Western Fraternal Life :: Zare Svobody No. 38

Zare Svobody No. 38

Austin, MN

October 2018

On October 20, members and guests gathered at Mower County Senior Center for a potluck harvest meal/meeting. October birthdays were celebrated for Jeanne Rolfson, Jerry Denisen, and Bonnie Sawyer.

The thank-you letter and scholarship essay submitted by Garrett Greeley was read.

Mary Haggerty composed a letter summarizing lodge activities for the year and announcing the 8th annual bakeless bake sale fundraiser. We sent it to all lodge members.

Bonnie Sawyer reported on a lodge activity at St. Vincent de Paul where five members and one YELL! member attended.

Members have donated warm winter clothing and blankets to the Dorothy Day Hospitality House and collected more items to be delivered later. A thank-you note was read from this group.

We were reminded of the food collection at the November meeting to help support the Food Shelf at the Austin Salvation Army.

There was discussion about the MN State Meeting to be held June 22-23 at LaQuinta Inn in Rochester, MN. A planning meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. on November 3 at 1605 8½ Avenue SE in Rochester, and all members are invited. We will be hosting the State Meeting, along with No. 44 and No. 127. Bonnie Sawyer is the State President and will be chairing the meeting.

At the November 17 meeting, elections were held and 2019 meeting schedule finalized.

Donations were made to the MN Scholarship Fund, Mower County Senior Center, and the Red Cross.
Dirty Bingo was played after the meeting.

September 2018

On September 15, members gathered at Mower County Senior Center for lunch and a meeting. We have three new members, juveniles Lydia and Abraham Bly and adult Margaret Dalmeida.

Fran Nelson thanked us for help cleaning her yard in May. Robert Baley thanked us for giving him a special birthday party.

Verne Baley read the scholarship essay and thank-you note from Kendra Weber. We wish her success in her educational pursuit.

Members are happy to report that we have 122 points this year so far. That number qualifies us as a Shining Star lodge.

Members were very generous in donating school supplies for a needy school.

Mary Haggerty is in the process of constructing a bakeless bake sale and yearly update letter to be sent to all members.

We made our yearly donations at the meeting to the MN scholarship fund, Mower County Senior Center, and the Red Cross.

Members had a harvest meal and meeting on October 20 with a winter wear drive. We will have our annual elections in November.

July 2018

Members met July 7 at Mower County Senior Center for a potluck and meeting.

Thank-you notes were received from Marie Krikava’s family for the memorial, Judith Belshan for the 75-year pin she received, and Pat and Melissa Haeska for the gift certificate we gave for hosting our annual garage sale.

Bonnie Sawyer reported on the State Meeting held in Hopkins. We had four members in attendance. There were four young people from our district awarded a state scholarship.

District 4 will be hosting the MN State Meeting at the La Quinta Inn in Rochester, MN in 2019. Lodges 38, 44, and 127 will hold a meeting for more planning.

Beth Pestka reported that she had recently heard some good reviews on the Fraternal Herald. Keep up the good work.

We celebrated Mary Haggerty being awarded the 2018 Fraternalist of the Year at the State Meeting. Bonnie Sawyer provided the balloons and bubbly for the celebration.

Four, $200 scholarships were awarded to young people at our July meeting. Garrett Greeley received a scholarship in memory of his deceased uncle, Francis Blahnik. Ellie Haeska was awarded a scholarship in honor of her dear friend Robert Baley. Kendra Weber was awarded a scholarship in honor of special member Millie Baley. Kathryn Haeska received a scholarship in honor of her grandparents, Ken and Mary Haggerty.

Our next meeting is September 15 and we will collect school supplies for a school to be determined. Bonnie Sawyer and the Haggertys will serve lunch.

May 2018

On May 19, the YELL! group and two leaders, Carolyn Greeley and Cathy Bly, treated the lodge members with a special lunch.

A memorial from Karen Nyenhuis’s family was read. Marie Krikava’s family sent a notice about her death and upcoming funeral memorial at the Brick Hall on June 15. The deaths of two members, Paul Oxley and Robert Blahnik, were also acknowledged. Bonnie Sawyer read a memorial for all deceased members and lit a candle with a moment of silence.

A flyer for No. 44’s celebration in September with Molly B. was passed around.

Our annual garage sale at the Haeska’s was a success. It was reported that we made $715. Many thanks to Pat and Melissa for the accommodations. We will buy a gift card for them at the Whistle Shop to show our appreciation. Some of the excess from the sale was donated to the Epileptic Foundation.

Our District 4 Meeting was a success. No. 38, 44, and 127 were all awarded the Shining Star for 2017. The State Meeting will no longer accept cancelled stamps, but St. Ignatius Church in Spring Valley is collecting them, so we donated our collection to them.

Bonnie Sawyer reported that we held a clean-up time for lodge member Frances Nelson. We ended it with an enjoyable picnic lunch.

We visited the graves of veterans on May 25 and had a small memorial.

The lodge paid registration for members who attended the State Meeting in Hopkins on June 23. We discussed the 2019 State Meeting and Beth Pestka is checking several options.

