremainsville Road, Toledo, Ohio.

3.  The date for the Cook-Off is Saturday, April 23, 2016, and will run from 1 to 6 PM.

4.  Contestants should plan to be at the hall no later than noon and should be prepared to start serving by 1 PM.  Contestants are expected to stay until the event closes at 7 PM.

5.  The public will be invited to attend and will taste test the contestants’ kielbasa.  Ballots will be provided to each person who will be asked to vote for the kielbasa they liked best.

6.  The winner, as selected by the collected ballots, will receive $350 in cash, a trophy and recognition as having Toledo’s best home-made kielbasa.  The runner-up will receive $200 in cash and 3rd place winner will receive $150.

7.  Promotion for the event will be conducted in local newspapers, radio and television.

8.  Contestants should bring a minimum of 60 lbs. of fully cooked and ready to eat kielbasa.  The kielbasa should be sliced into pieces that are 1 inch in length.

9.  Contestants should have a fully functional roaster or pans that are set on wire racks with sternos.  In either case, the kielbasa must be maintained at the minimum serving temperature of 160 degrees.

10. No commercial contestants will be permitted.  The contestants do not pay any registration or entry fees.  However, a check for $50 paid to PACT will be collected before the Cook-Off and returned after the cook-off is finished.  In the event that the contestant does not show up,  the check will be forfeited to PACT.

11. Beer, pop,  coffee cake, sweet & sour cabbage and other foods and condiments  will be provided by PACT, the event sponsor.

12.  A meeting will take place 2 weeks prior to the Cook-Off where contestants can ask questions and all information will be supplied at that time.  All contestants will be notified about the meeting.


Follow the Footsteps of St. John Paul II.

Pope John Paul

Sept. 6 – 16, 2016

Krakow, Wadowice, Auschwitz, Czestochowa, Zakupani, and Wieliczka!

**9 nights in Krakow’s City Center near Medieval Market Square

**Evening spent strolling Krakow Old Town (a UNESCO Heritage site):

St. Mary Church, Sukiennice Cloth Hall, Florianska Gate, famed Jewish Kazimierz district, Old Town’s defensive walls and the Barbican, Wawel Castle Cathedral, buriel site of St. Stanislaus, Patron Saint of Poland

**St. John Paul II Tour (Known as the “Catholic Tour”.  Following in the Footsteps of St. John Paul II, Visiting Wadowice, His birthplace and where he was baptized.

**Jasna Gora Monastery, the most famous Shrine in Poland and location of the Black Madonn a of Czestochowa.

**Experience Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camp and Museum (commemorating the lives of those who died during the Holocaust of World War II.  Visit the cell which housed St. Maximilian Kolbe.

**Tour the legendary Wieliczka Salt Mine.  View Alterpieces, monument and religious icons carved by the faith-filled miners.

**Zakopani and the Tatra Mountains, a favorite respite of St. John Paul II.

Pilgrimage Excursion Price–$3,578

Please call Chris Dougherty for additional information.  419-345-2512

cdougherty@PinnacleTourExperience.com

www.pinnacletourexperience.com

 

 


October Polish heritage

Show your pride in your Polish Heritage!  The month of October is a good time to learn something new about Poland,  the country of your ancestors.  Here are a few suggestions for things you can do:

1. Start your family tree and invite all the members of your family to get involved.

2. Review a map of Poland and learn more about the town or city of your ancestors.

3. Read a book on Polish history and share that information with family and friends.

4. Attend a Polish American event and invite others to attend with you.

5. Display a Polish and American flag, a red and white bow, or a Heritage Month poster in your home or place of business.

6. Learn more about Polish customs and share that information with others.

7. Join a Polish American organization and get involved in some way.

There are many Polish American groups in Toledo that you can join.  PACT is sponsoring a pierogi class this month and also celebrates Wigilia in December.  These are two very important parts of Polish heritage that you may want to learn.  In any event, enjoy Polish Heritage month with your Polish family and friends!


This year’s golf scramble, held at Giant Oaks Golf Course, had the most competitors in the golf scramble’s history.  One hundred and eight golfers (27 4-man teams) competed for the winning spot.  This year’s winners were: George Polcyn, Steve Spencer, Tim McQuire and Chris Monroe.  They each received a cash prize of $300 and $200 in gift certificates to Stanley’s Market.  PACT member, Ed Lepiarz had a hole in one on the 15th hole, a par 3.

 

P1040283

2015 winners:  Tim McQuire, Steve Spencer,Chris Monroe,

and standing in for George Polcyn is Betty Osenbaugh, PACT board member.

 

P1040223

Ed Lepiarz had a hole-in-one on the 15th hole.

 

 


Jestem Polski

 

Throughout the existence of Poland, the contributions made to the betterment of mankind is innumerable, and I am glad I can say “Jestem Polski”.  To me, being Polish-American includes three pillars that should be practiced by all patriotic Poles, the first of which being the practicing of Polish culture and traditions.  Being Polish-American also means studying the academia and works of art and literature born out of the heart of Central Europe, Poland.  Finally, a large part of having a Polish heritage is Catholic faith.  To me, being Polish means to be cultured, to be studious, and to be religious.

To me my Polish tradition means implementing Polish culture into my life.  one of the ways I do this is by enriching my vocabulary with that of the Polish language, whether it be in song, or conversation.  Implementing the culture of Poland also means to celebrate holidays as a Polish-American.  This means having Polish food and drink, and celebrating in a Polish way, by following the customs and traditions of Poland.  Being Polish also means studying the humanities of Poland.  I do this by reading the likes of Adam Mickiewicz and his poetry, of Leszek Kolakowski critiques of Marx.  Studying Poland’s humanities is also understanding the history of Poland, seeing the art of Poland, and hearing the compositions of those such as Fryderyk Chopin.  As said by Kolakowski, “We learn history not in order to know how to behave or how to succeed, but to know who we are.”  Finally being Polish to me means to live out my Catholic faith.  I do this by being a lector for my parish and helping with mass.  I also help by volunteering in my church community, and helping the less fortunate.  All of these things are what it means to be Polish.

