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02.07.19
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PROGRAMS NEWS

10.19.2012

A Tribute To NY PAC & Its 2012 Honorees

Frank Milewski (left), president of the Downstate New York Division of the Polish American Congress (PAC) and Chet Szarejko (far right), chairman of the organization’s Political Activities Committee, welcomed New York City Comptroller John Liu and the Consul General of Poland, Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, to the PAC’s 2012 Awards Banquet at Greenpoint’s Polonaise Terrace.

The Consul General and Comptroller Liu congratulated the individuals and the organizations the Congress selected this year for special recognition of their accomplishments on behalf of the Polish American community.

The 2012 honorees are: Danuta Sieminski, president and CEO of the Atlas Bank, founded in 1900 as a Savings & Loan Association to serve the Polish immigrants in South Brooklyn. It has now expanded to Staten Island; Msgr. Richard Kopinski, pastor of St. Hyacinth Parish in Glen Head, Long Island.

Also, the Jozef Pilsudski Institute of America, based in Manhattan’s East Village; the Polish & Slavic Center (Greenpoint), this year observing its 40th anniversary and the Pulaski Cadets which traces its origins to 1778 and the cavalry unit formed by Poland’s Casimir Pulaski as part of George Washington’s Continental Army in the American Revolution.

The Consul General publicly thanked the Downstate Congress for the help it gave the Consulate in persuading the City of New York to designate the corner where the Consulate stands (Madison Ave. and E. 37th St.) as “Jan Karski Corner.” The sign placed there honors the memory of the Polish hero who today is known as “the man who tried to stop the Holocaust.”

She also thanked the PAC for its continued efforts in the fight against the persistent misidentification by the media of Hitler’s death camps as “Polish death camps.”

Comptroller Liu is a longtime friend of the Polish American Congress through his political association with Political Activities Chairman Szarejko. Liu told the banquet guests his friendship with Szarejko began in1997 when he joined the political club where Szarejko was then the District Leader of the Eastern Queens Democratic Club (Douglaston/Little Neck).

“Right from the start,” Szarejko says he recognized the leadership potential “of this young Chinese guy who joined our club 15 years ago.”

Another thing they have in common is that they both are immigrants who came to America at a very early age. Szarejko came from Poland when he was only two years old. Liu arrived from Taiwan at the age of five.

Missing from the above photo is Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer who attended the banquet but had to leave before the awards were presented to the honorees. Mr. Stringer was one of the first City officials to support the idea of a “Jan Karski Corner.”

“Stringer gave us his help when we first started out and at the time we needed it most,” said Szarejko.,

Frank Milewski
516-352-7125
pacdny@verizon.net

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