On the wings of winter wind...
Author: MARZENA KOSTRZEWA-STAFIEJ. Published: Thursday January 8, 2015
The first Sunday in December is the traditional meeting with Santa Claus in Nanuet, NY. December 6, 2014 year instead of snow was massive rain downpour. That's why our guests come until Sunday afternoon. Strong wind blew him. Without the help of Tom Pogon, his company "Arcadenfun.com" and Bill Wolf, Santa’s sleigh couldn’t move fast enough, the more they ran out of snow-trail...
Children were expecting arrival of Santa in especially joyful mood. They gathered in the school cafeteria at St. Anthony RC in Nanuet, along with many guests invited by the Club "Sloneczko". Same as last year, the festively decorated hall of school cafeteria has been converted into the children's playground. The former "Turkish" tents for the Princess and Prince, as well as serpentine tunnel for children were occupied all the time. A new tradition becomes a "barn" filled to the brim with over 300 balloons, with hidden toys and other surprises. There were also hundreds of plush toys, distributed in every corner of the hall and around the illuminated Christmas tree.
The event was visited by well-acclaimed in Rockland Polish priest Waclaw Świerzbiołek. He provided traditional blessing of our meeting. In the beautiful words of prayer he conjured up the unique atmosphere of joy, who gave up all the room. Thank you, Father Waclaw!
Among the invited guests were Arlene and Fred Rogoish – sympathizers and supporters of "Sloneczko" and one of the oldest representatives of the Polish community in Rockland.
Our gathering is taking place, from year to year, with an increasingly international attendance. In addition to Polish group, children were from Ukraine, Russia, many were from Polish-Italian and other mixed families. The main host and dance leader was Tom Pogon, assisted by Iwona Marczewski, who is new director on the board of the “Sloneczko” charity. The musical settings was prepared by Marek Kudliński. This year Dorota Pogon and Zofia Wojcik were honored with special awards as the most active and highly devoted to our organization grandmothers. Also, distinction and symbolic gifts were awarded to: Alexander Kudliński - winner of the world's Polish community school literary contest in the category of storytelling, as well as Veronica, Zofia, Faustyna and Andrew Przedworski - awarded in the competition the Polish American Congress LI and Nowy Dziennik "What does it mean for me to Poland". It is aspiring art students of journalism. We hope that in the not too distant future we will be able to read their articles in full-size Polish press.
Many attractive games were played. As usual most were eager to tug of war where both sides stood the whole family clans. Another famous fun was with "freeze" which also could continue indefinitely, as participants competed valiantly with each other and it was really difficult to determine the winner. Therefore, all received prizes.
Thanks to Teresa Marczewski, which baked biscuits over a hundred children have the opportunity to their Christmas decorating and tasting as well. As we know, children's imagination knows no bounds. With the help of special sweet pastes and markers were created colorful angels, donkeys, fish and other crunchy wonders. Cassandra and Olivia Nowak bravely dealt with the youngest artists, helping them in drawings on paper, they created a beautiful commemorative mural for children faces. Oh, there was a lot, madness and race, a truly theatrical banter Tom's Pogon fun with the kids, bang shooting balloons - all in time to the children's disco music.
Time to wait for the arrival of Nicholas shortened considerably real culinary treat. For children attraction was the huge wheels of pizza bought by Monika Fijor. Other tucking into a mouth-watering cookies with Banas Bakery and homemade pastries volunteers. There was plenty to choose from! So this is the holiday season that often begins with the desserts. On the tables they were also delicious dumplings, breaded chickens, noodles in tomato sauce, cabbage sausage, patties, cutlets minced ginger sauce, ribs, stew. There were plenty of fruit juices, sodas and some traditional coffee and tea.
When fed and somewhat tired of fun guests heard a loud ringing tone, din faded, and everyone watched in awe ceremonial arrival of the sled. Santa Claus, with grey, long beard and mustache, a real grandpa, held in his hand a shiny crook. Next to him sat a handsome angel holding in his arms a beautiful girl, Grace Moran. Our Angel was Ola pursuit-Stull, a veteran of the US Army. And in a sleigh piled up parcels with presents. Gregory Sliwecki and Tom Pogon were carrying Santa’s oversized sack, full of presents. They couldn’t put it on the sleigh, because there was no space place for such big load.
In the cavernous Santa’s bag were great and gifts ordered by children. Dear grandpa got this year exceptionally many letters with requests. Is colorful cars, dolls, beautifully rendered Polish fairy tales and poems, puzzles, skipping ropes, balls and many other gifts they brought were the fulfillment of childhood dreams? We hope so.
Special guests were: mother Joanna Przedworski with five of their children. The whole "Słoneczkowa" family gave them my best wishes: "Our hearts for you," and modest gifts. We believe that this fun Christmas Party brought a lot of fun.
Hard work is giving to children, curious what will get, but usually very impatient. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, Barbara and Martin Lintner, distributed gifts. Other bravely helped them in this.
The novelty was prepared with great skill by Anna Nowak, a professional photo session for children and their parents. Was a special background, "wall", umbrellas, felines etc. Each child had the opportunity to sit down with Santa Claus and Angel in a beautifully decorated sleigh. Hundreds of pictures were shot!
Tasty food, sweets, sodas, all emphasized by audience, was made possible thanks to the many sponsors supporting the "Sunshine" for years. They are: Delicatessen Piast and Golden Eagle from Garfield, Banas Bakery from Wallington, Dorota Pogon, Jadwiga and Chester Lobrow, Michael Derchin, family Kudliński and many, many others who wished to remain anonymous.
Success would not have been possible without the enormous volunteer work. Our volunteers and donors are: family Pogon, Dorothy, Tom and his company "Arcadenfun.com" Iwona and Teresa Marczewski, Basia Stankiewicz, Wojtek Luczak, Sophie and Kasia Wojcik, Bogusia Masny, Sophie and Alexander Rębisz, Dorothy Dugandzic, Sophie, Donata and Greg Sliwecki, Mary Malicki and Adam Stafiej. Special thanks to Anne, Mark, Ola and Mateusz Kudliński from Airmont and Anna, Cassandra and Olivia Nowak. Exceptional thanks deserved distinguished Bill Wolf, whose support and donation was a "lifeline" for the event, Metin, Walid and John, English speaking supporters of the “Sloneczko” club.
We have to thank our pastor, father Jerry Deponai, without whose favor and support we would not be able to prepare this event.
Every year we welcome more and more clustered participants, representing different age groups. We are glad that "Sloneczko" Christmas party was at least as great as the year before. We wish everyone a happy 2015. Let the joy of children will be the most beautiful gift!