Archive for August, 2015

Activity Report – August 2015

Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division

Activity Report

The Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division supports and helps promote the activities and mission of the Polish Heritage Alliance of Wisconsin.  The PAC-WI Division continues to support organizations and their activities throughout Milwaukee, as well as the state of Wisconsin.  Also, besides attending the Pulaski Council of Milwaukee’s annual luncheon and the Milwaukee Society’s annual dinner, our organization has been active in the following:

Jan Karski Exhibit – PAC-WI Division continued its assistance of the Polish Consulate in Chicago by planning showings.  Sites were: Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda, U.W. – Milwaukee Library, U.W.-Marinette Library, U.W.-Parkside Library, Racine Public Library, Lake Geneva Public Library, and the Polish Center of Wisconsin.

Canonization of Pope John Paul II The PAC-WI Division partnered with several area churches to provide hospitality at St. Mary’s Church in Burlington, WI on Divine Mercy Sunday on April 27th the day Pope John Paul II was canonized.

70th Anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino – PAC-WI Division arranged a special Polish Mass on May 17th at St. Maximillian Kolbe Catholic Church in Milwaukee remembering this special battle of World War II.

Polish Fest – PAC-WI Division actively participates in this important festival with an informational table.  In 2014, our booth featured photographs of Polish cities.

Commemorated the Many Anniversaries in 2014 – PAC-WI Division planned with several Polish organizations throughout Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan, a fantastic event commemorating the many anniversaries Poland celebrated in 2015.  On July 13th, Professor Neal Pease gave a very informative presentation and pianist Igor Lipinski performed Chopin.  92 people were in attendance.

Polish American Heritage Baseball Game On August 22nd, PAC-WI Division spearheaded this event at Miller Park.  The Brewers hosted the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Paul Schramka, from the Milwaukee area and who played professional baseball (including a brief stint with the Chicago Cubs) was the featured Polish American.

Polish Independence Day/Veterans Day Over 175 people attended our annual November event held at the Polish Center of Wisconsin.  In 2014, the following individuals and organizations were recognized with the Congressman Clement Zablocki “Civic Achievement Award”:  Judith Free, Alicja Newell, Paul Schramka, Bernadette Swider, and POLANKI – Polish Women’s Cultural Club of Milwaukee.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Dr. Mark Pienkos, President
markpienkos2012@gmail.com or 262-325-8039

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2015 Elected Officers and Directors

Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division

Elected Officers and Directors

(Elected at the Annual Meeting in April)

 

2015 Officers:

Dr. Mark Pienkos – President

Kathy Wieczorek – Vice President for Public Relations

Stephen Pienkos – Vice President for Membership

Janice Klosowski – Recording Secretary

Ann Pienkos – General Secretary

Judith Free – Treasurer

Dan Klosowski – Sgt. At Arms

 

2015 Directors:

Stan Graiewski

Sharon Haberski

Jeanette Holmquist

Teresa Jankowski

Rob Kaminski

Luanne Landgraf

Ernest Litynski

Nina Nowakowski

Neal Pease

Hedy Rabiega

David Rydzewski

Anne Wal

Ron Witkowiak

Krystyna Zuzanski

 

National Director(s)two year position (elected April, 2015)

President Mark Pienkos is the primary National Director

2015 EAlternate National Directors:  Professor Donald Pienkos and John Pienkos

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2014 Congressman Clement Zablocki Civic Achievement Award Recipients

2014

Congressman Clement Zablocki

Civic Achievement Award Recipients

Judith Free of Milwaukee:  Long-time activist in the Milwaukee area Polish community and Vice President of the Polish American Congress – Wisconsin Division; chairs our annual participation at Polish Fest.

Alicja Newell of Milwaukee:  Long-time member of the Syrena Polish Ensemble; co-founder and instructor of the “syrenka: children’s folk dance group in southeast Wisconsin.

Paul Schramka of Germantown:  President of the Riverwest Community Association of Milwaukee’s lower east side’ past president of the Wisconsin Old Timer Baseball Association and respected figure in his profession: mortuary science.

Bernadette Swider of Milwaukee:  Long-time member of the Syrena Polish Ensemble; co-founder and instructor of the “syrenka: children’s folk dance group in southeast Wisconsin.

POLANKI – Polish Women’s Cultural Club of Milwaukee:  POLANKI was recognized for over 60 years of service to the Milwaukee area community.  POLANKI has been a leader in advancing our proud Polish heritage including Poland’s rich history, culture, and heritage.

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Polish American Congress Meets in Washington D.C. – July 2015

Polish American Congress Meets in Washington D.C.

The Polish American Congress (PAC) held its annual Council of National Director’s Meeting in Washington, D.C. on July 20-23. More than 60 delegates representing PAC State Divisions and member organizations were in attendance.

The purposes of the meeting were:

  1. To conduct the business of the organization, including hearing officer reports and debating by-law changes,
  2. To meet with high-ranking governmental officials, who presented briefings on the security of Poland and the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), and
  3. To personally meet and discuss with Members of U.S. Congress issues related to Poland’s security in light of the Russian aggression in Ukraine and Poland’s inclusion in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.

“On the threshold of the 2016 presidential election, PAC leaders and activists came to Washington to learn and to educate in a bipartisan fashion about many of the issues held most dear by American Polonia and by our friends and relatives living in one of the strongest and most vibrant democracies in Europe,” said Frank Spula, PAC president. “We are as one with those of both political parties who maintain that our best years are still ahead of us.”

As Poland has been a strong ally of the United States, PAC members engaged more than 50 Congressmen and U.S. Senators in their offices on July 22 as part of Polonia’s effort to gain assurances for the security of Poland by the U.S. and NATO Alliance – the latter in which Poland has been a member since 1999.

During a conference in the afternoon of July 22, the PAC directors were briefed on the inner workings of the U.S.-Poland relationship by Brittany Boulieu of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kyle Parker and Philip Bednarczyk of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as by H. Martin McDowell, the Deputy Director in the Office for Central Europe in the Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs at the Department of State

Senator Charles Schumer (NY) addressed the group regarding his strong and continuing support for Poland and Poland’s admission into the VWP. In addition, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH), Congressman Mike Quigley (IL), and Congressman Daniel Lipinski (IL) offered their insights to the PAC regarding these issues. Schumer, Kaptur, and Quigley were recognized with the organization’s highest recognition – the Polish American Congress Medal of Freedom – for their many efforts on behalf of Poland and Polish American community.

On the final day of the meeting, Dr. Michael Carpenter, special advisor to Vice President Biden, addressed the group and among his comments Carpenter unequivocally stated that “the United States will defend Poland and the U.S. will use all of its tools to defend its Allies.” Carpenter’s remarks were followed by those of Mark Koumans, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, who briefed the group on the details and mechanism of U.S. Visa Waiver Program.

In addition to spending an advocacy day on Capitol Hill, PAC members had the opportunity to visit the Polish Embassy to hear the latest information on Poland’s efforts to ensure its security, as well as to continue to strengthen its economy. Developing ways to increase Polish exports was of particular interest.

The Polish American Congress was established in 1944 and is a national umbrella organization representing more than 10 million Americans of Polish descent and origin. With 28 State Divisions and 18 National Member Organizations, the PAC has a presence nationwide.

For additional information:

Dr. Barbara B. Andersen, Director
National Office, Polish American Congress
pacwash@pac1944.org
202-296-6955 (Office)
202-835-1565 (FAX)

Dr. Mark Pienkos, Polish American Congress
National Vice President for Public Relations
markpienkos2012@gmail.com
262-325-8039 (Cell)

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Friday, August 21st, 2015 Newsletter No Comments