The Kosciuszko Foundation Philadelphia Chapter
Newsletter No. 5
View this email in your browser
  Quo Vadis 

Newsletter of the KF Philly Chapter  •  December 2016  •  Issue No. 5
To All Members 

I wish you a Merry Christmas and the entire winter season with lots of joyful moments to cherish forever.  Thank you for your commitment, sharing ideas, and inviting guests to your homes for cultural salons. Lets this enthusiasm continue ! 
Happy New Year 2017!

Yolanta Roman, President 
The Kościuszko Foundation Philadelphia Chapter 

Recent Events
The Fourth Cultural Salon 

The fourth cultural salon was held on October 23 at the Society Hill Center City home of Wanda and Brian Mohr with 35 people in attendance. The program centered on a presentation about the Cichociemni, elite Polish special operatives trained in England and dropped behind enemy lines into German occupied Poland during World War II. Wanda’s father was a Cichociemny and she presented his experiences within the larger context of the history of these Polish heroes.

Christmas Gala 2016 - A Joint Event of Three Organizations 

One hundred and eighty-six guests attended the first KF Philadelphia Chapter, Polish Heritage Society of Philadelphia and Jagiellonian Law Society joint Christmas Gala which was held on December 3, 2016 at the Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, Lafayette Hill, PA. The evening began with a cocktail hour, followed by a dinner, dancing and silent auction. Ela Sozanski led the guests in singing carols in both Polish and English.  Brian Matuszewski, who was dressed as Tadeusz
Kościuszko, provided an interesting historical touch to the festivities.

Chapter Helps School Celebrate 15th Anniversary

The Polish school, Ogniwo, in Trenton invited our chapter to help them celebrate their 15th Anniversary. Ogniwo is a non-profit organization that offers local children starting in preschool the opportunity to learn Polish language, history and culture.  We donated $100 to Ogniwo to be used as an award for “best attendance” and also donated a map of Europe for their classrooms.

 Updates and Announcements
Update on the Museum of the American Revolution

We have been successful in our efforts at including the contributions of Tadeusz Kościuszko in The Museum of the American Revolution. Although the curators’ plans are still in flux, the museum administration is interested in presenting the story of Kościuszko’s  as one of their educational programs. The museum curators are interested in an ongoing dialogue with our KF  Chapter to plan future programming. The museum is located two blocks away from Independence Hall and across the street from Carpenter’s Hall, and is on schedule to open in April 19th of 2017.
Update on the Kościuszko Way

The effort to establish the signs  “Kościuszko Way” on  four corners of Third Street:  Pine and Third, Spruce and Third, Walnut and Third, and Chestnut and Third continues to wind its way through the bureaucracy of the Society Hill Civic Association and the city of Philadelphia.


Frances E. Wyszyński Memorial Scholarship and Tomaszkiewicz - Florio Summer Study Abroad

Study in Kraków this Summer! Deadline April 18th!

The Frances E. Wyszynski Memorial Scholarship for summer study in Poland at the Jagiellonian University has been offered  by Mr. Raymond Wyszynski in a memory of his mother Frances E. Wyszynski. This scholarship is awarded to a woman of Polish descent from the Philadelphia area.
The Tomaszkiewicz-Florio Scholarship is awarded to a women or a men by the KF Foundation Philadelphia Chapter. Eligible candidates must be from the greater Philadelphia area and environs who are high school graduates, at least 18 years of age and are attending classes on a full-time basis.

Applicants must be US citizens of Polish descent or Polish citizens with legal US permanent residency status who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. 
The deadline for the scholarship is April 18, 2017.  Updated information for Summer Study 2017 is available at:

More than 50 New Members Joined the KF This Year! 

We are delighted at this development and would like to encourage you all to tell your family and friends about us and encourage them to join our growing Polish family!

Our Heartfelt Thanks!

