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Apr 20, 2024

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Celebrating 40 Years….
Polish Heritage Association of Maryland

BALTIMORE, Md. — The Polish Heritage Association of Maryland, Inc. (PHA) was founded here on September 26, 1974. The ongoing mission of its present 150 members is to celebrate, promote and preserve Polish culture, history and heritage through its various programs and events, sometimes in cooperation with other various organizations and people. The PHA has conducted a very successful annual scholarship program that to date has awarded $350,000 to students of Polish lineage in Maryland.

In photo: Gala Event Marks 40th Anniversary. Victoria T. Leshinskie (l.), current President of the Polish Heritage Association of Maryland, is pictured with U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski and MC Thomas Hollowack, after member Sen. Mikulski delivered the keynote address at the celebratory dinner on September 21, 2014 in Baltimore.

Included in her address to the attending membership and guests, Pres. Leshinskie said that “an organization is only as good as its members … we have lost many members lately due to age … and today we will honor life-long member Stanislawa “Stella” Dernoga Hazard, an accomplished artist, who will be a spry 99 years young on November 2nd.” Mrs. Hazard, encircled by family members, was presented with a bouquet of red-tinged white roses and serenaded with the singing of Sto Lat by everyone present, by which she was much moved.

With a glowing prologue, MC Thomas Hollowack introduced loyal member Sen. Mikulski as the guest speaker. Not possessive of a shy or retiring persona, the senator promptly proceeded to captivate the audience with her engaging oratory. She expressed her proudness of the PHA and noted its many storied accomplishments in regards to promoting and preserving Polish culture, heritage and history, saying “for 40 years it’s been keeping alive the Polish spirit and traditions, and providing many scholarships to help young people aspire to higher education.” Mikulski was rewarded with a standing ovation at the conclusion of her extensive remarks, not all of which can be recounted here.

DSC01944forweb  Baltimore’s own Polish folk dance group Ojczyzna capped-off the Polish-themed sumptuous banquet with an amazing display of dances from various regions of Poland, with the appropriate custom changes, much to the delight and acclaim of the audience.

All-in-all, the afternoon’s gala was a most fitting tribute to the quite active 40 years of the Polish Heritage Association of Maryland, Inc. – 40 years of making the Polonia and others very prideful of it.

“Sto Lat dla Stowarzyszenia Polskiego Dziedzictwa w Maryland!”
“One Hundred Years to the Polish Heritage Association of Maryland!”


DSC01908forwebText & Photo by
Richard P. Poremski
Polish American Journal
Washington, DC Bureau
October 8, 2014

 In photo on right: Stella Dernoga-Hazard