Western Fraternal Life :: Jan Zizka No. 67

Jan Zizka No. 67

Yukon, OK

October 2019

Members, along with the Sokol lodge, hosted the annual OK Czech Festival Dance from 5:30 p.m. until midnight at the Yukon Czech Hall on October 5. A special part of the dance was the first appearance of the newly crowned OK Czech-Slovak Royalty.

Members Alanna Bradley and Carolyn Foral Bradley spent their June connecting with relatives in the Czech Republic. Carolyn’s maternal grandmother, Marie Pospíšilová (No. 248: Mary Pospisil Vitosky) was born in Bludov, near Šumperk, in north Moravia. Her maternal grandfather, Jan Vitovský (No. 248: John Vitosky) immigrated from Fryšták, near Zlín, in south Moravia. John and Mary met and married in Willow, OK in the early 1900s. Alanna and Carolyn were accompanied by cousins Joie (No. 248) and his son Joe Vitosky.

At the National Convention in July, junior delegate Alanna met the brother of a close family friend who lives in OK but is originally from WI, Thomas Klika (No. 108) is the brother of Mike Klika.

Members of the Vitovský family of Fryšták, CZ gather for a family picture at the residence of Jana Vitovská Kolárová. 

October is the start of the holiday season and that means festive dances are ahead at the Yukon, OK Czech Hall. No. 67, along with Sokol Karel Havlicek, will be hosting a Halloween dance on October 26. Costume prizes will be given in all age categories. Children will also receive goodie bags.

We will also be hosting a Christmas party on December 15. The party will get started at 4 p.m. with a potluck dinner at 5 p.m. We will provide meat and drinks. Entertainment starts at 6:30 p.m. and all will be invited to come up and share their talent! Santa will also be stopping by for a visit.

A New Year’s Eve dance will be hosted on December 31. Families are invited to come dance the night away before the clock strikes midnight. We’ll do a count down and celebrate the start of a new year together!

The OK Czech Festival was the first Saturday in October. The OK Czech-Slovak pageant was on September 29. Royalty was crowned on October 5, the day of the festival.

We are sponsoring Kennedy Myrick for OK Czech-Slovak princess at the 2019-2020 pageant. Makinzey Shirazi is being sponsored for her role as a junior queen candidate.

The Yukon Czech Hall is on Facebook and Instagram. Please like and follow us on both platforms.

JUne 2019

Members canceled the April and June meetings because they fell on holidays; however, our lodge activities did not stop! We were honored to host the Oklahoma State Meeting in April. It was wonderful to see everyone, including the honor of having President Van Dyke and District Director Sestak in attendance.
Members have been making improvements to our lodge hall thanks to some grants our sister Sokol lodge obtained.

We have started sending out a Czech Hall newsletter to our members (No. 67 and Sokol). If you have not received yours, please let me know at ebenda@aol.com or 405-830-8374. One thing that everyone (members or not) can do to help us is to follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram. Our account on both is CzechHall (you will see a photo of our lodge hall). Please like and share our posts it helps us with advertising and promotion more than you know!

Sadly, we lost one of our long-time members, Laverne Stejskal. She was raised by two devoted lodge members, Louis and Millie Krivanek, and spent her childhood at lodge activities. As an adult, she was a hard-working member and served as our lodge treasurer for many years. I knew her my whole life, and she was part of my lodge family! The photo was taken at the 1987 Convention in Lincoln, NE. It shows Laverne with her husband Paul, and my parents Victor and Laverne Benda. All may be gone from this earth, but their hard work and spirit lives on in our lodge.

February 2019

Members met February 17 at the Yukon Czech Hall. Final plans were made for the State Meeting we hosted.
Election of delegates for the State Meeting and National Meeting were held at our March meeting.

We reported on two special dances, the Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras dance. Everyone had a great time.

We are all excited because we now have hot water in our men’s and women’s bathrooms! Thanks to everyone who made that happen.

