General Pulaski Association to honor 16 at Pulaski Unsung Heroes in Western New York dinner
Proceeds from the dinner fund the Pulaski Day Parade paying tribute to the Revolutionary War Hero and General Casimir Pulaski.
The honorees this year are: Rev. Richard Augustyn, Dioceson Director of Hospital Ministry; Robert Narkiewicz, supporter of the disabled; Betty Jane Urbanski, past parishioner at St. Barnabas R. C. Church; Dorothy Wrazin Poole, parishioner at St. Francis of Assisi R. C. Church; former Buffalo Commissioner of Streets James Makowski (posthumously); Angry Patriots and Pinheads President David Lipinoga; William Skretny, sr., active Pulaski Association participant (posthumous); Gerald Bielawski, Cheektowaga Patriotic Commission (posthumous); Jackie Schmid, Executive Assistant to Congressman Brian Higgins (posthumously); Philip Smolinski, former Commisioner of Erie County Board of Elections; Dr. Kenneth D. Anthone, Chairman, Eyes on America Foundation; Theresa Gonciarz and Noreen Lewandowski, parishioner at St. Stanislaus r. C. Church; John Mills, Minority Leader of Erie County Legislature District 11; Karen Karalus Karamoukian, advocate for Veterans in Western New York; and Neal.
Neal was nominated, because her maternal grandparents were Polish immigrants, Frank and Eva Mozdierz Cudak. Her mother was a first-generation Polish-American, so she is second generation. Neal was never aware of the rich Polish heritage in her genes until she became involved in the development of the North Tonawanda History Museum.
The museum, which began in 2004, tells about Polish families and individual Polish-Americans who contributed to the development of North Tonawanda from 1880 on in their books and publications and has done many programs on Polish culture and heritage.
Once the downstairs of the history museum has been renovated into an event hall, they hope to have an annual Ethnic Heritage Festival similar to one done in 2006 and a History Weekends similar to one done in 2006 as well to feature more of North Tonawanda’s Polish heritage.
Neal edited a book celebrating North Tonawanda’s ethnic heritage in 2006 and has included significant information on the Polish heritage of North Tonawanda in both full-length books produced thus far.
Neal was awarded the Am-Pol Eagle Citizen of the Year - Heritage Award, 2006, for her focus on Polish heritage at the History Museum.
Tickets are $37.50 per person, $75 per couple and $375 per table of 10. Checks payable to the Pulaski Association can be sent or dropped off at the History Museum at 54 Webster Street. The History Museum has a supply of tickets. Checks may also be mailed to Edward Reska, 4654 Kingswood Lane, Hamburg, NY 14075.