The YELL! group continues to make greeting cards, have put up two wood duck houses, collect pop tabs, and maintains two heavily used mini-libraries. Fathers of some of the members are doing volunteer coaching. The plan is for a meeting of the YELL! group at Whitewater State Park in June.

Cathy Bly and Melissa Haeska were awarded their 50-year pins. Our three 75-year members were not in attendance, so their pins will be sent to them. Congratulations to all.

We held a meeting on July 7 with a potluck. Lodge scholarships were awarded.

April 2018

Members ate a St. Patrick’s meal, listened to Irish music, and met on March 17. A thank-you note was read from St. Vincent de Paul for the 135 new and used socks we donated.

We achieved the Shining Star Award. Much thanks to Bonnie Sawyer for reporting the points.


The birthday project we held at our meeting was a big success. The cake mixes, frosting, candles, and cards will be donated to the Grand Meadow Food Shelf.

Edward Zich became an Honorary Member and turned 96-years-old on March 14. We wish him the very best.
Members discussed the death of Karen Nyenhuis and sent the family a memorial.

Kathryn Haeska will graduate from college and her name was sent to the Home Office for the drawing.
Joe Haggerty was re-instated as a member and his wife Jill became a new member.

We hosted the District Meeting on April 29 in the Oakland Hall. Bonnie Sawyer provided candles and Bob Baley lit the candle to honor the deceased. Verne Baley read the poem for the deceased members. Hy-Vee catered the event. Jeanne Rolfson, Beth Pestka, Bonnie Sawyer, Melissa Haeska, and Mary Haggerty provided desserts. Mary Haggerty did decorations. Raffles were provided by the Haggerty’s and Bonnie Sawyer.

Our annual garage sale was May 2, 3, and 4 at Pat and Melissa Haeska’s residence.

Lodge scholarship forms are due by July 1. The State Meeting was set for June 23. We will discuss that at our May meeting. Join Hands Day has been tentatively set for May 21. Mary Haggerty was nominated as a Fraternalist entry from No. 38.

Congratulatory letters will be sent to our 50 and 75-year members. They will be invited to the May meeting to receive their pins. At the May meeting, our YELL! group will be serving lunch.

February 2018

Members met on February 18 at Ken Haggerty’s home. We discussed the Sock Drive, collecting over 134 pairs of new or good socks that were taken to St. Vincent de Paul.

Congratulatory letters will be sent to our 50 and 75-year members. They are invited to join us at the May meeting to receive their pins.

We will be hosting the District Meeting on April 29 in Oakland, MN.

Our annual garage sale will be held at Pat and Melissa Haeska’s house on May 2-4.

The lodge will offer five $200 scholarships to its youth. Applications can be obtained from Mary Haggerty or Bonnie Sawyer. The deadline to apply is July 18.

We collected cake mixes, frosting, and candles for our birthday project at the March meeting to donate to the food shelf.

January 2018

On January 20, members convened for a meeting. Socks were collected for St. Vincent de Paul. Additionally, tabs were collected from Paul and Marilyn Oxley. Ken Haggerty donated 1,000 envelopes for cards made by the lodge.

As a New Year’s Resolution of sorts, we decided to give back at every meeting. This month’s activity was to send a card to someone who you think deserves or needs a note.

A thank-you note was read for donation to the MN State Scholarship Fund.

Three members received 75-year pins and three members received 50-year pins.

December 2017

On December 9, Beth and Jerry Pestka catered a Czech Christmas meal. Members appreciate their generosity. Santa made an appearance and a meeting was held.

A donations was made to the YELL! group for a fun activity. Jeanne Rolfson passed the gavel to Bob Baley Jr. as President.

A meeting was held January 20 with a sock drive.

November 2017

Members met November 18 at the Mower County Senior Center. Jeanne Rolfson and the Haggerty’s served lunch.
Thanks to those who make our bakeless bake sale a success.

We will host the District Meeting on April 29 in Oakland, MN. Dorothy Denisen will reserve the Oakland Hall.

Bonnie Sawyer will contact the committee for the State Meeting concerning the feelings of our lodge.

Calendars were passed out to each member with the 2018 schedule.

Members made our yearly donations to the following: State Scholarship Fund in memory of Louise Weber, State Scholarship Fund, and Mower County Senior Center.

We collected three boxes of canned and dry goods for the Austin Salvation Army.

Beth Pestka catered our Christmas party meal.

October 2017

Members gathered for a harvest meal on October 21. Bakeless bake sale letters were sent to members. School supplies were given to Lindsay Blahnik, who teaches at an inner-city school in Baltimore, MD.

Bonnie Sawyer will send a response to the state committee about the 2018 State Meeting. We thought it was important that both business and fun be included.

Members received a donation in memory of Louise Weber from her family. It will be used for education and the YELL! group.

We had a successful winter wear drive with ten bags being donated to the Dorothy Day Hospitality House in Rochester.

Yearly elections were held for 2018 with the only changes being Bob Baley as president and Bonnie Sawyer as vice president.

