Hello Texas Polka Fans!
International Polka Association during our recent festival and convention. I am no stranger to the IPA executive board. I was appointed in 2014 to fulfill the office of 1st vice president when Rick Rzeszutko was elevated to president. In addition, in 1993 I produced the IPA newsletter and was the financial secretary under President Keith Stras. I served on the executive board from 1993-1997. In 2010, I was elected back to the board.
In 2018, I had the honor of chairing the 50th IPA Festival and Convention Celebration plus the 50th Anniversary Dinner Dance in Chicago. Under my leadership, together with a talented committee of volunteers, we presented two memorable, elegant, and outstanding celebrations commemorating the IPA's 50th anniversary.
I am the daughter of IPA Hall of Famer, John Furmaniak Sr. and Cheryl Furmaniak, (the newly elected IPA secretary). I am married to John Krawisz, accordion player for FreezeDried, Music Company, and the IPA Tribute Band. John was also elected as an IPA director this year. I have two beautiful and talented daughters, Katie and Hayley, and two beautiful stepdaughters, Holly (husband Chad) and Tiffany.
I grew up surrounded by polka music. My father’s band, the Dial-A-Tones, was popular when I was a young child, and I was often brought to many polka events in the Chicagoland area. Growing up I admit, “I didn’t enjoy it as much as I do now.” My father also performed with Marion Lush’s White Eagles and Stas Bulanda’s APB for years.
I enjoy spending time with my husband, children, and my extended family. Going to the casino (and winning) is something I also enjoy. I am always willing to lend my talents to others, as I have been involved in many area fundraisers. My experience with these causes and my time on the IPA will further preserve my love of the music.
I, together with my board, plan to continue efforts to keep polkas positively promoted and alive so others can experience the fun and happiness that the IPA and polka music can provide.
These are the extremely talented board members for 2019-2020 that I look forward to working with. Lori Hudy-Lewandowski - 1st Vice President; Fred Kendzierski - 2nd Vice President; Dan Mateja – Treasurer; Cheryl Furmaniak – Secretary; Lynn Kaminski - Financial Secretary; Peter Danielzcuk - Sergeant at Arms; Illinois Directors - Brian Kapka, Jennifer Bulanda-Ruitenberg, John Krawisz, Dennis Mikolajewski, Lindsey Mateja and Stephan Kaminski. Out-of-State Directors - Dave Bonczkiewicz, AZ; Jill Styczynski, WI; Sue Szela, MA; Brad Turk, FL; Mark Trzepacz, NY; Chris Bogdon, PA. Jerry Wantroba – Advisor; Keith Pietranczyk – Media Advisor; and Rick Rzeszutko - Ex Official.
Our Festival and Convention was once again a huge success and we would like to thank everyone who attend for making this weekend so much fun.
To past board members, Laura Mateja, Patrick Henry Cuierka, Lori Urbanczyk, and Ed Guca. Thank you for all that you did. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
To all the bands - Buffalo Concertina All-Stars, Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push, John Gora & Gorale, Buffalo Touch, The Boys, IPA Tribute Band, Dennis Polisky & Maestro’s Men, The Koxmix, The Beat, FreezeDried, Polka Country Musicians, and Ray Jay & the Carousels - thank you for sharing your musical talents with us and providing topnotch entertainment all weekend long. We really appreciate it.
To the 2019 Polka Music Hall of Fame Inductees - Ted Lange, Steve Meisner, Roger Lichwala, Steve “Big Steve” Krzeminski, John “Stanky” Stankovic - congratulations once again.
To the 2018 Polka Music Award winners, thank you for continuing to do what you do year after year to promote polka music; we appreciate all that you do. Favorite Polish-Style Recording - This is Polka-Box On; Favorite International-Style Recording - Home-Cleveland Style Polkas & Waltzes-Lynn Marie Hrovat & Eddie Rodick III; Favorite Polish-Style Song - It’s the Time for Polkas-Box On; Favorite International Style Song - Home-Lynn Marie Hrovat & Eddie Rodick III; Favorite Polish-Style Male Vocalist - Lenny Gomulka; Favorite International-Style Male Vocalist - Steve Meisner; Favorite Polish-Style Female Vocalist - Stephanie Pietrzak; Favorite International-Style Female Vocalist -Mollie Busta Lange; Favorite Polish-Style Band - Lenny Gomulka & Chicago Push; Favorite International-Style Band - Steve Meisner Band; Leon Kozicki Trustee Award - Jim Sajkowicz
In closing, I ask that you consider joining the International Polka Association at www.ipapolkas.com.Membership is only $15 per year or a lifetime membership is only $200. If you have any suggestions or comments for the IPA, please email me directly at Christyfirstname.lastname@example.org. I will bring all suggestions and comments before the board. I hope you all enjoy Oktoberfest season!