CHICAGO, IL (December 12, 2014) – The Polish American Chamber of Commerce (PACC) and the Polish-American Leadership – Political Action Committee (PAL-PAC) organized their second annual joint Holiday Party on Friday, December 12, from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. The event was great success. Several hundred guests came to hear the message from organizations leaders and especially from Bruce Rauner, Governor Elect of Illinois. It was a well attended celebratory occasion, a fun event for all guests of the co-hosting organizations.

The European Crystal Banquet Hall in Arlington Heights was packed with several hundred guests of PAL-PAC and PACC – who wanted to hear speeches, to shake the hand of the Governor Elect and other elected officials and to take pictures with them.


  Bogdan Pukszta, Bruce Rauner, Governor Elect.

Bogdan Pukszta, the Executive Director of the Polish American Chamber of Commerce was one of the key organizers of the event.

„I am delighted to have the PACC and PAL-PAC collaborate again in 2014, the year of our Chamber’s 20th anniversary. A joyous joint event like this is certainly an important benefit to members of both organizations. It is also this type of cooperation that is needed to make our community stronger, more influential, and more successful,” explained Anna Morzy, president of the PACC Board of Directors in the invitation to the event.

During her speech she invited the audience to pause for a moment of silence to honor incredible contributions of Judy Baar-Topinka, the Illinois State Comptroller, who passed away last week. Hon. Topinka was a dedicated, competent public servant for last three decades in the State of Illinois. She has been recognized by the Republicans and Democrats for her many achievement, warm personality, ability to work on issues in a by-partisan way. We are grateful to Ms. Topinka for recognizing our media and community involvement on number of occasions.

Anna Morzy stated also that “The Chamber’s continued relationships with PAL-PAC showcases that Polonia in Illinois is a strong, viable community and we can accomplish more together, with shared goals”.

Lucas M. Fuksa, President of PAL-PAC mentioned that the organization vocalized its support of the various candidates that it endorsed through numerous print, radio and television advertising in November election. “Our efforts paid off as five out of the six candidates, that we endorsed won their election”.

Arie Zweig, Chairman of the Executive Board of PAL-PAC, introduced the special guest, newly elected on November 4, 2014 IL Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner. Mr. Zweig stated that he has been very supportive to the newly elected Governor for a long period when he was less known than right now. He was in a group of close friends staying with the Governor on podium during the victory Party on November 4th, 2014.

Bruce Rauner, Governor Elect, stated that the Polish American Community is one of the most important communities in Chicago and in Illinois. He was very grateful for all the support that he received from the Polish American organizations. He wants to cooperate with Polish American leaders, organizations on number of issues.
He wrote in a letter to Arie Zweig: “Thank you for the incredible support from the Polish Community. I look forward to working with you and other leaders to strengthen the Illinois-Poland relationship in the months and years ahead. Poland has emerged as one of the American’s strongest allies in Europe and Illinois serves as flagship state for U.S.-Poland relationship. Chicago is home to one of the largest and most vibrant Polish communities in the world. It’s in our state’s interest to do everything we can to improve and expand the Illinois-Poland relationship.

As governor, I will fulfill my pledge to grow the economic and cultural ties between Illinois and Poland. I will work to expand our National Guard partnership. And I will work with Senator Kirk and others in our Congressional delegation to finally bring Poland into Visa Waiver Program.

Illinois’ Polish American community is critical to our state and I look forward to collaborating closely with you and other leaders in the community as Evelyn and I go to work to shake up Springfield and bring back Illinois”.

During my brief conversation with Bruce Rauner, Governor Elect, I summarized for him the “Governor’s Conference”, that took place in Chicago, December 10-12, 2014 and that was dedicated to provide continuing programs for seniors and disabled people in Illinois.
On behalf of many participants who attended the conference, who have developed programs and services for over 2 million people in Illinois and who serve vulnerable populations across the State of Illinois I requested Mr. Rauner to support programs, services for seniors and disabled populations. The seniors and disabled need newly elected Governor’s support, understanding of their needs. Governor – Elect needs to combine rational arguments with sensitivity to such needs in the society and to support vulnerable populations. In my understanding, such arguments have also positive financial, long term benefits for the entire society, in this case the State of Illinois. I appreciate Governor-Elect time and listening my to my arguments in behalf of Seniors and Disabled.

This event was attended not only by the Republican supporters but also by many community leaders, elected officials who are involved with the Democratic Party. It was the next step towards building a new political and community reality after the November election.

Governor’ Elect Rauner was open, nice and respectful to all people that came to him to shake his hand, to take pictures. Expectations for his leadership are high. He needs to face many challenges after being sworn as the new Governor of Illinois.

The PAL-PAC and PACC event featured delicious hors d’oeuvres, a tasty dinner, open bar, and live dance music by the Marek Kalinowski Band a.k.a. Marcus Band.

The PAL-PAC-PACC Holiday event was sponsored by the PNC Bank; MBB Enterprises of Chicago, Inc.; European Crystal; Property Consultants RE & Tony Zaskowski; Saturn Title; Dorothy & Jerry Malachowski; Chicago Metal Supply; Fuksa Khorshid LLC; Fragomen; Oak Mill Bakery; Deli 4 You; Star-Tech Glass, Inc.; Barbara & Ted Martin; Dr. Henry Kurzydlowski; Dr. Jerzy Szymanski; MJ Wiet and Fran Wiet; UK Family Practice; Ewelina Zebura Personal Fitness; Radio 1030 AM; Polvision; Rewia; Magazyn Polonia; Radio 1490 AM; and R.A. Zweig, Inc.

In addition, guests of the event had an opportunity to meet Adam Lizakowski, Chicago’s premiere Polish poet, author of the newly published „40 listow poetyckich” (or „40 Poetic Letters from Chicago to Pieszyce”). Mr. Lizakowski signed his books, which were available for purchase.

@ Text and pictures: Andrew (Andrzej) Mikolajczyk


The Polish American Chamber of Commerce (PACC) is at the forefront of encouraging and promoting domestic and foreign trade to benefit its members and future business associates. The Chamber is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of Illinois as a business association. As the voice of Polish American business men and women, the Chamber is dedicated to serving their best interests through education on current trends and facilitating commercial contacts. The Chamber is also at the forefront of encouraging and promoting domestic and foreign trade to benefit its members, the community, the City of Chicago, and the State of Illinois.


The Polish American Leadership Political Action Committee (www.pal-pac.org) is a political organization formed for the purpose of addressing social, civic and business interests of the Polish- American community in the United States. The general initiatives are utilized to accomplish this goal: education, issue advocacy and representation.