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Scholarships Awarded at 50th Anniversary of Polish Festival

Twelve residents of Onondaga County received scholarships from the Polish Scholarship Fund, Inc., of Syracuse during the 50th Polish Festival in Central New York, which took place June 11 through 13 in Syracuse’s Clinton Square. The students were chosen on the basis of their scholastic performance, financial need, character, citizenship and Polish heritage. The following students each earned a $1,000 scholarship for the 2004-2005 academic year:

Tricia Amato, Andrew Bartoszewski, Ryan Dembkowski, Lynn Gorczyca, Peter Lazarski, Thaddeus Lenkiewicz, Michael McCarthy, Aneta Podziewska, Ursula Rozum, and Michael Ruszala.

Two additional scholarships, sponsored by Stephen Rogers, publisher of the Post Standard, were awarded to:

David Gass and Marta Mizgala.

Incorporated as a 501(c)-3, non-profit organization, the Polish Scholarship Fund has presented a Polish Festival for the past 50 years in Onondaga County. Proceeds from the festival are the primary source of funding for PSF scholarship programs. An all-volunteer organization, the Polish Scholarship Fund has distributed more than $250,000 in scholarship money to students of Polish descent over the past 50 years.

In addition to the PSF standard scholarships, contestants in the annual Miss Polonia competition received the following awards: Winner – Stephanie Fiorenza – $500, and four runners-up: Bridget Erwin, Julia Jaremko, Melissa Bartoszewski and Rosalie Burkett – $100 each. The Miss Polonia scholarships are made possible through the generous support of Charles Hollis of the Hollis Funeral Home, 1105 W. Genesee St.

This year’s Polish Festival attracted approximately 25,000 to downtown Syracuse, nearly doubling the attendance of last year’s festival and providing an opportunity for Central New Yorkers to learn more about Polish and Polish-American history and culture.

Attendees filled Clinton Square and enjoyed traditional Polish music, dance, cuisine, beverages, and crafts, including handmade pottery and woodwork.

The event also showcased the solidarity of the Polish community in Central New York, as many of the more than 50,000 persons of Polish descent in Onondaga County supported the family-oriented festival.

The directors of the Polish Scholarship Fund extend our thanks to everyone who attended the festival, our volunteers and sponsors for their support in assuring the success of the 50th anniversary Polish Festival. Thank you all, and congratulations to our scholarship winners!!!

For more information on the Polish Scholarship Fund or Polish Festival, contact Festival Chairman Tad Szyszka at (315) 687-1076.

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