We are sorry to report that Board member, Casey Palowitch, will be leaving Philadelphia and our Chapter. Casey has accepted a job with Google and will be relocating to Boston. We thank Casey sincerely for all the work that he has done in conjunction with Peter Obst on the brochure about Polish Historical sites in Philadelphia and on updating the links to feature Polish American contributions on tourist websites in Philadelphia. We wish Casey good wishes and best of luck with his new position!

New Committees Formed

Our board has worked well collaboratively, but since our projects have grown we have decided to form committees to better involve KF members and make use of the talent within our organization. Most boards have committees because smaller groups can work more efficiently and less formally than large ones. Moreover, committees can play a helpful role in building teamwork among board members and between board members and organization members and can serve as a way to identify future leaders. The board has approved the following committees to help with our mission:


1)  Committee on The Museum of the American Revolution

2)  Committee on “ Kościuszko Way”

3)  Committee on “Kościuszko Mural”

4)  Committee on Cooperation with African-American organizations and schools to introduce Kościuszko’s ideals of freedom and equality.

5)  Committee on Kościuszko’s House Volunteers.

6)  Committee on Fund Raising.

We encourage and invite all KF chapter members to identify committees that are of interest to them and volunteer their time, skills and talent in making us the most active and successful chapter in the country.

From the Academy
 Polish Scientists 

This new column will be devoted to the accomplishments and life stories of eminent scholars of Polish origin and ancestry who have achieved recognition in the USA.
We start from our own Professor Zenon Stęplewski.

Zenon Stęplewski MD, Ph.D. is an outstanding Polish oncologist and scholar whose research directly contributed to major advances in immunology and to understanding the biology of cancer.  During his over 30 years tenure at the Philadelphia’s Wistar Institute,  a leading international institution in biomedical sciences  (, 
 Dr. Stęplewski pioneered the development of antibodies against tumor-associated antigens and development of cancer vaccines.  Both are currently being used clinically for cancer diagnostics and tumor immunotherapy. He had also continuously mentored and created research opportunities for many Polish scientists several of who established their own independent successful careers in the US.
Dr. Stęplewski is the recipient of several awards from the Polish Ministry of Health, international scientific societies and numerous grants from National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society. He is an author of over 240 research publications, numerous patents and is a member of editorial boards of  several international scientific journals. In recognition of his accomplishments and contributions to scientific research and medicine Dr. Stęplewski has been inducted to the "Kościuszko Foundation Collegium of Eminent Scientists"
Dr. Stęplewski completed his MD, Doctor of Medical Sciences (D.M.Sc.) and Ph.D degrees at the Silesian Medical School in Zabrze and Institute of Immunology of the Polish Academy of Science in Wroclaw, respectively. His advancement through academic ranks cumulated in heading the Department of Tumor Biology  at the Institute of Oncology in Gliwice. Dr. Stęplewski came to US in 1974, originally as an exchange visitors scientist at the Wistar Institute. He remained affiliated with that institution for over 30 years as the Wistar Institute Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. His most recent appointment has been the Professorship od Cancer Biology at the Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. 
Zenon Stęplewski lives with his wife Maryla in Malvern PA. Their home is and has always been a welcoming and warm place for many social gatherings of the members of Polish community of a greater Philadelphia area.
Did You Know?

