Post Eagle Newspaper


May 24, 2024

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Polish Museum of America
Celebrates 80 Years
At The 2017 Summer Gala

The Polish Museum of America (PMA) will host its 37th Summer Gala at Café La Cave, Des Plaines, Illinois, on Friday, June 2, 2017 – the largest annual fundraiser, with all proceeds benefiting the general operations of the PMA.

The elegant evening begins with a 7 o’clock cocktail hour, followed by dinner at 8:00 pm and a short program acknowledging major PMA donors and celebrating the 2017 Polish Spirit Award recipient – the Copernicus Foundation. The night’s Mistress of Ceremonies will be Jenny Milkowski of FOX 32 Chicago; Cook County Treasurer, and longtime PMA Member and friend, Maria Pappas serves as Honorary Chair of the Gala. The evening concludes with dancing to the Anthony Kawalkowski Orchestra. Guests will also have the opportunity to bid in a silent auction.

Tickets are $200 per person; reservations are requested by May 25 to Mary Jane Robles at 773-782-2603 or For more information, please contact 2017 PMA Summer Gala Chair Sharon Orlowski at 847-767-2757 or

Founded in 1935, and open to the public since 1937, the PMA remains the nation’s only institution of its kind, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Polish and Polish American identity through a wide variety of educational programs and exhibitions. In recognition of its 80 years of contributions to and protection of culture and heritage, the PMA was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.

Throughout the years, the PMA has hosted an impressive list of distinguished guests, artist exhibitions, and more. World leaders, including Pope Saint John Paul II when he was Cardinal Karol Wojtyła and President Barack Obama as a US Senator, have visited the PMA, as have many officials from Poland and the United States from the local to national levels. Exhibitions of internationally known artists have graced the Great Hall, and hundreds of authors and historians have lectured on topics dear to the Polish and Polonian experience.

With such a rich history of its own, the PMA strives in its mission of preserving the past for the future. During these eight decades, the PMA established itself as the cultural center of American Polonia, and the Museum, Archives, and Library remain active and relevant in the multicultural landscape of Chicagoland. This was only accomplished through the dedicated and sustaining support – both material and financial, of the Polish American community.

The annual Summer Gala is the major sustaining fundraiser for the PMA, with all funds raised going towards museum operations, exhibit development and installation, collection care and management, and so much more. Please join us in this 80-year effort in ensuring the PMA continues as a heritage landmark today, and for future generations. Each year during this elegant event, the PMA honors an individual or organization who has demonstrated a commitment to American Polonia in promulgating Polish and Polish American heritage, culture, and community. This year, the PMA is pleased to announce the Copernicus Foundation has been selected as the 2017 Polish Spirit Award recipient.

Since 1971, the Copernicus Foundation has been active in the Polish Chicago community. From its first major accomplishment in honoring Polish astronomer Nicolas Copernicus with a monument at the Adler Planetarium, to its annual Taste of Polonia Festival, the Copernicus Foundation remains a vital part in understanding and engaging our shared heritage.

The Copernicus Foundation joins a long list of past Polish Spirit Award recipients, among them: the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, Aloysius Mazewski, the Polish American Chamber of Commerce, Kasia Bober, the Polish Teachers Association in America, the Przybylo Family, and many more outstanding individuals and organizations.

2017 PMA Summer Gala

WHEN: Friday, June 2, 2017

WHERE: Café La Cave, 2777 Mannheim Road, Des Plaines, Illinois

TICKETS: $200 per person, please RSVP by May 25 to Mary Jane Robles at 773-782-2603 or

QUESTIONS? Sharon Orlowski at 847-767-2757 or

Thank you for your support of the Polish Museum of America!

The poppy was chosen as the symbol of the Summer Ball because it is both a beautiful and common summer wild flower of Poland,
symbolizing Flanders’s field to Americans and Monte Cassino to the Poles.