A Czech language class will be held at our hall during the 2019-2020 school year. It will be an adult level course. If you are interested, an informational meeting will be held at the end of May. Please contact Elaine Benda for more information at (405) 830-8374 or ebenda@aol.com. 

January 2019

Members met January 20 at the Yukon Czech Hall.

Our lodge will be hosting the Oklahoma State Meeting on April 6. We look forward to seeing everyone there. There will not be a regular meeting on April 21. 

Clean-up day for the hall will be on March 30 at 10 a.m. There will be something for everyone to do, so come out and help us make the hall shine. 

On January 17, Borek Lizec, the Consul General in Chicago, was in Oklahoma and visited our hall. We were honored to show him our hall and our museum.

Consul General Borek Lizec at our hall.

We are happy to introduce our two newest members, welcome Sam Thomas Novosad (child of Chris and Mary Novosad and grandchild of Sam E. and Nancy Novosad). Also, welcome to Samantha Jayne Streller (whose parents are Jessica and Eric Streller and grandparents Paul and Bekki Benda). Their great-grandmother, Sylvia Benda, will be 92 in March. She is very proud of them and excited that they will carry on the Zoubek-Benda Centennial Farm. Their great-grandfather is the late Jerry Benda. 

December 2018

We held our meeting and then had a potluck dinner. After dinner, there was a Christmas show with performers by members of our lodge. It was followed by a special visit from Santa to hand out candy and gifts. It is always good to see everyone at the Christmas party.

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, members brought items to donate to the homeless staying at the City Rescue Mission.

We have elected the 2019 officers and will install them in January.

The caretaker’s house next to the Yukon Czech Hall has been completely removed.

Mark your calendars for the next special dances at YCH. On February 9, we will hold a Valentine’s dance, and March 2 we will hold a Mardi gras dance. Hope to see you there!

November 2018

The Halloween dance on October 27 was great fun with many adults and kids winning the costume contest.
Our Christmas meeting and party will be December 16 starting at 4 p.m. Don’t forget to ring in the New Year on December 31 through January 1 at the Czech Hall. All dances are held every Saturday from 8-11 p.m.; come dance with us.

October 2018

Just a reminder that we will host our annual Christmas party at the Yukon Czech Hall on December 16. Meeting at 4 p.m., potluck meal at 5 p.m., and Christmas program at 6:30 p.m. Santa will arrive after the program to hand out gifts. If you would like to be in the program to showcase your talents (singing, dancing, playing an instrument, telling a story, etc.), come to the party and we’ll get you in the show!

September 2018

We just finished our 53rd annual Oklahoma Czech Festival! Next comes the Halloween dance on October 27. There will be costume prizes for all ages, so tell everyone this is the best place to come celebrate in a fun and safe way!

An election of officers will occur at the November 18 meeting. Our lodge Christmas party will be December 16 with meeting at 4, dinner at 5, and program at 6:30 with Santa arriving shortly thereafter. We will provide the meat and drinks.

Start spreading the word to family and friends about our New Year’s Eve dance on December 31. Everyone is welcome; all ages. If you have any questions, contact a lodge officer or call the Czech Hall at 405-324-8073.

August 2018

Members met July 15 at the Yukon Czech Hall. Summer is a busy time for many of our members because we prepare for the OK Czech Festival in Yukon. This year, the festival is October 6. Some members help bake kolache for the festival. Others are practicing their dancing and singing for a performance on Czech Day.

Our local Czech bands are preparing for a full day of Polkas. The Bohemian Knights is one of our local bands, and they even let member Caleb Tlapak-Simmons join on a performance at the YCH. Many of our members are behind the scenes doing what it takes to make the festival a success. We hope you can attend our OK Czech Festival!

We have been busy this summer with Saturday night dances and preparing for autumn. Our annual OK Czech Festival is not far away, on October 6. Members are busy baking kolache and learning Czech folk dances and songs. We are excited about hosting the annual Czech Festival dance the night of the festival!

Members will be sponsoring Eden Tlapak-Simmons as a Junior Queen candidate in the upcoming OK Czech-Slovak Royalty pageant. We wish her all the best!

