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POLISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
Polish American Heritage Month is an annual designation observed in October. Across the globe, there are about 9.5 million Polish Americans. They represent about 3% of the American population. The first wave of millions of Poles migrated America between 1800 and 1860. The second and third generations of Poles were born in America in the late 1900’s, and grew up as Americans with a touch of Polish heritage. The Polish have always held onto a fierce passion for their culture, their independence, and their new country.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Use #PolishAmericanHeritageMonth to post on social media. Consider having a real celebration with friends or family this year, especially if you even have a touch of Pole in your heritage. Here are some things you can do, Polish or not, to celebrate this month and learn some more about this culture.
- Attend a Polish mass.
- Learn some Polish dances (the polka is fun and very popular!)
- Do some research about Polish literature and culture. Educating yourself on history always helps broaden your mind.
- Find out if you have any Polish ancestors.
- Cook! Try making some pierogi’s or kielbasa. You won’t be disappointed. (Also, October 8th is National Pierogi Day, so there’s an added incentive.)
Michael Blichasz, the President of the Polish American Cultural Center in Philadelphia, organized the first Polish American Heritage Month in 1981. It was celebrated in August. House Joint Resolution 577 passed in 1984, making August Polish American Heritage Month. In 1986 the observation was moved to October.
Jason Pryba, 1st Place winner of $1,000.
February was the last month of PACT’s first Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament. Winners in 1st through 7th place recieved cash awards. Jason Pryba was the grand prize winner of $1,000. Next year’s tournament will start after the May Polish-American Festival. PACT will notify everyone of the starting date for the 2018-2019 tournament on our facebook page and through emails.
The Polish American Community of Toledo and Toledo Poznan Alliance are proud to announce the 2017 Scholarship winners. Each winner will receive $1,000.00 toward their college tuition.
This year’s winners are:
Alexander Zuchowski. Alex will be a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati this fall. Alex is the 2017 recipient of an Engineering and Applied Sciences Freshman Scholastic Award and the 2017 President’s award for Educational Excellence. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Marching and Concert Band at the University. Alex dances in the famous Echoes of Poland dance group.
Chase Mackiewicz. Chase will be a sophomore at Perrysburg High School this year. He is on the honor roll and a recipient of a Toledo Youth Orchestra Scholarship. He also participates on the Perrysburg H.S. Track Team. He is the 5th generation Mackiewicz to play in the fabulous Toledo based Polish American Concert band (trumpet).
Marie Nitkiewicz. Marie attends Bowling Green State University, studying to be a high school history teacher. She is a multiple Americanism and Government Test Winner (2014 and 2015), a member of Future Teachers of America (2014 and 2015) and active in the Education Learning Community (2016-2017).
Nathan Oblizajek. Nathan will be a sophomore at Ohio Northern University in the Pharmacy Doctorate Program. He is a National Honor Society Member (2014-2016), a Bishop’s Cross Recipient (2016) and has received an outstanding Science Student Award (2016). He regularly volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.
Feast Day: March 19 / 19. Marca
In Poland, it is customary to celebrate “Imienien” or Namesday, the feast day of one’s patron saint. To allow the many Josephs to celebrate their namesday, the Church would grant a dispensation from the rigors of Lent on March 19. Because St. Joseph’s Day is a Lenten solemnity, the tradition has been to serve meatless foods so that the meal becomes a “festive fast.” St. Joseph, patron of the universal Church, patron of families, patron of workers, patron of social justice, patron of the dying, patron of pastry makers, and patron of fathers, is a very important and beloved saint.
Images of St. Joseph most often depict him with the child Jesus in his arms, with the Holy Family, at a work table, with carpenter’s tools, or with a lily.