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Reunion 2016 returned to Cambridge Springs and The Riverside Inn. 2016 also marks the 150th Anniversary of the Borough of Cambridge Springs. Each month, there have been celebrations highlighting different aspects of Cambridge Springs. October was Alliance College month – more on that later.
The Riverside was in fine form and the entire staff was terrific. Several people arrived on Thursday to relax and catch up with friends before the weekend activities began. However, most people arrived Friday.
Following a Meet and Greet, alumni and guests were served a Taste of Cambridge Springs buffet dinner featuring Polish foods and, of course, Nick’s Turtle Soup. Friday night’s activities culminated with a bon fire and music provided by Tom Katrenich and Jerry Droleski.
As always, the Alliance College Memorabilia Room was a must-see attraction. Dave Matejczyk has a truly amazing treasure trove of AC memorabilia.
This year, several alumni donated gift baskets representing their home state to the Silent Auction. These baskets were displayed in the Memorabilia Room. $953 was raised for the scholarship fund.
Rose Smith and Janet Beanland - docents from the Cambridge Springs Museum - along with Dave Matejczyk presented the History of Alliance College. It was a great presentation that brought back sweet memories for everyone in the room. We all know what a knack Dave has with Alliance and Cambridge Springs trivia contests.
Alliance alumni participation was taken to a new level at the Saturday Mass at St Anthony of Padua. Alumni filled the roles of greeters, lectors, gift bearers, Eucharistic ministers, choir, and organist. This was a first! We appreciate the courtesy extended to us by Father Poulson and his staff. Father acknowledged our presence and extended greetings to our Alumni on behalf of the parish community. The mass intention was for all Alliance alumni. A special thanks to Basia Adams and Cathy Katrenich who dressed in Polish costume and placed a bouquet of flowers at the statue of the Blessed Mother.
Saturday night’s Dinner in the Main Ballroom was definitely a main event. Noted guests included the daughter and son of a 1916 Alliance graduate who also provided the invocation, Randy Gorski – the mayor of Cambridge Springs - and his wife Darlene, Dean Robert Ilisevich and his wife Agnes, Josephine Haluch and granddaughter Stacey Mott, Professor Tim Wise and his guest Lisa Porasca, Professor Jeanne Miller, Rose Smith and Janet Beanland – docents from the Cambridge Springs Historical Society. Faculty also in attendance included: Chris Marchewka Pawlowski, and Helene Strzelecki Rose and husband Bob.
After a delicious meal, the ACAA Foundation scholarship winner was announced and awards were presented to faculty members and alumni. The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Jeanne Miller for her years of service to Alliance as professor and Dean of Students.
Outstanding Alumni Awards were presented to David Matejczyk and Celeste “Mickie” Mickiewicz. In addition to a plaque Mickie was presented with flowers and honored for her 15 year term as President of the Alumni Association. She will remain on the Board as President Ex-Officio (Past President).
140 alumni and guests returned for this great weekend.
Due to many requests, the Alumni Association moved the annual meeting from Sunday morning to Saturday morning. Considering the number of alumni attending the meeting, this will be a permanent change. The move was especially important this year since several Officer and Board positions were up for election. After all the reports were discussed and approved, Richard Day, Nominating Chair took over the meeting.
The new Board members are as follows:
President Mike Anderson
Vice President Jim Koscelniak
Treasurer Les Rachocki
Secretary Mary Carr
Director Barbara (Gdula) Adams
Director Richard Day
Director Randy Polovick
Director Anna (Biernacki) Berry
Director Aundrea (Cika) Heschmeyer
President Ex-Officio Celeste “Mickie” Mickiewicz
The ACAA Foundation is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2016 Scholarship is; Emma J. Yokules!
Ms. Yokules is a junior, attending Franciscan University of Steubenville OH; pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Education with emphasis in Early Childhood Education.
During her tenure at Franciscan University, Ms. Yokules has made the Dean's List and maintains a 3.0+ GPA. Post-graduation, Ms. Yokules's plan is to pursue a teaching career in the elementary school level. During her sophomore year, Ms. Yokules was accepted and attended Franciscan University's European Summer Abroad Program, traveling throughout Europe to include Austria, Italy and of course, Poland!
Ms. Yokules is an active volunteer at the local Vacation Bible School, assisting and working with children in their recent Summer program along with participating in the Sacro Cuore Foundation mission trip to Romania; working with children of all ages in personal hygiene, communication skills, athletics and cultural exchanges.
Ms. Yokules is the granddaughter of Milt and Felicia (Ilczuk) Bruce, ACAA Class of 1967 and 1966 respectively.
The ACAA Foundation and its Board members, congratulate Ms. Yokules as the 2016 Scholarship recipient and wishes her continuing success in her education and future professional career.
The next Foundation Meeting will be held October 6th, 2017. The next Alumni Meeting will be held October 7, 2017 in Cambridge Springs. All alumni, faculty, and staff are encouraged to attend.
In October 2001, I never dreamed my term as President would endure for 15 years. Time has a habit of traveling faster than the speed of light when you’re involved in something you enjoy. Every meeting was exciting! Initially, we didn’t have a clue as to what we were doing. There weren’t any FOR DUMMIES books on how to create an alumni association. We put our heads together and came up with our first 3 goals: (1) develop bylaws and standing rules, (2) incorporate the organization, and (3) plan the 2003 Reunion. Fortunately, we had the people with the right expertise on the team. Amazingly - Everything worked out as planned! And here we are today; 15 years and 7 reunions later. Wow! What a journey!
Everyone knows a leader is only as good as the supporting team and I am deeply grateful for a very professional group of Board members that always exceeded expectations.
It has been a privilege and an honor representing our Alumni Association. Most of all - I am indebted to all of you for your support over the years. I trust you will give our new President Mike Anderson and the new Board members the same loyalty and support. Thank you again. You will always occupy a piece of my heart.
1. Please send your Reunion photos to Elaine Rachocki at email@example.com. If you also send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, they'll be included in the next email. Photos in this email were from previous get togethers.
3. Every Christmas the Cambridge Springs Museum erects a Christmas tree in the Alliance College Room. All alumni are asked to buy an ornament, write or paint their name & graduation year on the ornament, and send it to the Museum at 126 Federal St, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403
Finally, a BIG thank you to everyone who helped in any way with the 2016 Reunion. Your hard work and dedication are greatly appreciated. Thanks also to Bernadette and her staff at The Riverside for going above and beyond to satisfy all of our requests. Thanks to all the alumni and guests in attendance - without your support these events would not happen.