Western Fraternal Life :: Zare Zapadu No. 44

Zare Zapadu No. 44

Hayward, MN

October 2019

Members met at the Bohemian Brick Hall on October 1. We had a delicious potluck and celebrated the birthday of Roger Kral before the meeting.

The Czech Fest held on September 7 was discussed. We were happy with the crowd for the afternoon old time music; however, the evening crowd for the modern music was much less. Participants were happy with the music and food, and the bake sale was successful. We sold about 2,000 kolache, as well as other items. The silent auction was also a success. We were happy with the money raised at the event, it will be used for upkeep of the Bohemian Brick Hall and related property.

Members discussed adding social members to our group as discussed at the Convention, and it was well received.
We spent time planning events for 2020. Members are supportive of having several events at the lodge again next year. This helps people in the area learn about the lodge and Brick Hall. In addition, some activities planned make money that can be used for upkeep of the building. We plan to have a pancake breakfast, spring luncheon, Czech meal, and a Czech Fest. There will be committees for planning each of these events.

Our Facebook page is available for anyone on Facebook. If you are interested, "like" Bohemian Brick Hall. You will learn about the activities of our lodge by the posts.

August 2019

Members met at the Bohemian Brick Hall on August 6. In July, we had a professional art historian evaluate our stage curtains. Unfortunately, the curtains cannot be cleaned because of their fragile condition. They could be preserved by placing them in an enclosed case, but then they could not be viewed by community members. The lodge decided to continue to display them and use every caution to keep them from being damaged further.

Brick Hall projects recently completed the tuck pointing and repair of the sign on the front of the lodge. There is a plan for a new yard light. The Friends of the Bohemian Brick Hall have applied for a grant to get a new flagpole. In addition, we voted to request that the Friends apply for a grant to put an HVAC system into the hall. This will make the hall more comfortable in different seasons. In addition, it could help preserve the historic stage curtains.

Committees for Czech Fest reported. We will have a silent auction, bake sale, and food service. The children’s activity committee has lots of free, fun games and activities for kids. Geneva Bar will supply the alcohol. The grounds committee has rented the tent and portable toilets. We have a country band for the afternoon and a rock band for the evening.

We voted to donate to the Western scholarship committee.

Members met for our monthly meeting on September 3. We had a potluck, followed by our meeting. Members receiving their 50 and 75-year pins will be awarded at our Czech Fest on September 7.

We received a Members in Action approval for our Czech Fest community event.

The Brick Hall tuck pointing project is completed for this year. However, there will be more work next summer. We discussed the significant expenses involved in maintaining our historic lodge building. Our yard light project is also complete, so the exterior property will be safer and better lit.

Czech Fest was held at the Bohemian Brick Hall on September 7. Lodge members honored for 75-year membership: Victoria Bjortomt, Dale Lukes, Ione Mc Clelland, David Cech, and Sharon Ayers. Ronna Belshan was honored for her 50-years.

Czech Fest included a bake sale. Many members baked kolache and rohlicky. We also had a successful silent auction. Members and area businesses donated items for the auction. Our afternoon band was Malek’s Fisherman Band, which played old time music. Our evening band, Radioactive, attracted YELL! members with modern music. All agreed that the fest was again a success.

June 2019

On Memorial Day, member and veteran Dennis Rayman was recognized by the Glenville American Legion for his 60 years of service to the Legion.

On June 15, we held a bike giveaway and the winners were Ava Arnold and Tristan Boyum. President Rayman gave the bikes to the winners at the Glenville Legion location.

Members met June 4 at the Bohemian Brick Hall in Hayward Township. We met again on July 2.

The May 11 luncheon with the string quartet was a success with 67 participants. YELL! members helped serve at the event and other members set tables and prepared food.

Repair work on the storage building and garage at the hall has been completed. The Czech dancer silhouette and the Czech coat of arms are displayed on the garage. We discovered that brick under the ZCBJ sign on the front of the hall was in need of tuck-pointing. The sign was removed and the brick was repaired.

Members participated in Glenville Days and the Northwood parade by distributing candy. We gave away two bikes at Glenville Days and made a donation to the girls’ softball team for Glenville School.

Some members attended the MN State Meeting in Rochester, MN. Marcella Nelson and Susan Cherney were on the planning committee for the meeting.