I am Polish by my traditions, I am Polish by my education, and finally, I am Polish by my faith.  I live out my heritage through the holidays I celebrate, the food I eat, and the words I speak.  I am living my Polish heritage by the works I read, the art I see, and the music I hear.  Finally my heritage is my Catholic faith, which has been and integral part of Poland since the 10th century.  In conclusion, being Polish is embracing the culture, the humanities, and the faith of Poland.


I wrote an essay last year telling you about my pride in being Polish but I did not win a scholarship.  I was proud of what I wrote, so I am sending it again.  This time, I am adding a few things.  I am leaving for boot camp in a few days.  I will do boot camp this summer and then return to do my senior year at Central Catholic.  My grandfather joined the Marines right out of high school when he was 17.  I am 17 and I am now a member of the Army National Guard.  They called my grandpa “Ski” like they did for most Polish guys in the service.  Because my last name is Collins, I am a little bit bummed that no one will call me “Ski”.  But, I will make sure that people know I am half Polish.

Although my name is Collins, my mother’s maiden name is Kwiatkowski and I consider myself to be Polish.  My mother, Connie, is the daughter of Caroline (Kasper) and the late John Kwiatkowski.  Whenever we celebrate anything, we begin with a prayer.  At holidays, we share Oplatki and eat kielbasa, pierogi, placek and kapusta.  At birthdays, we sing Happy Birthday followed by Sto Lat.

My grandmother is first generation American since her dad Stanislaus Kasper was born in Poland in 1907 in Lwow.  His father left Poland ahead of the rest of the family to find a job and settle in Huntington, Indiana.  There were 14 children in his family but many of them died while babies.  Only five of them lived to be adults.  He moved to Toledo to marry my great grandmother, Albina Ciacuch.

My great, great grandfather bought land in Huntington, Indiana and he felt so happy to be in America that he wanted to share his good fortune.  They grew their own food and canned and they fed any beggars that came to their house.  I think that helping others and sharing what we have comes from being Polish.  We are generous and hardworking people.  I belong to St. Pius X Church in Toledo.  My family and I help out with scouts, fish fries, and we help to feed the homeless doing outreach to the community.

Our family takes pride in being Polish and we value hard work and dedication to our Church and community.  My great Uncle John Kasper is an Oblate of St. Fancis and my great Aunt Sister Mary Ann Kasper is a nun in the Servants of Jesus order.  My great Aunt Pat Urbaniak is a church organist and my grandmother works at Lourdes University.

I attend Central Catholic and I will be a senior at the start of next year.  I play many sports, including cross country, track and soccer.  I volunteer at Hospice of Northwest Ohio and help my mom with feeding the homeless every month.  This scholarship will be beneficial to both my family and me because my family is light on money and the scholarship would take some of the stress off my hard working parents.  I am proud to be Polish because they encourage hard work and charity to others and I do too.

I hope you consider me for this scholarship but if not, I will still continue to be proud of my heritage.


It’s a blessing and a comfort to know where your family comes from and I’m fortunate to have been enveloped in my mother’s Polish background while growing up.  I’ve called my grandpa Dziadzia, ate Polish food at family gatherings and heard stories from my mom about “Busia”, my great-grandmother.  As I grew, I realized that not all of my friends celebrated their roots as much as my family did, and I became more interested in learning about our Polish background from relatives and through my own research.  At Ohio State, I discovered the Polish Club and met fellow Polish-American Ohio State students.  I enjoy attending the club’s events and witnessing a culture take form with such a young group of people.  Last year, I was awarded a grant to study abroad and immediately opted for the Eastern European program.

During my study abroad program, I visited Warsaw.  Our studies focused on the culture and history of Eastern Europe.  We learned about Poland’s rich history from the  country’s changing size, its role in WWII and today’s modern culture.  Immersing myself in my ancestral region helped shape my entire experience in Eastern Europe.  I felt connected to my roots and though Poland is much different than it was back when my relatives lived there, I nevertheless felt a strong sense of identity during my visit.  It was an incredible experience to put stories my great-grandparents told my mother into context.  The Poles were thrilled to meet us and each had a story regarding a family member or friend who lived in the States.  Their genuine interest in my life as an American was both unique and endearing to me.

This experience became even more special to me this past fall when my Dziadzia, Bob Jankowski, passed away.  The loss was difficult for my family yet I feel blessed to have shared a few special months with him bonding over my experience in Poland.  I shared trip photos and stories with him, and although he was a man of few words, during those moments, I made a connection with my Dziadzia that I hold close in my heart.  I brought him back a hat embroidered with “Polska” from Poland.  It now sits on my dresser and not a day goes by that I’m not reminded of him.

To me, having a Polish-American heritage means having deep connections; a connection with my Dziadzia and the great man he was; a connection to my ancestors; and a connection to a global community that culturally ties us through our Polish roots, forming instant bonds.  The Polish friends I’ve made in Columbus are the same as the Polish friends I’ve made in Warsaw in the sense that we all enthusiastically share and appreciate our heritage.  I’ve found the Polish community to be wonderfully open and passionate about their culture.  The food is delicious, the history is fascinating, the Polka is fun, but the people, including my Dziadzia, are what make my Polish heritage and honor and a true blessing.