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That’s Polish for “hello, darling,” an essential phrase Gabby added to her international list of greetings for the 49th annual Jesienny Bal—that’s Harvest Ball—the traditional soirée for the Americans of Polish Descent Cultural Society of Delaware. That’s AMPOL for short. Several generations of AMPOL loyalists gathered Nov. 5 at Hartefeld National Golf Club in Avondale, where they shared memories over cocktails and crudités.
After four decades of celebrations, Frank Obara can’t be absolutely, totally, unequivocally positive he attended the very first Jesienny Ball in 1962 at the Hotel du Pont. But he has a strong feeling he might have made it. “My mother helped to organize it,” he says. The late Hon. Rosalie Obara was clerk of the peace in New Castle County for a record seven terms, serving from 1969 to 1996. If you were married during those years, Obara suggests you dig out your marriage license and check for his mother’s signature. “She signed more than 27,000 of them,” he says.
Zenia Kurkowska of Newark recalls arriving in America at age 22, “a little girl who didn’t speak the language.” Today, she is a stylish matriarch who is teaching her grandchildren to speak Polish. Kurkowska’s beautiful blond daughter, Anna Bond of Newark, looked slim and svelte in a black Calvin Klein cocktail dress with spaghetti straps, spiced up with red patent leather peep-toe stilettos by Nine West.
Almost every year, the group presents the Dr. Eugene J. Szatkowski Achievement Award to an individual of Polish descent who has made the world a better place. This year’s honoree was Robert Laskowski, M.D., CEO of Christiana Care Health System. “Dr. Laskowski is one of a long line of Polish-Americans who are outstanding in their fields,” says Mark Murowany, AMPOL president, who accented his tux with a dapper cobalt blue bow tie.
Christopher S. Podsiad, who chaired the ball with Viktoria Jackson, looked dashing in white tie, so cool that one would never have suspected how tirelessly he worked behind the scenes to make certain each detail of the evening was picture perfect. “If the ball comes off looking effortless, I’ve achieved my goal,” he says, dashing to the kitchen to request a missing place setting.
What a kochanie!