Friends of Polish Art 75th Anniversary

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.

On Saturday, April 21, Friends of Polish Art (FPA) celebrated its 75th Anniversary Gala.  An elegant event marking this milestone took place at the San Marino Club in Troy.

The Friends of Polish Art was established in 1937 and functions as an educational and social organization, acting as a medium for the promotion of understanding and appreciation of the Arts of Poland, its people and their descendants.

The Jubilee Gala, which was attended by around 100 guests, was opened with a delightful cocktail hour, during which the Baltic Strings trio performed.  This group of talented Polish born musicians (Adam Stepniewski, violin; Grzegorz Wiczuk, viola, Grzegorz Boguski, cello) presented an exquisite selection of classical pieces which was a classy touch to the event and truly spectacular opening.

Later, current FPA President, Carol J. Surma, officially welcomed all the guests, while Rev. Canon Thomas C. Machalski (Chancellor of the Orchard Lake Schools) gave and Invocation.

Delicious Italian-style dinner followed.  The feast included stracciatella soup, chicken cutlet with lemon garnish, tenderloin of beef with mushroom sauce and much, much more.

Special Jubilee presentation took place after the dinner.  First, a token of appreciation was awarded to the FPA Patrons, those individuals and organizations which made special contributions on the occasion of FPA Anniversary.  These included: Dr. & Mrs. Robert Dutka, Mrs. Camille Kopielski Rev. Thomas C. Machalski, Mr. & Mrs. Matthew Meleski, Mr. Ray Okonski, Mr. Kazimierz Olejarczyk, Mrs. Julia A. Serafin, Dr. & Mrs. Tom Siegel, Dolores Klucznik (in Memory of Cass & Noreen Sinclair), Mrs. Suzanne Sloat, Mr. Dennis Walkowiak, Mrs. Sue Walkowiak and PAC Federal Credit Union.

Next, congratulatory letters were read.  Those came from Senator Carl Levin and Senator Debbie Stabenow.  Also, Camille Kopielski read a congratulatory letter from the American Council for Polish Culture (FPA hosted ACPC’s Board Meeting the same weekend) and Thomas Schemanski, Polish National Alliance Commissioner, read a congratulatory letter from PNA’s National Officers and Board.

Special presentation of past FPA Presidents concluded this portion of the event.  Mary Ellen Tyszka (FPA President from 1990 to 1995), Dr. David Troiano (1996-1999), Halina Stepkowicz Ujda (2000-2001), Wanda F. Jankie Gongola (2002-2003) and Carolyn Meleski (2006-2009) were presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and awarded with applause from the audience.  Current FPA President, Carol J. Surma (FPA President since 2010), joined the group for a special souvenir photo and was also awarded with sincere applause and a cheer from the audience.

Congratulations to Friends of Polish Art on your 75th anniversary (and to Barbara Lisiecka, committee chairman of the anniversary banquet).  FPA serves as one of the most important organizations in promoting Polish culture in Metro Detroit, thus it deserves special recognition and support from our community.  (seb)

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