by Jo Louise Winters, PR Chair

Debbie Majka center

(l. to r.) Marcia Lewandowski - Recording Secretary, Mary Ellen Tyszka - 2nd Vice-president, Debbie Majka - President,
Camille Kopielski- 1st Vice-president, Greg Biestek - Treasurer

The Spring Board Meeting of the American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC) was held in Troy, MI, hosted by an ACPC Affiliate, The Friends of Polish Art. Detroit (FPA). FPA President Carol Surma, Esq. extended a warm welcome to the ACPC members. The hospitality extended to the visitors included a delightful reception following the Friday business meeting — tasty hors d’oeuvres and pastry prepared by the club members and refreshing wines; then a fabulous luncheon break during the Saturday business meeting, and winding up Saturday night with a classy gala banquet and ball where maidens greeted members and guests at the door with glasses of bubbling champagne while a jolly trio filled the air with fine music. In recognition of the Club’s remarkable 75th Anniversary a number of its members were introduced and honored for their singular contributions toward the club’s historic and notable achievements over the years. A bouquet of flowers was presented by Pres. Surma to each of the legion of activists.

ACPC members were anticipating a very special celebration that weekend honoring the Club’s 75th Anniversary. ACPC President Deborah Majka summarized the congratulations to the Club members as follows:

"Seventy-five years ago in 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated to his second term in office; former King of England Edward VII married Wallis Warfield Simpson; Amelia Earhart mysteriously disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during a circumnavigation flight, and the Friends of Polish Art of Detroit, Michigan, was organized by a group of Americans, both Polish and non-Polish, who were interested in learning about Polish culture and disseminating that information among their fellow Americans.

Affiliated and Supporting organizations are the life-blood of the American Council for Polish Culture, and 11 years after your founding, in 1948, the Friends of Polish Art hosted the convention in Detroit where the American Council of Polish Cultural Clubs, as it was known then, was born. The Friends of Polish Art (FPA) have been affiliated ever since.

Over your 75 year history, your FPA Club has enriched its community and added luster to the ACPC reputation with multi-faceted cultural and social activities, which include art, education, music, poetry, history, literature, genealogy and philosophy. The accomplishments of the Friends of Polish Art are too numerous to mention. The American Council for Polish Culture is proud to count the Friends of Polish Art as their long-standing and active affiliate. On the occasion of your 75th Anniversary, we wish you continued success and God’s Blessings as you continue to foster an interest in our rich Polish cultural heritage and spread an awareness of the accomplishments of Poles and Polish-Americans.

The ACPC Board Meeting proceeded as follows.

Mrs. Camille Kopielski, Chair, ACPC $2,000 Summer Studies in Poland grants program, reported that the committee received six applications. The committee will announce the names of the two winners at the ACPC Annual Convention in July at Williamsburg, VA. One of last year’s winners, Nicholas Krol, submitted a detailed report of his Polish Language Course at the Wroclawski University in Poland. His fascinating account of his experience in Poland is being prepared for publication in the Polonia press.

Mr. Robert Dutka, Investment Committee Chair reported on current stock market conditions and discussed ACPC’s investment options. Gregory Biestek, Treasurer, provided a full and detailed report on the status of ACPC’s monetary accounts and how they have fared over the past year.

2nd V.P. Mary Ellen Tyszka had spent many hours reviewing, updating, and making extensive revisions to the ACPC Convention Guidelines. Ms. Tyszka produced a spiral bound booklet of 44 pages covering the most suitable preparations, which need to be followed to guide members in conducting a successful ACPC Annual Convention.

Mrs. Alicia Dutka, Music Chair, was pleased to report that the ACPC Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Vocal Competition 2012 had three applicants — all quite accomplished artists with wonderful voices. The Sembrich Committee chose tenor Andrzej Stec as the winner of this year’s Competition and look forward to a wonderful concert at the ACPC annual convention in Williamsburg, VA.

Mr. & Mrs. Cecilia & Raymond Glembocki, Co-Chairs, National Conference For The Social Studies spoke enthusiastically about the splendid reception our "Polish Perspectives" booth received from the educators who attended the National Conference this past December in Washington, DC. The full story was very well publicized in the Polonia press via a press release submitted by Jo Louise & Marion Winters.

The National Conference for the Social Studies this year will take place Nov. 16-18, 2012 in Seattle, Washington with the theme "Opening the Windows to the World." Several Board members pledged contributions to help cover some of the heavy costs involved with the Conference fees, preparation of posters, soliciting, gathering and shipping books, audio/video, etc. plus travel costs. Financial and material support from Polonia organizations and individuals is essential and deeply appreciated. The Glembocki’s are already heavily involved in creating another outstanding booth that will ensure strong and enthusiastic reception from the thousands of educators attending the Conference.

Mr. Marion Winters, MA, Chairman Pulaski Scholarships for Advanced Studies reported that the Committee had received 20 applications for the 2012 scholarships. The Board members voted that five $5,000 scholarships should be awarded this year. The committee’s final selections of the five winners will be reported to the Council and the press shortly.

Ms. Florence Langridge, Membership Chair, informed the Board that since the Oct. 2011 Board Meeting in Boston, she has received 42 applications from individuals who have fulfilled requirements for membership in ACPC. Board members voted unanimously to accept these applicants as members in ACPC.

Business Manager Judi Tomkins announced that the new look for the Council’s "The Heritage" publication on quality paper looks great. A big thank you goes to Dave Motek, Editor, and Knepper Press of Pittsburgh for doing a fine job so that The Heritage has experienced a turnabout time from publication start to mailing. The time has been cut from 3 weeks to 2 weeks!

Carolyn Meleski, Chair, Wachtel Literary Competition, which is administered by ACPC, reported that since January of 2012 two awards were made. The Polish Heritage Society of Rochester presented an award to Alexa Foley of Victor, NY for her essay on David Kacnynski, brother of the Unibomber, Ted Kaczynski, who has worked to abolish the death penalty in New York by exposing its flaws. The Polish Arts League of Pittsburgh gave a prize to Alice Navedeh of Wexford, PA for her synopsis of the three Polish writers and artists who made her road to reading pleasurable: Pienkowski’s The Fairy Tales, Porazinska’s A Tale of Krakow, and Issac Bashevis Singer’s The Topsy Turvy Emperor. Alice tries to point out that children can learn how exciting reading can be by the stories that are read to them as youngsters.

Mr. Richard Wiermanski, ACPC Past President, advised the members that the ACPC 2012 Annual Convention is scheduled to take place in Williamsburg, VA, July 18-21, 2012. The theme for the convention is: Our Polish/American Heritage. A notable activity scheduled for the convention is a dedication ceremony at near-by Jamestown to unveil a historical marker commemorating the arrival of the first Poles to America. Jamestown Marker Project Chair, Tom Payne, designed the marker and obtained permission from the State of Virginia for its installation. As is customary, an attractive convention souvenir book will be issued. Advertisements and honorary listings will help to defray the expenses. Affiliate and Supporting Organizations are asked to encourage their members, as well as local area businesses, professions and associations to advertise in the program book. Please submit returns ASAP — for questions contact Mary Flanagan (703) 536-7085 or Richard Wiermanski (410) 798-7512 or email:

ACPC’s Fall 2012 Board Meeting will be hosted by the Polish Arts Club of Youngstown, OH in October. A Spring 2013 Board Meeting will be hosted by the American Institute of Polish Culture, Tampa, FL (date to be determined).

ACPC members will always remember the outstanding cooperation as well as the superior refreshments prepared for their comfort and entertainment by FPA President Carol Surma and the Club’s many activists. The hearts of ACPC members attending this unforgettable event are filled with thanksgiving to all those who participated in making this Board Meeting such a great pleasure to attend.

The next gathering of ACPC members will take place at the Annual Convention in Williamsburg, VA. Readers are warmly invited to join us. You will find that congeniality, friendship and entertainment plus cultural/educational programs are a part of each ACPC gathering

Celia and Ray

Cecilia & Raymond Glembocki present NCSS poster

........ Carol Surma

Carol Surma, President of The Friends of Polish Art, Detroit


Awards presented to dedicated members of The Friends of Polish Art, Detroit


At the Banquet