This year the Citizen of the Year award was awarded to John Theisen. The award is given to someone who has benefited our Polish community in an exceptional way. The recipient does not necessarily need to be Polish, and in this case he is German/Irish. John is an extremely hard and dedicated worker when it comes to the Polish Festival. A lot of what John does is under the radar of the participants such as the chairs we sit on that come from Frankenmuth on a truck donated for transportation. The tents that are set up with particular attention to detail so the foot traffic can flow evenly. John recruits volunteers (primarily Falcons Club men) to set up all the tables and chairs. Electricity to the food vendors and lights hung in the tents. Parking passes and street and meter closures. Ordering the beer, bringing the trailer with all of our supplies, hiring security and making sure everything is neat and tidy when we go home so we arrive to a clean venue the next morning. These are just a few things John contributes to our Polish Festival, all while maintaining a positive and encouraging attitude. He exhibits patience and a low key presence in the face of chaos, which has a way of creeping in on occasion at festival. John was originally recruited to help with festival by Tom Uzarski, whose sudden death left John with a deep sadness in the loss of a mentor and friend. Luckily John was also a good listener, because he was able to take what he learned from Tom and move forward with the planning without a glitch. Similar to Tom, John did not want to be recognized and would prefer to stay in the background. But…the plaque was already made before we told him!
John has been an active member of the Polish Heritage Society Board for about six years. He is also the VP of the Falcon’s Board. He is instrumental in allowing the use of the Falcon’s for our meetings, dinner before a Griffin game and other Polish Heritage Society events. John is married to Tammy, who must be a very understanding spouse. They have a son, James, who is in the second grade at IHM and said that this year is already better than first grade. John is a Cub Scout leader for 2nd grade boys and enjoys golfing, hunting, boating, fishing and snowmobiling. On behalf of the entire Polish Community, thank you for everything you do!
Welcome Polish Heritage Society
Thanks to one of our members, we received this Polish-American Credo. Click here to check it out!
The Polish Heritage Society has recently awarded scholarships for the Fall Semester 2017.
We join together to foster in Americans of Polish ancestry a consciousness and pride in their own heritage; to perpetuate and develop the unique thousand-year-old culture created by our forefathers and to spread the knowledge of this culture; to encourage education and scholarship among people of Polish heritage.