The YELL! group will hold an election in the near future. The group consists of 10-12 active youth. They are busy monitoring two mini libraries and making greeting cards from recycled card fronts. In the spring, they will build bluebird and wood duck houses. For fun, the YELL! group took a trip to the zoo. They also plan to provide lunch at our May meeting.

Garrett Greeley thanked us for the local and state scholarships he was awarded.

In November, we had a can and dry goods drive and set up our 2018 meetings. Mary and Jeanne provided lunch.

September 2017

On September 16, members gathered for a luncheon/meeting. A moment of silence was held for Louise Weber, she was a rock for our lodge.

Scholarship thank-you notes were read from Kendra Weber, Kathryn Haeska, and Ellie Haeska. It was also noted that Kendra Weber and Garrett Greeley were recipients of state scholarships.

The State Meeting in 2018 will be a one-day affair on June 23. We discussed the structure and format of the new one-day meeting, but did not make any definite decisions.

We collected school supplies for Lindsay Blahnik who is teaching second grade in the inner city of Baltimore, MD.

Mary Haggerty will be sending letters to members about the bakeless bake sale and a summary of the past year’s activities.

We are aware that veterans will be honored in November. We were proud to have three veterans in attendance at our last meeting: John Cafourek, Ron Kos, and Ken Haggerty. Thank you for serving our country.
Millie Baley celebrated her 89th birthday (see Spotlight for photo).

July 2017

On July 22, we gathered at the Mower County Senior Center to enjoy a potluck and to celebrate the 120-year birthday of our lodge. Bonnie Sawyer conducted a special program. We released balloons to honor our deceased members. Robert Baley sang a special Czech song, followed by a history of the lodge read by Melissa Haeska. Bonnie supplied bubbly for a toast to honor the success of our lodge.

A 75-year pin was presented to Mary Haggerty by her daughter Melissa Haeska and granddaughter Ellie Haeska. Ellie then summarized the people and happenings from 1942.

Four scholarships were awarded. Kendra Weber received a scholarship in honor of her grandmother, Louise Weber. Ellie Haeska received a scholarship in memory of Donna Baley. Katheryn Haeska received a scholarship in memory of Kenneth Rolfson. Garrett Greeley received a scholarship in memory of his great-grandparents, James and Marie Blahnik.

We have attained 110 lodge points, so we have reached the Shining Star level.

We signed a Thinking-of-You card for a member. The lodge presented Melissa Haeska a card and bouquet for completing her Master’s in Business.

Members were reminded of our school supply collection at our September 16 meeting. Dorothy Denisen and Bonnie Sawyer will provide lunch for the meeting.

May 2017

On May 20, we gathered at the Mower County Senior Center for a meeting. We signed a card for a member.

Thanks to No. 127, we were included in the May Basket Project at the District Meeting. We donated our baskets to the Memory Care Facility in Austin, MN.
Dorothy Denisen thanked us for donating the birthday items to the Grand Meadow Food Shelf.
Members reported on the garage sale held at Haeska’s from May 4 to 6. It was a huge success. Excess was donated to the First Choice Clinic in Red Wing and the Epileptic Foundation. Much thanks to members who contributed and worked hard.

We held a memorial service to honor deceased members.
Bonnie completed our little Czech cookbook. Ellie Haeska passed them out to those present.
We discussed our 120-year anniversary celebration for July 22. Invitations were sent. Jeanne Rolfson will order chicken, the rest is potluck.
On May 26, members visited various cemeteries and placed memorials on the graves.

March 2017

Members, guest, and Agent Jennifer Hoyt gathered at the Mower County Senior Center on March 18. Jennifer Hoyt has been a Western agent for eight months and is enthused about what Western has to offer and working with our lodge.

Cards were signed for members.

We discussed a possible community food response project. Food is collected from various businesses and distributed to families. In 2016, 900 families benefitted from the project.

In July, we will celebrate our 120-year anniversary. Invitations will be sent out to lodge members. Scholarships will be awarded, YELL! leaders will be recognized, and our 75-year member will be honored.

Millie Baley is our candidate for Fraternalist of the Year.

We were impressed with donations for our birthday project. Cake mixes, frosting, birthday cards, and candles were all brought in and will be donated to the Grand Meadow Food Shelf.

Jeanne Rolfson and Agent Jennifer Hoyt admire the birthday project.

The annual garage sale was held at the Haeska residence on May 4-6.

January 2017

Members met on January 21. There was a sock drive collection for St. Vincent de Paul.

Mary Haggerty is a 75-year member this year. Cards were signed for two members.

Paper hearts were passed out for our Giving Heart project in February.
Bonnie Sawyer is in charge of the new points system.

Carolyn Greeley and Cathy Bly will be given some special recognition by the lodge for their YELL! leadership.
The annual garage sale is planned for May 4-6 at Haeska’s. Clean out your closets and bring items to the next meeting.

The lodge will offer five scholarships of $200/each. Forms are available from any lodge officer. Applications are due July 1.

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