YELL! members, Orli Anderson won 1st place and honorable mention for her age group, Juna Bea Krikava won 1st place in her age group, and Mila Anderson won honorable mention for her age group in the Western Art Contest. We are very proud of this accomplishment.

In July, we had an art conservator look at the historic curtains at the Bohemian Brick Hall. She advised us regarding care and restoration. We used money from our March pancake breakfast and from the May luncheon to pay for the assessment.

May 2019

We were forced to delay our meeting and pancake breakfast because of the cold and snow on March 3.
Our pancake breakfast/bake sale was a success on March 24, and we even had nice weather for the event. Many community members came to support the lodge and bring home kolache, rohlicky and Czesky Chleb (bread). Adult and YELL! members worked together to make the event a success. During the pancake breakfast, we took time out to celebrate the 91st birthday of member Bev Prantner (see Spotlight). Funds raised at the bake sale/breakfast will be used to preserve and restore the historic curtains at the Bohemian Brick Hall.

After breakfast, we met for a business meeting. Because of severe weather, the lodge officers authorized emergency snow removal from the roof of the Bohemian Brick Hall. Many buildings in Minnesota were damaged due to heavy snow. The membership thanked President Dan Rayman and Vice president Dan Belshan for taking this necessary action. The investment of money to remove the snow may well have saved the lodge from collapse.

We voted to donate to the Glenville Legion to support their mission of serving veterans in the area. The upcoming District Meeting was discussed.

On April 7, we had our regularly scheduled meeting at the Glenville Legion rather than the Bohemian Brick Hall. The property remains too muddy to host the meeting.

Members met on May 7 at the Bohemian Brick Hall for a meeting and potluck meal. We celebrated JeVonne Budach’s 83rd birthday after the meeting (see Spotlight for photo).

Recent service projects included May baskets for elderly members and friends. We also made another donation to the Ronald MacDonald House in Rochester. Many members contributed items to donate.

We worked with a local school group to clean the Bohemian Brick Hall and grounds on April 17. Because of the heavy snow this winter, there were a lot of branches down and damage to the grove. Work has started on repairing the garage and storage areas on the property and we have hired someone to mow.

Susan Cherney is leading the effort to restore the six historic stage curtains that hang in the hall. After a professional assessment, we will decide on the cleaning and repairing of the curtains. One assessor has indicated the curtains are valuable and historic.

A committee was formed to plan a luncheon at the Bohemian Brick Hall to increase awareness of the historical importance. Money raised will be used to restore the stage curtains. The luncheon was held May 11 and was well attended. On the day of the event, committee members served food, welcomed our guests, and did clean up. The string quartet that provided music was enjoyed by all.

The lodge hosted lunch on May 27 for the Bohemian National Cemetery. We helped serve and clean up.

February 2019

Members met for their meeting on February 3. We completed the planning of the pancake breakfast scheduled for March 3 at the Glenville Legion. Members served pancakes, sausage, eggs, and juice from 7:30 a.m. until noon. We also had a bake sale with about 600 kolache to sell to our customers. Our flyer for the event was designed by YELL! members Ben, Juna, and Leo Krikava. Money raised at the breakfast will be used for the restoration of the historic curtains at the Brick Hall.

Members continue to plan for Czech Fest on September 7 at the Bohemian Brick Hall. We have the bands hired and have committees starting to work on tickets, advertising, and food. This annual event is a big project for our lodge. It has helped community members remain aware of our Czech heritage and our historic hall.

We were happy to celebrate the 88th birthday of Roger Rayman with a cake.

January 2019

Members completed a busy 2018 and took time at the January meeting to look back. We served veterans in our community, supported youth through partnerships with Glenville-Emmons school, and donated to youth programs. We shared about our Czech heritage though a TV spot on KSMQ, articles in the local newspaper, and opening our Bohemian Brick Hall with traditional Czech Dancers and a presentation about Czech Heritage. We had a successful pancake breakfast and Czech Fest. These events helped us make money to repair and maintain our historic Bohemian Brick Hall.

Members met January 6. Western agent Ken Cafourek gave a presentation on membership and products available. He encouraged our group to continue active lodge participation. Letters have been sent inviting members to attend meetings and become involved with activities.

