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August 7, 2007

NY Downstate Division Launches Long Island Chapter

It's now official. The Downstate New York Division of the Polish American Congress announced its long-awaited Long Island Chapter covering the counties of Nassau and Suffolk will begin operations on September 1st with the Polish National Club of Hempstead as its home base.

"We first started planning such a chapter several years ago," said Frank Milewski who heads the Downstate N.Y. Division. "Now that we were able to get the right people to run it we're ready to go." Heading the chapter will be Richard Brzozowski, presently the secretary of the Downstate Division which is domiciled at the Polish & Slavic Center in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. At this time, the chapter's executive committee will include Kazimierz Nietupski of the Polish Friends of Copiague; Michael Madejski of the Armia Krajowa Veterans Association; Margaret Gradzki of the Polish National Club of Hempstead and Zbigniew Koralewski of the Polish Singers Alliance.

When the Downstate N.Y. Division was formed at the end of World War II, most of the area's Polonia was situated within the City of New York. So were the N.Y. PAC's headquarters, even to this day.

"Now, with such a significant number of Polish Americans outside the city, we have to branch out to serve them there," said Milewski. "Once we get going on Long Island, we'll have to start planning to extend our presence to the northern suburbs as well."

As Polonia's national umbrella organization, the Polish American Congress intends to have its new chapter work closely with the American Polish Council of Long Island, the local umbrella organization there.

"We hope to be the place where the English-speaking and Polish- speaking components of our ethnic community will find a common ground and a common purpose in the multicultural and politically conscious society we live in," he said.

To build and expand membership, the chapter hopes to contact every Polish American organization and parish on Long Island with an invitation to join and participate in the latest effort to give the Polish American community a powerful and united voice. Throughout the United States, the Polish American Congress has an aggregate membership of over one million. Included are over 3,000 Polish American organizations consisting of fraternal, veteran, cultural and professional groups, religious societies and social associations. It also encompasses individual, corporate and associate memberships.

Through its 29 state divisions and 10 chapters, as well as its member organizations, the Polish American Congress promotes civic, educational and cultural programs designed to further not only the knowledge of Polish history, language and culture but also to stimulate Polish American involvement and accomplishment.

Much of the work of the Congress is delegated to standing committees which are involved in such issues as the American Agenda, Polish Affairs, Anti-Bigotry, Holocaust Documentation, Education, Polish American Heritage Month, Environment and Youth.

For more information about the Long Island Chapter, please call
Richard Brzozowski at (516) 354-4349.
Contact: Frank Milewski
(718) 263-2700 - Ext. 105

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