SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The Polish Center of Discovery and Learning will host its 12th annual Krakus Festival on Friday, Nov. 17.
Guests will enjoy a Polish dinner, raffles and live entertainment from the Heritage Pops Orchestra.
A Community Service Award will be presented to Joseph M. Toper Jr. as he retires as president of the board and executive director of the Polish Center of Discovery & Learning.
“(He) worked tirelessly with a small group of individuals beginning in 1998 to create the concept of the Polish Center and building it into the world-class museum it is today,” Carl Eger Jr., chairman of the Board of Directors, said.
He added, “Joe has celebrated his Polish roots and upbringing and has long maintained his Polish connections both in the U.S. and abroad to further the success and story of the Polish Center.”
The Polish Center celebrates the many contributions made to the economy, arts and sciences to the nation by Polish people.
“As generations pass and diverse groups mingle in the great melting pot, which is America, it is only fitting that we honor those who have devoted their time and energy to ensuring Polish history, traditions and culture are available for all to learn from and appreciate,” Joanne Gruszkos, chairwoman of the 2017 festival, said.
The name of Krakus, the mascot of the Polish Center, refers to the legendary tale of the Wawel Dragon. A young shoemaker named Krak rid the townspeople of a bothersome dragon living in a cavern below their settlement on Wawel Hill. Over time, the attitudes toward the dragon changed and it has become an important symbol of Krakow.
The event will take place at the Sheraton Springfield Hotel at 1 Monarch Place beginning at 6 p.m. with a social hour, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and dancing from 8-11 p.m.
Tickets are $100 per person, and proceeds will go to benefit the Polish Center. Deadline for purchasing tickets is noon on Nov. 10. Checks can be made payable to the Polish Center, include “Krakus” in the memo line, and mail to Pieciak & Co. CPA, Polish Center of Discovery & Learning, 488 Newtown St., South Hadley, MA 01075-1389.
For more information, visit polishcenter.net or call the Polish Center at 413-582-0001.