We completed installation of trustees for 2019 by installing Craig Rayman.

Our lodge donated money to the Ecumenical Food Pantry and collected items for the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, MN.

We began planning our March pancake breakfast. The money raised will be used to restore the historic stage curtains in the Bohemian Brick Hall.

Lodge leadership collected volunteer hours from active lodge members. We completed our lodge reports for 2018.

After the meeting, we celebrated Barbara Prantner’s 92nd birthday.

Our pancake breakfast is scheduled for March 3 from 7:30 a.m. to noon at the Glenville American Legion.

In December, member Lana Stanley was reunited with her son.

December 2018

Members met December 9 at Glenville American Legion. A moment of silence was held for deceased or ill members.

Thanks to all who participated in Veteran’s Day activities at the Bohemian Cemetery and Glenville Legion.
We discussed how to add symbols of our Czech heritage to outbuildings and property at the Brick Hall. We also discussed lawn mowing in 2019, taking bids and liability questions.

Members held an election of officers with the following results: President Dan Rayman, Vice President Dan Belshan, Secretary Joan Krikava, Treasurer Sue Cherney, and Correspondent Bonnie Belshan. Frances Kycek-Swenson, who has done well sending cards of celebration and condolence, will serve as trustee.

Salvation Army food and plates were delivered by Jan Svoboda, Arlene Vanek, Joan and Allen Krikava, Dan Rayman, and Dan Belshan.

We wished Arlene Hajek a happy 92nd birthday.

Dan Belshan was elected to his 6th term as Freeborn County Commissioner.

We will order a sugar maple tree in memory of Emil Prantner to be planted in the spring on Brick Hall property.

Donations of items were made to Salvation Army Food Shelf, RMD House, and Glenville-Emmons School.

Please remember to turn in your 2018 volunteer hours to Secretary Joan Krikava.

We received a card from Dave Ruzek and Connie Freydenlund. Members received an invitation to the dedication of the Preston Veteran’s Cemetery in the spring.

Save the date for our pancake breakfast and fundraiser to conserve No. 44 Brick Hall curtains on stage, March 3 at the Glenville Legion. Czech Fest is September 7 at the Brick Hall with Malek Fishermen and Radioactive bands.

November 2018

Veteran’s Day was a special one at the Bohemian National Cemetery. At 4:30 p.m., there was a dedication ceremony of a life-sized silhouette of the Raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima. Attending was a WWII veteran of that battle, Ernest (Ernie) Benesh. Ernie, 92, was born and raised in Freeborn County, MN and enlisted in the Marine Corps from there. He served in the Pacific theatre and fought in all but one day of the bloody Battle of Iwo Jima. He saw the first flag raised on Mount Suribachi, but it was small, so the larger one was raised and has become an iconic image. Marine Commandant Holland Smith said “Iwo Jima was the most savage and the most costly battle in the history of the Marine Corps.”

In 2012, Ernie and his two cousins, Milo Belshan and Emil Prantner, (members of No. 44) established a veterans’ memorial at the Bohemian National Cemetery. The names are printed of veterans buried there to honor all who served our country. Emil served in Europe with Patton’s Army troops, landing at a Normandy beach in the D-Day assault and in the Battle of the Bulge. Milo fought in the Pacific with the Army as part of McArthur’s return to the Philippines.

With help and fundraising from family, the Glenville Area Women of Today, No. 44, the Glenville American Legion, local businesses, and community members, plus a $10,000 grant from the National Daughters of the American Revolution, the memorial was built in the summer of 2013 and dedicated on November 9, 2013. Following the ceremony, we served lunch and kolache at the Brick Hall. There were displays and memorabilia of each of the combat cousins and pictures of the monument construction from inception to finish. Ernie and Emil were proudly in attendance. Milo helped design it and knew the memorial would be built, but died before the ceremony.

While Milo’s son, Dan Belshan was in Geneva, MN he saw a metal silhouette of the Iwo Jima flag raising in their cemetery. Knowing there were some unused memorial funds, he took pictures and asked the Bohemian National Cemetery Board if they would like a flag raising metalwork as an addition to the memorial. After contacting the artisan, Dan and Kevin installed the silhouette on November 7, just in time for Veteran’s Day. Dan, Vice President of No. 44, and Commander Bob Knutson from Glenville American Legion Post 264 assisted in the dedication ceremony at the cemetery. Ernie gave a brief talk about the battle at the annual veterans’ dinner. Sadly, Emil passed away earlier this year.