Tadeusz Kościuszko, the namesake of our organization had an extraordinary tenure in America.  Kościuszko was a skilled engineer with a military education. After a failed love affair, he left Poland in 1776 and  joined the colonial forces fighting for independence from the British.  Initially he was a volunteer to the revolutionary forces but by October, 1776 he was a Colonel of Engineers, and by the end of the year he was the Chief Engineer of the entire Continental Army.  Kościuszko masterminded a key British defeat at Saratoga and oversaw the building of military fortifications at West Point, a key point of defense on the Hudson River. Kościuszko also constructed ingenious fortifications at Philadelphia and Fort Ticonderoga. His talent with defensive fortifications played a crucial role in the American war effort.  
During his time in America, Kościuszko met and became close friends with Thomas Jefferson, for whom the Pole was "as pure a son of liberty as I have ever known."  They shared many views philosophically and politically, and Kościuszko often stayed for extended periods at Jefferson’s home in Monticello.  When the war ended in 1783 Congress promoted Kościuszko to Brigadier General, and awarded him with citizenship, 500 acres of land, and $10,000 - approximately a quarter of a million dollars today and a small fortune for the time.  Kościuszko converted his American assets, into a trust fund to buy the freedom of American slaves, including Jefferson’s own, and to educate them for independent life. With the revolution behind him, Kościuszko’s attention turned back to his native country, but prior to departing for Poland he wrote out a will, which he entrusted to Jefferson as executor. Jefferson never fulfilled the role as executor and none of the resources that Kościuszko had earmarked for the manumission and education of American slaves were ever used for that purpose. Jefferson remains a giant and a hero in America’s history, but since the late 20th century several leading historians have strongly criticized Jefferson’s inaction with respect to Kościuszko, as well as his stand on slavery. U.C.L.A. historian Gary Nash wrote: “Jefferson betrayed not only his friend and fellow revolutionary, but also a fledgling nation found on the principle of liberty and justice for all.” For further reading please see:

Hitchens, C.  (2009). Thomas Jefferson. New York, NY: HarperCollins.
Morgan, E. (1975). American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia. New York, NY: W.W. Norton.
Nash, G., Hodges, G. R. G. (2012). Friends of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson, Tadeusz Kościuszko, and Agrippa Hull. New York, NY: Basic Books. 
Starozynski, Alex (2009). The Peasant Prince : Thaddeus Kościuszko and the Age of Revolution. New York, NY: St. Martins Press.
Peterson, M.D. (1970). Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Wiencek, Henry (2012). Master of the mountain: Thomas Jefferson and His Slaves. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Future Events 
Kościuszko Bicentennial

October 15th, 2017 marks 200th Anniversary of Tadeusz Kościuszko’s death.

We are planning a celebration in Philadelphia to commemorate this bicentennial.  More details will be announced in the next newsletter.
Proverb Corner
Polish proverbs are short and frequently metaphorical expressions of popular wisdom from all Polish speaking parts of the world. A few examples below are from the collection of Joel Stern.
 Zamek na cztery spusty, a w środku goły i pusty
All image and no substance, All sizzle and no steak
 Co ci powie białogłowa, pisz na bystrej wodzie słowa
A woman's words are gone with the wind

Do cnoty ostro jak po szydle, do grzechu na dól jak po mydle
Becoming virtuous is an uphill struggle; falling into sin is as easy as rolling off a log
Call for Contributions and Contributors

Our newsletter welcomes contributions, comments and news from our members and friends, as well as from collaborating organizations. Please consider writing a small article for our newsletter on any subject related to Polish culture. Send contributions to: or
Like us on Facebook

Join the Kościuszko Foundation!

For more information about the KF Philadelphia Chapter, or if you would like to become a  Kościuszko Foundation member and join us on our celebration of all things Polish, please visit the website: We welcome you.

The KF Philadelphia Chapter Board
Yolanta Roman

Miron Wolnicki
1st Vice President

Peter Obst
2nd Vice President

Wanda Mohr
Recording Secretary

Vincent Rospond
Corresponding Secretary

Marcia Wolnicki
Board Members:

Ela Bochenek
Marie Hejnosz
Casey Polowitch
Monica Polowy-Winter
Charles Pydych
Kris Walski
Maria Werner-Wasik
Hanna Wewiora
Teresa Wojcik
Margaret Zaleska
Andre Zlotnicki

Quo Vadis Editors:
Wanda Mohr
Margaret Zaleska
Copyright © 2016 The Kosciuszko Foundation Philadelphia Chapter, All rights reserved.

Contact us at:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp