NEW BRITAIN -- On Nov. 16 at 6 p.m., the Polish American Business and Professional Association will hold its annual Person of the Year Award and Dinner at the Crystal Ballroom, 211 Farmington Ave. in New Britain.
The 2019 honorees are Msgr. Daniel J. Plocharczyk, the Rev. Stanislaw Dudek, Dr. Teresa Szajda, Maria Rafalawski and Ted Malkowski.
Based in New Britain, the PABPA has been a non-profit organization serving the Polish community for 105 years. A board member of the PABPA for the past seven years, Mike Kilian, said he is eager for the award night.
“We at the PABPA like to give. We want to reward those who give to the community,” said Kilian. “We are foreign, from another country, with nothing really, but people help in this community. We have a very good relation with everyone in New Britain. Well-known people deserve this award. Last year we had two winners, this year we have five.”
According to Kilian, there are about 65 members in the PABPA, but only the Board of Directors votes on who the honorees are.
“Our honorees are good people and should be recognized. That is our goal. We have a priest, a doctor and three individuals who produce manufacturing parts for airplanes and military. Their work should be acknowledged,” said Kilian.
The PABPA is also awarding scholarships to several local high school seniors of Polish descent. The winners are Olivia Dybinski, Natalia Bortromiejuk, James Grieco and Aline Whiteside.
“Our scholarship winners come from Sacred Heart High School; some come from [other] schools in New Britain and Newington,” explained Kilian. “People should come to this event because we are honoring such important people in our Polish community. But they should really come for the students. We want to increase the amount of scholarships and give out more scholarships, but we will need more support to do that.”
Happy to see everyone, Kilian said that everybody has a great time together.
“I enjoy it very much giving awards to these people. It’s a pleasure, it really is a pleasure. I get very emotional when I see the winners,” said Kilian.
Tickets for the award and dinner night are $65 per person. All proceeds made from the event go to the PABPA Scholarship Trust Fund. The evening will feature a cocktail hour, a main dinner, coffee and dessert, the awards and entertainment and dancing. If interested in wanting to purchase tickets, call Basia Kolakowska at 860-970-1003 or Andrzej at 860-951-8761.