For more information, including how to add a veteran’s name to the memorial, contact Dan and Bonnie Belshan, 85486 157th ST, Glenville, MN 56036.

October 2018

Members met at the Brick Hall on October 2 for a potluck and 90th birthday celebration for Alton Krikava and a pin celebration. President Rayman opened the meeting with a moment of silence for deceased and ill members.

We discussed our successful Czech Fest and received ideas for next year. Thanks to all who helped, donated, and worked to make it a wonderful event. Children’s activities were new this year and much appreciated.

Susan Cherney contacted historical societies and a fabric conservator and presented ideas for the stage curtains.
We received thank-you notes from Norman Luksik and Glenville-Emmons schools.

Donations were made to Glenville-Emmons Girls Athletics and the Western Fraternal Life Scholarship Fund.
Members made plans to help at the Trunk-or-Treat in Glenville.

Items were collected for Glenville-Emmons School and the Ronald McDonald House. Anne Estes gave out the fall wish lists for those organizations.

We finalized our 2019 meeting calendar.

Members had a meeting on November 6 at the Brick Hall.

September 2018

On September 4, members met for a potluck anniversary/meeting under threat of tornado and severe thunderstorms. We opened access to the basement but never had to evacuate the hall.


We received a thank-you note from the Ronald McDonald House for our in-kind donations, and a note from 75-year member Norman Luksik. Frances Kycek-Swenson sent sympathy and anniversary cards. We made final plans for our Czech Fest with committee assignments.

Our September 8 and 9 Czech Fest was a success. The weather was perfect. The music, food, silent auction, and children’s activities were all a hit. The Sunday service with Pastor Jim Krikava and Czech meal were well attended. Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Minneapolis, MN, Marit Lee Kucera, was the special speaker.

We recognize 50-year member William Raatz and 75-year members Garnys Nelson, Norman Luksik, Barbara Prantner, and Lois Stotts. Mike Krikava was recognized for legal work donation.

August 2018

We had a potluck and meeting on August 7 at the Brick Hall. Before the potluck, members put Western stickers on collected items and in-kind donations for the Ronald McDonald House and Glenville-Emmons Schools.

Members put Western stickers on donated items.

There was a moment of silence for deceased and ill members. We received a thank-you note from the boy’s bike winner, Caleb Mattson.
A donation came from Bev Prantner and the family of Emil Prantner. Our sympathies to the family of Roger Prantner, who died on July 28.
Money came from Czech Fest sponsors and advanced ticket sales. We discussed fundraising and future repairs.
Joan Krikava will be our secretary with help from Sue Cherney when Joan is absent.
We held our September 8-9 Czech Fest featuring Mollie B. and the Jim Busta Band. Pastor Jim Krikava, head of MXLC Missions in Europe and Asia, came from Prague.
We thanked and recognize Ann Estes for all her help filling in as secretary. We voted to plant a tree in memory of Emil Prantner.
Evelyn Swenson was presented with a certificate of Honorary Membership.

President Dan Rayman presents Evelyn Swenson a certificate of Honorary Membership.

A donation was made to Freeborn County Agricultural Society.


June 2018

On June 5, we greeted guests John Chrz, his son, and their relative from Prague, Czech Republic, Ludek Slaby for a tour of our hall and a potluck meal with us. Mr. Slaby spoke at our meeting and complimented us on our beautiful hall and history. He was most pleased and surprised that our potluck included his favorite foods--dumplings, pork, and sauerkraut!

President Rayman opened our meeting at 6:30 p.m. with a moment of silence for deceased and ill members. We discussed our successful May open house.

We hosted a June 15 memorial afternoon for Marie Krikava’s family and friends. On June 16, we took part in the Glenville parade and Western bike giveaway.

There are still repairs needed on the hall and garage.

We discussed distributing Honorary Membership certificates and inviting inactive members to our meetings.
Members made more plans for September 8 and 9 Czech Fest. We donated money to Glenville-Emmons Girls’ Athletics.

A thank-you note from MN American Legion Commander for our donation toward transportation at the Preston Vets’ Cemetery was read.