Please mark your calendars for the Halloween dance on October 27 and the New Year’s Eve dance on December 31. We hope you will share these dance dates with your family and friends, too.

Sotheby Shedeck attends OK State University and is one of the Western National scholarship winners. Her fellow members are so proud of her! The entire Shedeck family are members of the lodge.

Secretary Valarie Tlapak-Simmons and President Elaine Benda, accepting our 2017 lodge award from District 7 Director Ross Sestak.

Our lodge award shows how hard our members work throughout the year to better our community and carry on our Czech heritage.
Please try to come to a Saturday night dance at 8 p.m. or a meeting the third Sunday of the month at 2 p.m. Everyone is always welcome!

March 2018

Members met March 18 at the Yukon Czech Hall. We are moving forward with plans to remove the old caretaker house that is on our property. Thanks to everyone who came and helped clean out the house back in January. When we all pitch in together, it makes a big job a lot easier. 

We are going to host a sock hop in May. The goal is to collect as many new socks as we can for the City Rescue Mission.

Our own Kristin Nail Richards was named in Oklahoma Magazine’s 2018 class of 40 under 40. The class represents the best the state of Oklahoma has to offer in virtually all fields of business. Kristin practices employment law in Oklahoma City. She also trains for half-marathons and volunteers with the Junior League of Oklahoma City. Congratulations Kristin! 

Our next meeting will be July 15, mark it on your calendar to attend.

February 2018

Members met for the regular meeting on February 18 at the Yukon Czech Hall. We held a moment of silence for Lucille Ruzicka and past president of our lodge, Paul Stejskal, who both passed away. 

Reports were made on the two special dances we held in February. The Masopust dance, where attendees celebrated Mardi Gras by dancing the night away with music from our own Masopust Polka Band. At the Valentine dance, we honored couples who have special ties to the Yukon Czech Hall. Everyone had a good time and our members really enjoy volunteering.

We elected delegates to our State Meeting held in Prague, OK in April at the March meeting.

Members are excited that the Happy Players Band from Nebraska will play a dance at our hall on May 25 from 7 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. They are stopping off in Yukon on their way to the National Polka Festival in Ennis, TX over Memorial Day weekend. Go to our website at czechhall.com for more details.

Oscar and Carolyn Stejskal celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary (see Spotlight for photo).

January - February 2018

We started a new lodge tradition and pinned our new 50-year members, Jim Salmons and Elaine Benda, at our annual Christmas party. Jim’s mother, Marlene Salmons, pinned him and Dee Seymour, Elaine’s aunt, pinned her. All are life-long members of our lodge. We appreciate everyone sharing their talent.

About a week later, we held the New Year’s Eve dance, with a very nice crowd of all ages ringing in 2018 together.

After our January meeting, we had a workday to clean the old caretaker’s house on our property. More will be shared next month, but a huge thanks to everyone who volunteered. We do not exist without members and friends who come whenever something needs to be done.

In February, we held two special dances, the Masopust (Czech Mardi Gras) and a Valentine Dance. We provided a door prize drawing at both. Watch in coming months for more on these fun events.

Meetings are the third Sunday of the month and dances are every Saturday night; everyone is always welcome.
If you would like to volunteer in 2018, we can find something for you to do, so don’t be shy and just ask!

November 2017

Members elected the 2018 officers at the November meeting. Thanks to all who serve.

We have many things planned for the coming year, so please come to a meeting (third Sunday of the month at 2 p.m., Yukon Czech Hall). Watch for the February issue of the Fraternal Herald for details about our Christmas party fun.

This autumn, we had two members get married. Both are life-long members as are their families. Both were active in our lodge and hall activities since they were very young. In October, Jessica Osterman married Justin Gore and celebrated with a reception at Czech Hall. In November, Erica Benda married Cody McMillan. They are both physicians. We congratulate both couples and wish them the very best!

Call 877-935-2467 to speak with a Western Fraternal Life Representative.