10 June 2015


1st Row: Andrea Valasek, Maria Sedor and Arlene Gardiner
         2nd Row: Ivan Skala, Tom Sedor, Charlotte Pribish Conjelko (secretary),
Ken Cuprisin, Rev. Fr. John Lucas (treasurer)
    3rd Row: John Sutko, Lisa Terlecki, Rev. Fr. William Conjelko, 
Ron Pyke, Jim Kaminski, Tim Cuprisin (president), Richard Trojanowski
On March 13, 2010, Tim Cuprisin brought together 14 Rusyns and Lemkos at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago to found the Lake Michigan Chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society which covers the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. The first gathering of potential members was June 12th  of that year at St. Peter and St. Paul Orthodox Church in Burr Ridge, Ill.  C-RS founder and National President John Righetti presented an entertaining and enlightening program entitled “Who are the Rusyns?”.  The 103 people present not only learned about their heritage but they also enabled the chapter to earn the honor of bringing out the largest number of people for its initial public gathering among all the C-RS chapters.  In the past five years, the chapter has hosted 20 presentations such as genealogy, Rusyn folk customs, iconography, pysanky design techniques, and its highly popular annual Rusyn New Year potluck.  

Founding President Tim Cuprisin made his last presentation, A Peek at Some Early Rusyns in Northwest Indiana”, on Saturday, October 22, 2011 at the Descent of the Holy Ghost Romanian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, IN.  The 100th anniversaries of St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church and Protection of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church were also recognized.  James Lane, Ph.D., an Indiana University Northwest professor, focused on what brought immigrants to Northwest Indiana.  Little did those present know that in another month Tim would be sharing his stories with the angels.  

Chapter President Charlotte Pribish Conjelko welcomed everyone to the event at Aviana Banquets in Palos Hills, Illinois.  She noted that in planning the event, the board figured about 60 people would attend.  As it turned out, we were short by 10 people from doubling that number. Charlotte thanked board members Arlene Dremak (vice president), Maureen Solan (treasurer), Michael Baran, Brendan Barry, Ken Cuprisin, Paul Kaderabek, Tom Sedor, John Sutko and Carleen Villasenor for their dedication to insure that the celebration would be a success.  Then John Sutko led the group in the singing of Christ is Risen, The Star-Spangled Banner and Ja Rusyn Byl. 
Next came the highlight of the day--the unveiling of a banner created for the chapter by Brendan Barry, a board member and talented graphic artist.  The funds for the  banner and stand were donated by Ron Pyke, a former board member, in honor of his deceased grandparents.

Chapter President Charlotte Pribish Conjelko and Board Member Brendan Barry unveil the banner that he created for the chapter.   
Following the unveiling, Very Rev. Protopresbyter William Conjelko blessed the food and Tom Sedor made a toast.  Attendees then enjoyed a very delicious three-meat feast created by Aviana Banquet owner Myron Rodak, a fellow Rusyn, and his staff.  

Harpist Natalia Ogurkiewicz added ambience to the luncheon with her harp and musical talents. 

After the luncheon, the Tatra Slovak Dancers of Milwaukee posed for a picture before taking to the floor in their colorful new dance outfits from Slovakia.
Back Row: Ryan Schlink, Timothy Kusik, Andrew Tiarks 
 Front Row: Gina Lubonovic, Jessica Laing, Katarina Scheel, Sabrina Madgett 

Oh, how their skirts twirled and their heels clicked as the women sang
and moved about the floor after the luncheon. 


The men also sported new outfits from "The Old Country" as they danced and
hopped between the two rows of tables as the women followed them.

Once again, the women's skirts twirled and their heels clicked 
                         as their partners twirled them about the dance floor.                        

The smiles on the faces of the Carpatho-Rusyns who attended as well as the non-Rusyns and the Aviana staff indicated that a good time was had by all as one can see from the photos below.  Unfortunately, some of the attendees were not at their table when Tom Sedor, our official photographer, came to take their picture.

TABLE 1   Seated: Zofia Zededziec, Carrie Baran, Chapter President Charlotte Pribish Conjelko, Joe and Treasurer Maureen Solan.  Standing: Jim Lilek, Board Member Michael Baran, Rev. Fr. Andrew Harrison and Rev. Fr. William Conjelko.
TABLE 2   Seated:  Jim Gardiner, Anna Sandman, Karin Sandman,  Andrea Vojik, Brendan Barry, Bob Dremak, Ann Michovic and Sharon Dorencz. Standing: Ervin (Rusty) Mihalko and Arlene Gardiner.
TABLE 3   Seated: John Ward, Natalia Ogurkiewicz, Gary and Paula Ogurkiewicz ,  Bozena and  John Kupiec, Margaret Drungle and Konrad Kupiec. Standing: Nick Sutko, Corrinna & Thomas Sedor
TABLE 4   Nick Sutko, Alice Sutko, Maria Sedor, Anna & Thomas Sedor and  Bob Ciolino.
TABLE 5   Joanne Nacik, Mary Halko, Dorothy Mihalko, Tom& Kathy Obmascik, Mary Obmascik, Kathy Pradun, John Nacik & Mike Halko.
TABLE 6   Board Member Paul Kaderabek, Nancy& Robert Yurschak and Bill Romanchak.
 TABLE 7   Gerald& Pat Gutek, Helen Koranda, Helen & Peter Mihalkanin, Mary Raschke,   Ann Matthews, Fred & Marilyn Polaniecki.

TABLE 8    Bill Petrisko, Larry Latuca, Al Strelec, John & Stella Ilas, Ann Petrisko, Terrie Maneher, Debbie Latuca, Vicky Blidy and Esther Thomas.

  TABLE 9    Daniel Bandura, Phyllis Muryn Zaparaniuk, Orysia Burdiak, Walter Zaokopny and Patsy Zaokopny Healy.
   TABLE 10   Nancy Hlebasko, Carole Chambers, Susan Hlebasko, Maria Lukaseiwicz, Dr. Jerry Villaseñor, Joe Banchak and Mike Banchak.

TABLE 11   #1 seated woman?, #2&3 standing couple?, Chuck Pinkowski (black shirt), Anita Tummillo, Marty Tummillo, Matt Tummillo, #4 woman, #5man, #6 man, #7 woman, Daphne Siskaninetz Myers 

If you can identify any of the above people with the red question mark, please send their number(s) and name(s) to: lakemichiganrusyns@gmail.com so that we could add their names to the posting. 

Thank you immensely,
The C-RS/LMC Board of Directors
































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