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Apr 20, 2024

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Polish American Club of North Jersey Celebrates 80th Anniversary

The Polish American Club of North Jersey Inc. is celebrating its 80th Anniversary this coming February. The club was founded on December 3, 1932 by a group of Polish Americans from the Paramus, New Jersey area who worked in business and farmed the land in the vicinity. It was incorporated on February 27, 1933 as a not-for-profit organization to help each other and toward the growth of the Polish community in the United States.

In 1936 the club purchased a parcel of land in Paramus and built a small clubhouse. A few years later the clubhouse was consumed by a fire. This land was sold in 1976 to form the basis of a scholarship fund. The club’s Executives and the late Dr. Eugene Kusielewicz of the Kosciuszko Foundation established guidelines for the scholarship fund.

The Kosciuszko Foundation administers the Polish American Club of North Jersey scholarship fund. To date the PACNJ Scholarship Fund has awarded $287,000 in 288 scholarships to children and grandchildren of our club members. Many families have seen their sons and daughters receive scholarship awards toward degrees in science, medicine, engineering, law, education and business just to name a few.

This year the club’s anniversary adds to its many activities and customs. During Holy Week the club observes “Swieconka”. An invitation is sent out to all members, friends, and Polonia to bring their food to be blessed during the monthly meeting. For many years, the late Rev. Chester Zega was the chaplain of the club, now the tradition is being carried out under the guidance of Father Ted Stasik of St. Ann’s Church in Jersey City. A scholarship dance and presentation of the club’s “Miss Polonia” is held in May, and a “Wigilia” Christmas dinner in December.

The club began its annual “Miss Polonia” program in 1988 with Miss Kris Ann Smulewicz representing the club at the annual Polish Heritage Festival. Miss Polonia also participates in the pageantry of the General Pulaski Memorial Banquet at the Marriott Marque and the march up Fifth Avenue during the General Pulaski Day Parade.

Throughout the club’s history, its members have been supporting many educational and charitable institutions in the area and in Poland. Some of these are the Felician School for Exceptional Children, Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine, The Kosciuszko Foundation, Felician College, Deborah Heart Hospital, Polish Heritage Festival, Polish Mother’s Hospital in Lodz, Poland, and the Blind Children Institute in Laski, Poland, just to name a few.

Meetings are held every second Tuesday of the month from September to June at the Paramus Congregational Church on Spring Valley Road in Paramus, and start promptly at 8 p.m.

For more information contact Anna Sokolski (973) 831-1328 e-mail: asokolski57@yahoo.com