Having a Polish-American Heritage means that I have had the unique opportunity to be able to experience many wonderful and remarkable traditions in my life.  I have been able to witness weddings with polka bands, grand marches, the oczepiny and the poprawiny.  My holidays have been filled with my Great Grandmother’s kapusta, which my aunt creates from our secret family recipe, our traditional trip to Stanley’s Market for kielbasa, my Great Uncle presenting the Oplatek at Christmas and of course, having homemade pierogi on Good Friday.  Everyone who shares this pierogi experience with us will always leave our home with the tell-tale scent of butter and onions on them.

However, my Polish Heritage is more than just the tangible traditions that have helped influenced who I am.  The intangible things have left a more lasting, rooted impression on my life.  I realized this when I went away to college last fall.  For the first time in my life, I was hundreds of miles away from my family, in a new and intimidating environment and without a friend or familiar face in sight.  But then I recalled my Great Grandparents, Ludwig and Hedwig Pietrasz.  Ludwig was born in Jeziorany, Poland and had eventually made his way to the United States.  Hedwig Pacieszniak was born in Poland on January 8, 1908, lived in Poland during World War I and came to the United Stated when she was 11 years old.  The great courage it must have taken them to come to an unfamiliar place, not speaking the language and not knowing anyone.  They were strong and remarkable people who eventually met each other in Hamtramck, Michigan and married on July 21, 1925.  I realized that I came from a long line of courageous and resilient people and that I too have these strong characteristics and because of this, I was able to not only thrive in my new environment, but to exceed my own expectations.

In addition, my Polish heritage has been immersed in love and encouragement.  Accomplishments, no matter how small, are shared by every member of my family and celebrated with excitement and enthusiasm.  Every stride that I have made and every success that I have had stems back to being able to grow up with this strong Polish legacy and I know it will continue to follow me in my future and in turn, be a part of how I raise my own family.

What does it mean to be Polish?  It means that family is the most important thing in the world.  Our Polish traditions, weddings, holidays and foods are all rooted in strong family ties.  My family still celebrated holidays and life events with Great Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins just like my Great Grandparents did with their families.  It means that others view us as helpful and reliable.  It means that we  are not only courageous, but resilient people.  It means that I have a strong sense of pride and respect for all who have come before me and all who have helped shape me into who I am today.  It means that my Polish beliefs and customs will remain strong and my Polish Heritage of family support, resiliency and reliability will define everything that I do in my future.


The Polish American Community of Toledo and the Toledo Poznan Alliance are pleased to announce the 2015 scholarship winners:

Zachary Pylypuik, age 15, will be a sophomore at St. Francis de Sales High School this coming fall.  In addition to playing travel hockey, Zack volunteers as a lector at Holy Trinity in Assumption, Ohio and is an announcer for St. Francis KSN Radio.

Ethan Collins, age 17, a senior this coming year at Central Catholic High School.  Ethan participates in cross country, track and soccer.  He volunteers at Hospice of Northwest Ohio and at “Fishes and Loaves”, an organization which feeds the homeless.  Ethan is returning this August from US Army Boot Camp to begin his senior year.

Jessica Pietrasz, age 19, of Rossford, Ohio will be a sophomore at Youngstown State University this fall.  She is active in YSU’s Woman’s Cross Country and Woman’s Track and Field.  She was a 2014 PACT/TPA scholarship recipient.

Casey Sobota, age 22, of Waterville, Ohio will be graduating from Ohio State University in 2016 with a major in Strategic Communications.  She is a member of the Public Relation Student Society of America and a regular contributor to “Her Campus” Online magazine.  Casey was a 2014 recipient of a PACT/TPA scholarship.

Congratulations to this year’s scholarship winners!  Each winner will be awarded  $1,000 toward their education.

Type a name of any of the winners in the search bar to read their essay.

 


Sign Up is now open for the 2015 Kielbasa Klassic 4-Man Golf Scramble!

Click Here to Register for the 2016 Kielbasa Klassic Here

Sunday, August 7th
at

Whiteford Valley (Blue Course)
7980 Beck Road, Ottawa Lake MI, 10 am start time

$75 per man/ $300 per team

Includes golf, cart, food, beer, pop, team skins, door prizes, challenge holes, and the famous “Kielbasa Klassic” t-shirt.

