At the opening of the business session Friday evening, Pres. Majka called upon Mr. Marion Winters to give a report on the Louis & Nellie Skalny Scholarships for Polish Studies Committee, which is chaired by Ms. Ursula Brodowicz.  Since 1998, Mr. Winters has solicited funding for these annual scholarships from the Louis Skalny Foundation, which has generously provided the funds for the scholarships administered by the ACPC.   $3,000 was awarded to each of the two winners this year:  Krzysztof Lukasik of Carteret, NJ, who expects to receive a Masters Degree in Transportation in January 2014 from Rutgers University where his studies have also included Contemporary Polish Literature and Polish Language., and Matthew Stefanski of Bayonne, NJ, who is attending American University, School of International Service in Washington, DC, where he expects to be awarded a BA Degree in International Relations.  Mr. Stefanski’s Polish studies have included Polish history, international relations and economic policies.  He completed a Summer Course in Polish Language and Culture at the University of Warsaw’s Polonicum Center for Polish Language.
         Pres. Majka made an announcement “that makes us proud – congratulations are in order to Mr. Thaddeus Mirecki, who has been recognized by the Polish Government with the Medal “Zaslugi Kultury Polskiej” and to First Vice-President Camille Kopielski, who has received the Silver Cross from Poland’s President Komorowski for her work in Education for Polish Students in the Chicago schools”.  Sto Lat!

Ms. Camille Kopielski, Chair of the ACPC Scholarship Committee, which offers an annual $2,000 scholarship award for Summer Study in Poland at a university of the winner’s choice.  Ms. Kopielski read an enthusiastic letter she had received from one of the two winners this year, Natalia Wojcik, a senior at Kent State University majoring in Fashion Merchandising with a double minor in Marketing and International Business.  In her letter, Natalia wrote that she was thrilled to say that her summer in Poland was more than she could ever have imagined.  „I was able to experience Poland from living in a student dorm to using public transportation.  I was immersed in the life of a real Polish Student.”  She encourages other American students to apply as „…the skills acquired provide a whole new perspective on the future and a plethora of new job opportunities after graduation”.

L/R: Mary Ellen Tyszka; Carol Surma; Paul Bosse; Marcia Lewandowski; Deborah Majka; Wanda O’Brien-Trefil; Thomas Payne.

         The second scholarship recipient, Olivia Bogucki, a student at the University of Connecticut, received a special „once in a lifetime” grant at the Massachusetts General Hospital and will utilize the ACPC study in Poland in 2013.
         Ms. Kopielski expressed thanks to her committee members, Donna Chmara, Mary Heslin, Alice Laning, and Judi Tompkins for their assistance and support.  This highly popular scholarship program has demonstrated that young students who experience studying at a university in Poland are truly enchanted with this exciting opportunity.  Upon their return home, they promptly write personal letters to Ms. Kopielski, praising their professors, the rich opportunity of working and mingling with youths from other countries and most importantly the dynamic Polish culture they are a part of.  They emerge more deeply appreciative of their Polish heritage.

The Wachtel Literary Competition administered by the ACPC was established in 1995 by Estelle Wachtel-Torres, MD in memory of her father Stanley Wachtel.  Mr. Wachtel was a pioneer in Chicago’s Polish Theatre as well as the producer and participant of the Chicago Polish Language Radio Programs.  Dr. Estelle honored her father by contributing funds annually to match first prize awards for ACPC Affiliate literary competitions.  Chairperson Mrs. Carolyn L. Meleski reported that three ACPC Affiliates qualified and were awarded the Wachtel grants for 2012 for their first prize winners, as follows:  
         1.  Friends of Polish Art, Detroit Elizabeth Kerikowske wrote “Spalted”.
This literary work is a very original fictional story.  The Committee was most impressed that the young writer, Elizabeth, was able to weave a fascinating episode with clear sparkling English, picturesque descriptions, and a tender surprise ending.
         2.  Polish Heritage Society, Rochester, NY –     Alexa Foley wrote “Kaczynski”.  Alexa wrote a fascinating and well researched article on David Kaczynski.  David turned his brother Ted Kaczynski in to the police authorities knowing that Ted was the much sought after “Unabomber” and could receive the death penalty.  At the same time, David felt very strongly that death sentences should be eliminated.  He devoted a great deal of his time and money giving speeches and writing articles attesting to the faults of death sentences.  After dedicating himself to the task of educating the public as well as State officials, David succeeded in convincing NY State officials to abolish the Death Penalty.
         3.  Polish Arts League of Pittsburgh – Alice Navadeh wrote “The Road To Reading”.  In her article, Alice emphasizes that “kid books are most important because they start us on the road to reading.”  She contends that Polish American authors like Jan Pienkowski, for example, makes counting for very young children real fun in his “123” book.  Very young children can’t read yet, but learn to count using Pienkowski’s creative illustrations.  Older children are encouraged to read Pienkowski’s book The Fairy Tales Alice believes, in order that they may become heroes by casting off spells as described in The Fairy Tales.
         Marcia Lewandowski, Chair of the Affiliate Grants Committee, reported on the highly successful program carried out this year.   $250 was awarded to the Friends of Polish Art, Detroit in support of their Szopki Competition.  $500 was awarded to the Chopin Fine Arts Club, South Bend, IN for its Juried Chopin Piano Competition.  The ACPC also awarded $500 to the Polish American Arts Association of Washington, DC for a Chopin Recital featuring Sembrich Scholarship awardee Andrzej Stec, Tenor.
         Marie Hejnosz, Dir., Adam Styka Art Exhibit, Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia, reported on the 36th annual Adam Styka Art Exhibit, Aug. 26th at the Natl. Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA.  25 artists participated and show prizes were awarded as follows: First – Jas Szygiel $500; 2nd – Nina Hons $300 by ACPC; 3rd – Justin Jedrzejczyk $200 by ACPC; 4th – Eugieniusz Maziarz $150 by Piasecki; 5th – Zygmunt Sawosko $100 by Druch; Sprecial Prize – Grzegorz Worwa by Polski Uniwersytet Ludowy; and Honorable Mentions to Claire Bergen; Frank Jedrzejczyk, and Halina Nawrot. Hundred of people attended  over the two weekends that the Exhibit was open.

ACPC Business Session.

         Pres. Majka expressed the Council’s most sincere thanks and appreciation to the Polish Arts Club of Youngstown, Mary Ann Mlynarski, President, for their superb efforts in making this Fall Board Meeting a very productive and enjoyable event.  Bóg Zapłać!