May 2018

On February 11, we celebrated WWII veteran Emil Prantner’s 99th birthday. Sara Aeikens had a column about Western and our lodge published in the Albert Lea Tribune. We mourn the untimely loss of Secretary Karen Nyenhuis, and extend sympathy to her family. Anne Estes will fill in as correspondent.

On April 22 our YELL! group helped us in celebrating Marie Krikava’s birthday.

We received a thank-you note from Rochester Ronald McDonald House.

On May Day, we cleaned our 109-year-old hall, which was closed for the winter. Several repairs have been made. Meetings will be held at the hall the first Tuesday of each month now through November.

On May 20, we had our community open house with kroje costumed Czech dancers from St. Paul Sokol Hall, refreshments, and kolache.

We discussed Czech Fest on September 8 and 9 featuring Mollie B. and the Jim Busta Band, kids’ activities, a silent auction with Czech items from the Krikava collection, speaker Pastor Jim Krikava (Director of LCMS missions in Eurasia), and a Czech meal. Everyone is welcome!

KSMQ-TV Off 90 programs featuring our Czech Fest, lodge members, and hall aired May 27, June 7, and June 9.
We discussed scholarship fundraising, the points system, upcoming cleaning and repairs, Join Hands Day, Memorial Day activities, and community uses of our hall. Officers will research heritage displays on the property.
Monetary donations were made to Freeborn County Snowmobile Club, MN American Legion toward transportation at the Preston Vet's Cemetery, and Glenville Legion Post 264.

Our condolences also go out to Alton and the family of Marie Krikava, (kolache lady) and staunch supporter of our lodge for decades, who passed on May 10.

April 2018

Members met on February 11 at the Glenville American Legion. We are collecting items: can tabs, milk caps, box tops, and school supplies, for the Glenville-Emmons schools and Ronald McDonald House.

The men’s bathroom is finished at the hall with new siding and a new door.

The TV show, Off 90, aired a recording of the Czech Fest from 2017 during the month of April.

We will discuss changes in the lodge rental agreement and planting trees at a later date.

Mollie B. will be at our Czech Fest in September, more details to follow. There will be a silent auction at the Czech Fest as well.

Our lodge Facebook page is up and running thanks to Susan.

The pancake breakfast was held March 18. Over 800 kolache were donated to sell. All tables were full as our guests enjoyed pancakes, eggs, and sausage. Agent Ken Cafourek donated a prize for the breakfast from pre-sale Czech Fest tickets. The money earned supported donations to a local youth group. Members worked together to make this event successful.

Pancake breakfast volunteers.

After breakfast, members held a meeting. There was discussion about the point system.

The District Meeting was held on April 29 with the Austin lodge hosting.

It was decided that monthly meetings will be held the first Tuesday of the month at the Brick Hall. There was discussion about having the lawn mowed at the hall as well.

This year, we hope to be able to accept credit card sales for Czech Fest tickets.

We are planning an open-house to honor the 100th anniversary of the formation of Czechoslovakia after WWI. It will be held at the Brick Hall on May 20 from 1-4 p.m. The Czech and Slovak Folk Dancers from St. Paul will perform. We will serve kolache and have a presentation on Czech history by Susan Cherney. All are invited to this free celebration. We feel it is important to educate our community on Czech history and culture.

Marie Krikava celebrated her 87th birthday in April.

January 2018

Members met on January 7 at the Glenville American Legion. Our thoughts and prayers are with people as they face hardships.

The men’s bathroom and the shed are completed with new siding at the hall. Thanks to Edward Chrz for loaning us his tractor and digger when we re-leveled the new property.

This year, collections are for the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester and various school supplies for Glenville-Emmons Schools. Every meeting, tubs will be provided for members to drop items off.

Our Facebook page is up and running, so be sure to “Like” it and “Share” it with your friends and family! Thank you, Susan, for taking the time to do this, it is greatly appreciated.

Czech Fest is still being worked out, be sure to look at the Fraternal Herald for more details, as well as our Facebook page.

Our pancake breakfast is on March 18 at the Glenville American Legion from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. Please plan to attend. A meeting will follow afterwards.

We discussed how to get inactive members more involved with the hall. Our agent, Ken Cafourek, will talk to the Home Office for ideas.

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