**Proceeds used to fund PACT scholarships and Child Help, an organization dedicated to helping abused children**

Deadline to enter is July 28, 2015

Click Here to Register for the 2016 Kielbasa Klassic Here


Polish_Heritage_Story_Page_kejf6hwe_x7ohi7p3 (1)

 

Witamy! It’s time to wear something red and white, put on your polka dancing shoes and bring an empty stomach to Fifth Third Field, as the Toledo Mud Hens will be hosting Polish Heritage Night at Fifth Third Field on Friday, August 7, presented by Stanley’s Market!

Join us for our Polish Heritage Night pre-game polka party from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Home Run Terrace, with live music and an all-you-can-eat buffet by Stanley’s Market, smacznego! The buffet will feature:

  • Stanley’s Market world famous kielbasa
  • Sweet and sour cabbage
  • Potato pierogi
  • Stuffed cabbage
  • Rye bread/horseradish
  • Cookies
  • Pepsi products, lemonade and water

Combo tickets are $32 for adults and $24 for children, which include a game ticket and the pregame party and buffet. If you already have a game ticket, add the pre-game polka party and buffet: $20 for adults and $12 for children.

On August 7, the Toledo Mud Hens take on Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at 7 p.m. For Polish Heritage Night tickets, contact Hannah Tyson at htyson@mudhens.com, or call 419-725-4367.


Here in the United States, schools are quick to teach students about famous Americans and western Europeans. Countries like Poland are often forgotten about, even though they had individuals who made significant impacts on the world.

CopernicusNicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543)

Today, every third grader knows that the earth revolves around the sun—you can thank Nicolaus Copernicus for that. Born in Torun, Poland in 1473, Copernicus was the first person to provide a detailed explanation of why the solar system is heliocentric (meaning the planets revolve around the sun). Prior to that, people had believed that everything revolved around the earth, an idea that had long been guarded by the Roman Catholic church.

You have to admit that Copernicus’s discovery was pretty amazing, considering that the telescope hadn’t been invented yet. He couldn’t really see what he was theorizing about and  had to rely solely on abstract thought and reasoning. In any event, this monumental realization set the stage for all future space discoveries.

 

Author:  Crazy Polish Guy


Agora (4) Agora(4) Agora

Located along the southwest side of Grant Park, Agora is one of Chicago’s most recent and important sculptural installations. Comprised of 106 nine-foot tall headless torsos made of cast iron, the artwork derives it name from the Greek word for meeting place. The figures are posed walking in groups in various directions or standing still. Internationally renowned artist Magdalena Abakanowicz donated the sculptural group along with the Polish Ministry of Culture, a Polish cultural foundation, and other private donors. Born into an aristocratic family just outside of Warsaw, Abakanowicz (b. 1930) was deeply affected by World War II and the forty-five years of Soviet domination that followed. In her journals, she writes that she has lived “…in times which were extraordinary by their various forms of collective hate and collective adulation. Marches and parades worshipped leaders, great and good, who soon turned out to be mass murderers. I was obsessed by the image of the crowd… I suspected that under the human skull, instincts and emotions overpower the intellect without us being aware of it.” The sculptor began creating large headless figures in the 1970s. Initially working in burlap and resin, she went on to use bronze, steel, and iron. Although Abakanowicz hasfrequently exhibited in museums and public spaces throughout the world— Agora is her largest permanent installation.

(from City of Chicago: the official website of Chicago)

http://www.cityofchicago.org


http://abc7chicago.com/news/polish-constitution-day-parade-returns-to-chicago/692792/

 

Constitution Day is an official public holiday in Poland.

On May 3, 1791, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth’s constitution was adopted. It was the first constitution in modern Europe and second in the world, following the American one. It was a significant achievement of the Polish Enlightenment thinkers.

May 3 was established as a holiday only days after the constitution was passed by the Grand Sejm (Polish Parliament). It was later suspended for many years due to the country’s partitioning, but was reinstituted after Poland regained its freedom in 1918. After World War II, in 1946, the communist authorities banned the holiday’s public celebration. The holiday was officially cancelled in 1951. Since 1990 the May 3 holiday has again been celebrated as an official statutory holiday in Poland.

Constitution Day is part of a holiday season known as Majówka, which also includes the May 1/Labor Day holiday. It is celebrated with military parades, spring concerts and family picnics. Many people also gather at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Grób Nieznanego Żołnierza) at the Piłsudski Square in Warsaw. The monument is dedicated to unknown soldiers who gave their lives for Poland.P1140525_1000x750 P1140406 P1140450_816x612 P1140432