Post Eagle Newspaper


Jul 13, 2024

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Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame To Honor
Four Connecticut Citizens of Polish,
Chinese, Jewish & Puerto Rican Heritage

The Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame (IHHF) will add four more iconic contributors to the fabric of Connecticut and America representing Chinese, Jewish, Polish, and Puerto Rican heritage and culture at its 7th Annual Induction Ceremony and Gala on Thursday evening, September 26, at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.

The IHHF Class of 2019 will include distinguished individuals who have been pioneers, leaders and scholars in religion, education, science and public service. They are

  • Lucian Pawlak, former Mayor of New Britain and community leader;
  • Dr. Henry C. Lee, internationally renowned forensic scientist;
  • Rabbi Philip Lazowski, philanthropist, spiritual leader and Holocaust survivor;
  • Dr. Zulma R. Toro, President of Central Connecticut State University, the first woman and Latino to lead the university.

“The IHHF Class of 2019 is a diverse group of remarkable individuals who embody the kind of perseverance, scholarship and achievement that have made our world a better place,” said Andre Blaszczynski, long-time Tunxis Community College Professor of Economics, co-chair of the IHHF Planning Committee and President of the Polish American Foundation of Connecticut.  “Their noteworthy contributions serve to inspire and encourage future generations to excel.”

The 2019 IHHF Induction Ceremony and Gala is open to the public. In addition to honoring each inductee, the evening will be highlighted by a keynote address by Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, who previously served as Connecticut’s Secretary of the State and as a State Representative.  Bysiewicz’ family is of Greek and Polish heritage.  The evening will also include an artistic program featuring performances reflecting Chinese, Polish, Puerto Rican and Jewish cultures, honoring the heritage of the inductees.

With the inductions of this year’s honorees, the number of individuals and families honored by the Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame since its inception in 2013 will total 31. Detailed inductee profiles are available on the IHHF website at

Tickets, at $95 per person with discounts available for purchase of tables of 8, are now available.  A wide variety of sponsorships are also available, and businesses and organizations are encouraged to consider purchasing a table of 8. For complete event, ticket and sponsorship information, visit

The Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame is a program of the Polish American Foundation of Connecticut, Inc., a 501(c)3 charitable organization. The IHHF celebrates the diverse ethnic heritage of Connecticut by honoring individuals and institutions who exemplify the best of their immigrant heritage and who have made outstanding contributions to the cultural, economic and civic development of our state and nation.

The IHHF preserves heritage through publication of biographies and histories, and strives to educate the public about the importance of immigrant heritage to the identity of America and about the contributions of immigrants and immigrant communities.

It is the IHHF’s vision to formally establish an institution in Connecticut, to be multi-ethnic and inclusive in its mission, structure and governance, which will promote and publish research, lectures and conferences on the many dimensions of Connecticut’s immigrant heritage and the role of immigration throughout the American economy and culture.  Its work, and the annual Immigrant Heritage Hall of Fame induction ceremony, would be supported by an endowment that would sponsor, support and provide research fellowships, to further these activities and expand public awareness and understanding. 

For more information, visit or call (860) 829-1215.